Reflection On Inanimate Life
What is Without Us is a look at the idea of life beyond conventional understanding; dwelling into the inanimate nature of our surroundings and portraying them as existing, living and able. These ideas are examined using a series of reflective design prompts, where the mirrors and physical descriptions on the mirrors, as well as the one-word entries positioned next to the wall mirrors, situate a person in a state of reflection. This reflection, both metaphorical and real, demonstrate what it means to live within a construct; discussing what it means to be alive. The nature of these emotions can be applied to all aspects of our surroundings, with reflections being the most active amongst them. The roots of the meaning cast towards philosophical readings and material, all debating the nature of what activates and enables humans to co-exist and manifest these emotions, in the same way that plants would.
The brief of the project revolved around cinematic space, viewing the intervention through a cinematic lens. My project, titled “What Is Without Us”, is situated within Fort Lane, and is directed to the general public. The main idea driving my design was inanimate life; seeing what it means to be alive and free. These human qualities form the basis of seeing such reflections as living constructs. Although my intervention focuses on mirrors, the idea of inanimate life is inspired from plants; a section of Alan Weismann’s “The World Without Us” (2007), in which plants have a desire to be free and are conscious. With this in mind, I considered using mirrors, with the subject of the reflection being alive, further explored by nearby prompts of human qualities and emotions. These prompts encourage the viewer to reflect, a juxtaposition with the nature of the material. A process I explored was distortion, an underlying psyche of the installation; the wall mirror’s distortion increasing with each one, supported by hanging mirrors above. This distortion is significant in that it is a tool for discovery; on what it means to be human within a constraint, a reality most face in whether they feel alive.