Re-imagining Space: Transforming the Quotidian

REFLECTION
 

After completing this project, along with other projects in this course, I am more likely to attempt to create installation artwork. In the beginning, I avoided installations, and the medium was not something I was interested in creating with. After reading about contemporary artists, and learning about different types of installation pieces, I am more aware of the possibilities even with limited resources. I think my final project was a success, and with minimal changes it could be even better. Several comments during the critique were intriguing and would definitely be beneficial to the display.

First, a prerecorded video of a Zoom classroom session is something I did not consider, but definitely would incorporate to display on the laptop screen. In order to make the space look more disheveled, I would add a laundry basket on top of the office chair. Within the basket, have folded clothing, and drape unfolded clothing over the chair and even place some pieces on the floor. I would also keep the sticky notes, but instead of numbers, I would incorporate the line marks to represent passage of time to add to the illusion of a restless teacher. Eventually the writing on the notes would be incomprehensible as the number of days go by.

For future projects, I would ask family or friends to participate in the installation and provide feedback, in order to change details that might be misunderstood or misrepresented. It is also important to research artists who have done work that is similar in structure or concept to be able to create something unexpected and never before seen.

ARTIST STATEMENT
 

The re-imagining space installation transforms the quotidian laundry room into a claustrophobic classroom designed for virtual teaching during the Covid-19 pandemonium. This installation is inspired by Tomoko Takahashi and Judy Pfaff. Using objects to generate layers within their spaces, these artists create work from experiences in their life while telling a story with object arrangement. The newly transformed laundry room depicts an experience of teaching virtually for teachers who were required to transition from teaching in their beloved classrooms to teaching in their homes.

The installation is created within a 5 by 9-foot laundry room originally containing a washer, a dryer, and a storage rack. A laundry room is the least expected place where a classroom environment may occur. The newly transformed laundry room displayed elements found in my classroom such as art posters, heating fan, drawing utensils, coffee machine, coffee mug, a laptop, and an office chair. One of the key elements in this piece are the sticky notes hung across the room. The sticky notes are labeled with the number of days that virtual teaching has been occurring. Once a viewer enters the space, they may realize how long the machine noise and the mindless world had been in progress. It is important for the washer and dryer to both be ‘ON’ while the teaching is occurring. Ironically, it is imperative for educators to have a calm and relaxing atmosphere in the comfort of their own home, with limited to no distractions while teaching their students virtually.

 

Not many teachers were lucky enough to teach from a home that had serenity and Zen. A plethora of teachers had their own families to worry about along with a variety of household chores amidst the chaos of virtual teaching. Not only were teachers required to design virtual lessons overnight, but to also be composed and professional on camera. It is important to think about the mental health of students, but it is equally important to not forget the teachers who are also experiencing hardship.

DRAFT ARTIST STATEMENT
 

The re-imagining space installation transforms the quotidian laundry room into a claustrophobic classroom designed for virtual teaching during the Covid-19 pandemonium. The re-imagined space installation is inspired by Tomoko Takahashi and Judy Pfaff’s who create work from experiences in their life, using objects to create layers within their spaces, and tell a story through object arrangement. The installation is created within a 5 by 9-foot laundry room containing a washer, a dryer, and a storage rack. A laundry room is the least expected place that a classroom environment may occur. It is important for the washer and dryer to both be ‘ON’ while the teaching is occurring in order to create a welcoming and serene background sound. Ironically, it is imperative for educators to have a calm and relaxing atmosphere in the comfort of their own home, with limited to no distractions, when teaching their students virtually.

An important storytelling aspect of the installation happens beyond the displayed objects. While the objects are arranged in particularly different space, it is essential to think about their new role and their opportunity for maximum visual stimulation. Certain elements from the classroom appear within the laundry room space: art posters, art books, heating fan, drawing and writing utensils, coffee machine, mug, ceiling decorations, school jacket, chair, and laptop. It is vital to depict a direct experience of teaching virtually that my resonate across many homes across the world and not just my own. Teachers from across the country, overnight, were required to transition from teaching in their beloved classrooms to teaching in their homes. Not many teachers were lucky enough to teach from a home that had serenity and Zen. Many teachers had their own families and children to worry about along with a variety of household chores amidst the chaos of virtual teaching. Not only were teachers required to design virtual lessons overnight, but to also be composed and professional on camera. Extremely high expectations placed on teachers during these last two months. It is important to think about the mental health of students, but it is equally important to not forget the teachers who are also experiencing hardship.

 

 

UPDATE

Colleague feedback:

I look forward to seeing this completed project and appreciate the Takahashi + Pfaff inspiration pieces. How are you going to sacrifice your laundry area for that many days!? I hope to see a layering of objects, a less logical approach, to possibly further reinforce the chaotic feeling. Have you considered hanging things or using the walls too? I always enjoy reading/seeing your pieces, so I look forward to your final project too. Happy experimenting! ​

I am a very organized and meticulous person. Therefore, creating a disordered installation will be a challenge in itself. Based on the inspiration from other artists, I do plan on layering objects over one another. Adding to the chaos, I plan to rearrange objects in a way that they are not meant to be used. For this installation, I want the viewer to be overwhelmed by the situation and by the visual aspects. I will absolutely use the walls, and hand objects from the ceiling to create an inviting and cozy nook of disarray.

Project Proposal

FORM

The laundry room with the washer, dryer, and storage cabinet will transform into a miniature classroom setting designed for virtual teaching during the Covid-19 quarantine. Ironically, it is important for educators to have a calm and relaxing atmosphere in the comfort of their own home, with limited to no distractions, when teaching their students virtually.

 

CONCEPT

Teachers from across the country, overnight, were required to transition from teaching in their beloved classrooms to teaching in their homes. Not many teachers were lucky enough to teach from a home that had serenity and Zen. Many teachers had their own families and children to worry about along with a variety of household chores amidst the chaos of virtual teaching. Not only were teachers required to design virtual lessons overnight, but to also be composed and professional on camera.

 

The installation will be a satire piece on the entire teaching process during the Covid-19 crisis. It will be a criticism on the extremely high expectations placed on teachers during these last two months. It is important to think about the mental health of students, but it is equally important to not forget the teachers who are also experiencing hardships.

 

The installation would engage the visual, hearing, and spatial senses. The laundry, dryer, and coffee machine will be turned on in order to create a welcoming and serene background noise. Classroom posters will be displayed around the room, featured upside down, because it is important to teach a virtual class with plenty of visual stimulation. A laptop and headphones will be included as the perfect teaching tool amid the chaos. 

 

It is important for the viewer to feel stuck in an overwhelming and claustrophobic space amid the pandemonium. I want the viewer to feel like the space they enter is relatable and it mirrors their everyday lives in the recent months. 

 

MATERIALS / METHOD

Two weeks ago, I had picked up my entire classroom and I will be using those materials to reorganize the laundry and storage space into a classroom.

 

-Art posters and books

-Heating fan

-Drawing and writing utensils

-Coffee machine and mug

-Ceiling decorations

-School jacket

-Chair

-Laptop

 

LOCATION

The installation will be created inside my 5 by 9 foot laundry room. Within the room, there is a washer, a dryer, and a storage rack. A laundry room is the least expected place that a classroom environment may occur. It is important for the washer and dryer to both be ‘ON’ while the teaching is occurring for maximum noise level.

REFERENCES

Both artists work from experiences in their life, using objects to create layers within their spaces, and tell a story through object arrangement.

Tomoko Takahashi - Takahashi's preferred method of making work is to live in the space in which she is going to exhibit, collecting and accumulating refuse specific to that site, which she later arranges into subtly structured installations. The work becomes a personal excavation of the artist's life as well as a physical one of the space.

Judy Pfaff - "I want a density in the work — to have things going on in layers." 

"Most of the work I like has a funny kind of storytelling. One’s life is in it: including the cleaning, the cooking, the child-caring. "

"Each of my installations, from the very beginning, tracks direct experiences of my life. " 

BUDGET

The budget for this project is $0.

Most of the objects from the space are from my classroom. In order to stick to the budget and enhance the space other objects will be from my house.

 

TIMELINE

In order to accomplish this installation, I would need several hours to arrange the space with the materials. The documentation and the editing of the photograph and video will take several days.

 

Day 1: Arrange objects in the space

Day 2: Documentation with images and video

Day 3: Editing of images and video

Day 4: Display project on website

Brainstorming Part II

What were the artists trying to communicate?

 

Steiner & Lenzlinger have worked collaboratively since 1997 - the artists have become known for their immersive site-specific installations that entice audiences to enter fantastical new worlds.

Judy Pfaff - "I want a density in the work — to have things going on in layers." 

"Most of the work I like has a funny kind of storytelling. One’s life is in it: including the cleaning, the cooking, the child-caring. "

"Each of my installations, from the very beginning, tracks direct experiences of my life. " 

Tomoko Takahashi - Takahashi's preferred method of making work is to live in the space in which she is going to exhibit, collecting and accumulating refuse specific to that site, which she later arranges into subtly structured installations. The work becomes a personal excavation of the artist's life as well as a physical one of the space.

What do you want to communicate; what do you want the viewer to feel?

I would like the viewer to feel stuck in an overwhelming and claustrophobic space. I want the viewer to feel like the space they enter is relatable and it mirrors their everyday lives in the recent months. 

What sense(s) will you engage? 

My installation would engage the visual, hearing, and spacial senses. 

How will you transform a space?

The laundry room with the washer, dryer, and storage cabinet will transform into a miniature classroom setting designed for virtual teaching during the Covid-19 quarantine. 

The laundry and dryer will be turned on in order to create a distracting background noise. 

A cup of coffee will be set to the side, steaming hot. 

Classroom posters will be available around the room, but upside down because it is important to teach a virtual class with plenty of visual stimulation. 

A laptop and headphones will be featured as the perfect teaching tool amid the chaos. 

Start thinking about how you will accomplish an installation – how much time will you need in the space?

In order to accomplish this installation, I would need several hours to arrange the furniture, and design the space. After recording the video of the space with the necessary sound, I would then need to edit the video in order to push the ideas.

Brainstorming Part I

What do you want to communicate?

Idea 1: Even during Covid-19 lockdown, the human mind is constantly thinking. Thinking about new ideas, things to make, create, and travel to. Even though the space is the same, day in and day out, the mind is an ever-changing landscape. 

Idea 2: The chaos of virtual teaching for many teachers that were thrown into the abyss and told to paddle without a life raft. The strange feeling of having to teach with background noise, and the daily activities that might distract the teacher while they are giving virtual lessons. 

What location do you want to tackle?

Idea 1: Living room 

Idea 2: Laundry room

Inspirational Imagery: