Individual work | 2015 Spring
From trash, we can explore human activities and notice those invisible walls we built. WALL is a project about an abandoned urban space in Norman, US, composed of an organic version box and an industrial one. It is about hacking the space and expressing in art language. WALL visualizes the invisible walls people built in the area by tracking the points where the trash were left. It shows how cautiously we walk on those fine wires, which makes us feel more comfortable than the huge open ground.
The sound is recorded in my first trip to the space and then edited in Audition. It was a crazy snow day with strong wind. So you can clearly hear a sound like bell but couldn't find where it's from.
By using the GPS app, 215 places where trash lied were recorded and showed in Google Earth. These points consist an interesting image. From the positions of trash, we can see human activities in this space. The points are near the borderlines, which verified my finding.
The points are connected with curves. Then based on the sketch, a box is built.
The frame is made of the wood collected from the space. The wires are from phone wire which represent the human activities and shows how people carefully move in this large space.
After the first organic box, straight lines are used to construct a box which is of more industrial flavor.
Led lights shows the human activity points, which is also a symbol of signals. And people can actually control them with the switch.
This is an open area with two student apartment communities and an national history museum near it. After my first exploration in the space on a snow day, I thought that there were almost no people in this space because we thought it's boring and the only feeling of this area was lonely but if you went there, you would find it was beautiful and notice what you haven't seen or heard before. However, when I tried to go deeper and explore this idea, I just felt there's something wrong and it couldn't give me enough passion or motivation. I forced myself to be true and spent more time listening to my heart. Then I realized we don't want to stay there not because we can't find it beautiful, but it is so open that we feel uncomfortable and even lost.
I asked myself, "Can I realize it is actually lovely?"
"But do I want to live there or stay there?"
The truth is that we do build walls for others and for ourselves, visibly and invisibly, in the outside and inner world. And we do need them. It is not about right or wrong, but about humanity. The best evidence is that I easily lied to myself at first and when I tried to be honest, I felt my heart heavy, which was not a happy experience.
I went to the space again and got some new discoveries. In fact there were some few people walking across the area (most of them were walking with their dogs), where was actually a beautiful and nice place for them. But at the same time, they always walked near the borderline or the middle of place in a straight line. I also noticed that there were some trash, like abandoned cups and plastic packaging bags, which could only be found near the borderline and the middle line. People were careful and cautious when they enter an area like this and didn't tend to break the "lines" or "walls". Then I found that I felt overwhelmed and lost as I stood there. I didn't know which way or direction to go. I couldn't lie anymore.
We thought we opened up new ways but in fact we built walls and close the space.
The map contains photos which were taken at different times and in different weathers.
Click the red points and explore the space from different perspectives.