"Places are sensed in a chiaroscuro of setting, landscape, ritual, routine, other people, personal experience, care and concern for home and the context of other places”.
Relph, Place and Placelessness, 1976
Without place, there wouldn’t be action or being. ‘Where’ isn’t a ‘there’, isolated and objective. ‘Where’ is part of us and we are part of it.
How does place synthesize our being and personal identity?
GEOGRAPHICAL AWARENESS is an inflatable art installation that questions the relationship between the person and the place, and how this interaction affects the other.
December 2021, Peckham Levels, London
The belonging to places grows when people begin to define themselves by their place on a large and small scale. This installation combines the concept of identity, perception issues, social attachment, sense of place, and presence and represents the three elements that give behavioral and emotional characteristics to places: the physical setting, the interaction, and the meanings. Meaning is associated with the individual’s internal socio-psychological processes that generate perception and affect the image of the place.
The inflated silver entities occupy a portion of the space, shaping a path that unfolds different perspectives. The viewer is invited to navigate it and interact with it. Through the reflective silver material, the observer identifies themself while affecting the entities’ aspect. The movement of the inflatable controls the physical position of the individuals and the way they move in the space. From this interaction, the person transforms an amorphous space into articulated geography while investigating their activity, purpose, status, privilege, position, and responsibility. By recognizing themselves in the reflective material, the silver entities become familiar, a home, a neighborhood: a place where the spirit exists, performs and discovers itself.
Place and body become interconnected and construct and activate each other behavior. There is no place without a self and no self without a place. Each is essential for the being of the other.
"Place is a unique entity, a
'special ensemble' it has a
history and meaning."
December 2021, Creatures Rave Party, London
Clubs and Raves are emotional cathedrals, places that incarnate peoples' psyche and aspirations, where a mystical exchange happens, a nonverbal communication of visions, feelings, and energies.
My choice of moving the installation from a personal experiential space, where the effect of the presence of other persons is out of the account, to a group experiential space, was based on the idea that when people share spatial elements it impacts the physical setting.
When on the dance floor, peoples' eyes focus on the performance happening beyond the space they occupy. It is a leisurely dialogue between the DJ and the public but, the more packed the club, the further it is the more the conversation is deviated and increases the sense of crowding. The presence of the breathing inflated silver entities, not only works as a bass trap helping the acoustics but uses the crowd intersubjectivity to open the personal perception. The single person shifts their attention from the performer and expands the dialogue. The reflective entities with their movements show different angles of the surroundings and create a mutating organic crowd that becomes part of the environment and place itself. The structure of the experience is collective and, at the same time, unique and private to the individual. It is now a sacred area, a symbol of human feelings. It is a way to add extra meaning and extend the conversation among human beings to make them conscious of the community's spatial presence and shape its identity.
Video by Ayberk Çelik
Music track: "There Is No Next" by Voicedrone
Sound effect from Zapsplat.com