My final design for Bridge 4, titled “Kindred,” is the result of a lot of research and many revisions of my concept. My starting obsession, anonymity, was fuel to create my project because of my desire to break the boundaries between strangers. I often find New York to be an overwhelming and crazy place, but also an extremely isolating and lonely place, and I wanted to create a mechanism to address these issues.
The crossover between seminar and studio was great for this project, as much of the research I did in seminar carried over to my studio project. The prompts we covered in seminar led me to do research into both historical and contemporary uses of public space, as this was the site I chose to build my installation into. I primarily focused on NYC public parks because they have a rich history but are often filled with people on their phones, oblivious to their surroundings.
Using public space as my installation space opened up a lot of doors in terms of scale for the final piece. I originally was set on a very simple table set up that involved two strangers following a series of prompts to interact with each other. While I kept this concept alive in my final, I wanted to play with scale and a larger engagement impact for the piece. To do this, I hung large screens from the famous Washington Square Arch that displayed anonymous answers to the questions. Underneath, I created a digital system where two strangers would still interact with each other, but also enter the other’s answers and ideas into the computer. This way, the original intent of building trust and empathy between two people remained intact, while also utilizing the public space I chose in a more visible and noticeable way.
Especially when instant sharing and social media are so popular, I hope to create an installation that utilizes the power of an online presence to grow its message and idea. I could see this project as something that is quickly spread across the internet and draws people in, which would result in more connections being made using the mechanism beneath the arch.
I think that a few more weeks to further refine this project would impact it dramatically. While I feel confident and proud of the work I’ve done, I think that there is more time I could put into it to further the project’s success if it were to be installed.
The questions on the screens are:
- What is your most treasured memory?
- If you could change one thing about the way you were raised, what would it be?
- If you have one, how is your relationship with your parent(s)?