Welcome to Inside here
This app artwork contains an altimeter which can be set to 0 at your personal ground floor altitude. If wanted the altimeter can be reset. Once a personal ground floor is chosen you can compare altitude and thoughts wherever you are.
Please use the link provided in the app to share your altitude and corresponding daydreams, thoughts, emotions to my blog and in this way participate in creating a social-networked artwork exploring the inherently human ‘values that belong to daydreaming’ (Bachelard, The Poetics of Space).
Apps are becoming ever more specialised. This specialisation may have the effect of discouraging the fortuitous accidental combination of ideas, events or chance meetings. As we become more reliant on portable computers like tablets and smart phones, the apps used by these devices are becoming an important influence on how we view our world.
In working on Inside here, I wanted to use the developing areas of apps and social networking as art media. My Inside here app-form artwork takes a literal aspect of poetic symbology, i.e. altitude relative to a user-set point at the ground floor of the users’ house, and allows users to view their altitude, wherever they are, relative to this point. In this way I aim to provide a focus for reflection.
Each user is an autonomous agent and an essential and active participant. Location is important in relation to this artwork, as spatial symbols in poetry and art indicate that the spaces around us influence how we feel. More specifically, our concept of ‘home’ seems to influence our feelings towards other spaces. In The Poetics of Space (1958), an analysis of poetic symbolism, the philosopher Gaston Bachelard theorized that there are universal spatial symbols related to home, and we develop strong individual associations with the space of our own home. For Bachelard, when Claude Hartman wrote ‘L’escalier des arbres/ On y monte’ (‘On the stairs of the trees/ We mount’) he was ‘certainly thinking of an attic’ (52). It is possible that we apply these to experiences in other spaces while away from home, even out having coffee or waiting for a friend.
Inside here encourages the user to focus their own feelings and thoughts, which may be influenced by spatial environment, by displaying the users’ literal altitude relative to the symbolic ground floor of home. It requires the user to consider their own reality through the lens of poetic symbolism and in this way acts as a prompt to encourage contemplation and reflection. Since this piece uses altitude, a relevant poetic motif is that descending can release the subconscious whereas the higher we ascend, the further the subconscious recedes and thoughts may become clearer. Using the motif of descent releasing the subconscious, Margaret Atwood’s poem Down, from her 1995 collection Morning in the Burned House takes the reader ‘past the cellar, past the believable, down into the darkness’ to ‘the kingdom of the unspoken, the kingdom of the unspeaking’ (72-75).
A social-networked or online artwork will be created by users who choose to participate by sharing anonymously to my blog using the link provided in the Inside here app-form artwork. Participants are able to withhold all GPS information if desired and Inside here does not link participants to each other. The share element is anonymous and straightforward, to encourage freedom of thought and expression. In this artwork, I am interested in the processes of contemplation in the digital age.
Please contribute by sharing. The contributions made by participants will create the online artwork, the content of which will form a comment in itself.
- Atwood, Margaret. Morning in a Burned House. Toronto, Canada: McClelland & Stewart, 1995.
- Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Boston, USA: Beacon Press, 1999.
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