[-empyre-] Critical Spatial Practice on -empyre-

-empyre Introduction
September 1, 2007

As an artist, my interest in hypothetical boundaries or the space between interior/ exterior, psychic/social, and private/public has created interesting confusions in working with the immaterial of new media. Combining and connecting the analog world, the physical space of the exhibition site with the digital forges and pulses or pauses, allows the participant to maneuver through the installation space to contemplate, reflect and formulate new discourses. In a recent installation commissioned by Women Direct for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, my installation was layered beneath Ithaca College's cavernous rotunda area nestled beneath the stacks of the library. This architectural space became a sheltered psycho-space which "housed" the series of videotaped interviews of cross-generational subjects who revealed stories about their personal responses to panic and trauma. The installation became a catalyst for the confusing inter-mix of fright and anxiety both present and past. The viewer's body traversed the material space to discover digital realms of vision and narration that uncovered the layers of the dialectical paradigms that these personal accounts revealed whether they were repressed memories or fleeting recent recollections.
Simultaneously viewers could hear faculty and students whose daily chatter filled the reverberating airwaves above as they climbed the open stairway that architecturally surrounded the rotunda space. These casual passers were similarly able to observe the intimate revelations below the surface, initiating an unanticipated, if not critical, spatial interaction.
Welcome to our -empyre discussion of CRITICAL SPACIAL PRACTICE. We our looking forward to including artists, architects, and theorists in this discussion linking the practical with the theoretical.

Renate Ferro


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