I am conducting research for my thesis, which is in three parts.
(1) THE SCULPTURE. A pair of euphoria/dysphoria pods (light & sound environments) that you can enter.
(2) THE BOOK. A satirical handbook for utopic living on the moon: The Way Out: A Manual for Lunar Living. It will include photographs (including some photos of previous works as spaces for inhabiting), text, and watercolor embellishment.
(3) THE RESEARCH. Sensory deprivation and the its use to induce bliss (as in isolation tanks at spas) and its use in torture (primarily coming out of Cold War hysteria).
My starting point is a shape inspired by Taybor’s space ship from the Gerry Anderson produced Space:1999. The point at the top points to the out there. The viewer/participant would walk down into each space from a side door and there will be circular seating as below (imagine this stripped of its house-ness).
The path in my sketch symbolizes the fact I need a path but does not represent what it will look like (to be resolved). I will be working with google sketch up on some basic designs.The Euphoria/Dysphoria pods will be modular such as the shelter below, designed by Broissin Architects in Tepotzotlan, Mexico.
Lighting for the euphoria pod may be kaleidescopic; I am also entertaining the idea of a nearly blinding bright blue light with the floor a textured green (pointing to the blue sky and grass). Dysphoria will be pitch black. In each case there will be sound design. For dysphoria: sickeningly low frequencies that make your bowels itch. For euphoria, probably a combination of organ, flute, and bells, long tones, lots of layering and reverb.
As mentioned, The Way Out: A Manual for Lunar Living will be satirical–I am influenced by Walker Percy’s mock book Lost in the Cosmos, “the last self-help book.” I’ll be taking some ideas of The Whole Earth Catalog, The Modern Utopian (below), new age and self-help books and shooting them onto the moon (which will be more hospitable to humans as we destroy Earth).
For an idea of what my book will look like (the mashup of image and text), click on the link to Nautofon 1. Nautofon is an artist collective based in Sweden. I am a fan of their publications which look at the ‘mist’ of the unknowable between science and the mystical.
Sensory deprivation is a topic that interests me, and provides an easy framework to discuss euphoria/dysphoria as it has been used to induce both. I plan to look at the tragic life of John P. Zubek, a psychologist who conducted experiments in the 50s and 60s at the University of Manitoba (more to come). Going into a floatation tank myself is my primary research and I would like to build up to an overnight session.
My work was published in Make8elieve’s Issue #4: OCD. Check it out.