PROJECT PROTOTYPE: ‘Supplicium’

My work ‘Supplicium’ is an interactive response to Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s 2013 work ‘Clinamen’. I drew inspiration on his work especially because the static interaction within his piece was both subtle but highly successful in drawing in an audience through sheer curiosity. I wanted to create my major work around this theme of curiosity, yet I wanted to introduce a more physical element of interaction to the static nature of Mougenot’s work.

Even the name I chose is complementary to Mougenot’s piece, ‘Clinamen’, a Latin translation of inclination, matched his works ethereal presence-A giant pool of water with floating ceramic bowls inside that clink together and reverberate around the room, it was elegant in its design as it enticed people to observe and soak into the arts atmospheric nature- to sit around the work and watch as IT works.
‘Supplicium’ one the other hand is Latin for ‘execution’, the opposite of idle curiosity and static interaction- and the physical intervention of ones person in order to achieve a goal, inviting the audience to soak in the atmospheric nature of my work whilst also inviting them to INVESTIGATE how it works.

‘Supplicium’ itself consists of a smaller scale pool (A large round shallow dish) filled halfway with water to which ceramic bowls float in the water with scented candles within. (I am considering taping coloured cello paper to the inside of the bowls to reflect different colours also for a further visual effect.) When the audience approaches the bowl, they see a small watermill attached to the bowl with a crank and handle, when someone winds the handle it powers the watermill and creates a small artificial current that then causes the bowls to move and, incidentally, encounter each other creating a noise upon contact.

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Although physical interaction plays a large part in the function of my work, I am also playing with some static interaction elements- with parts of ‘Supplicium’ that rely more on the senses to engage than physical interaction. The scented candles especially made me reflect on how many of the senses I could engage in the audience, olfactory being a strange but oddly suitable decision I made when I asked myself the question of the extent my work would apply to Static interaction.

Location wise I am hoping to get a black box room to set up in. I feel like a darker space would really enhance my work and the light/vision aspect of the piece. As senses are a big component of this piece I may have to consider isolating it so that another students major work wont overlap and create a sensory dissonance. The bigger scale final model will rest at around waist level on a podium at the very back of the room it inhabits, enticing people towards it if they want to fully view it. If I cannot find a dark room, an enclosed one is essential to fully pull off the ambient music aspect of the piece.

When observing people interacting with my work concept, they were intrigued by the noise aspect of the piece especially. The presence of a crank also seemed to spike curiosity- as the automatic response to a handle attached to any sort of machine is to wind it up and see what happens. My tutor suggested a heavier lean on the audible elements of the piece- to add bells to the floating bells to create a more satisfying noise and a better payoff/reward for the audiences curiosity and interaction.

 

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