Exhibition review of Unknown Fields
After the class of Imagine world on screen, we were been asked to go to this exhibition set up in AA gallery at London College of Architecture.
It’s a rainy windy day of London. Me and my friends spent a while to find the place, since there is not an obvious sign of the place so we missed it when we already passed there.
It did feels good to get inside a warm place to hide away from the rain in cold winter. However, when I get into the building and ask about the exhibition, the man sit behind the door was kind disappointed that we came to see this little exhibition instead of attending some other activity they were hosting there.lol. But later I can see why he reacted like that, since the exhibition is really smaller than I expected.
The exhibition has been designed really well with 5 sections, so the main video can be watched by sitting in a middle size bus skeleton in the middle of the exhibition, and there are few installations and designed objects placed near seats. The big printed photography hanging outside the bus, with few metal needle painting works on the wall. Last I found 6 well designed booklets for this exhibition recording the process of research, observation, thinking and installation/product working process placed on the platform.
The video was edited in a way which reminds me about TV series Black Mirror, with that data and words flashing on the moving image of still or one direction moving angle shoot from drone. It’s the data of the city shaping it, a electronic earth.They can be seen as portraits of a model lost and yet to find from dramatisations of data. I felt like began an road trip to visit an unknown city when I sit down in the bus as part of exhibition.
Someone used to told me the biggest object in the room will influence the way you feel about the room. When I entered this exhibition, there is a big middle skeleton structure of a bus in this small room of exhibition. I think for one factor influence the quality of this exhibition is the small space to contain this bus skelton.I already felt that discomfort when I just entered this exhibition, and I didn’t change my mind after I visited every part of it as a whole. In my imagination and real experience, the topic they are trying to depict really worth a wilder space to create a feeling more bleaker and empty with more white space between different pieces.
However my way of looking at this exhibition changed a little bit after having a discussion with my classmate who also visit there. Since the exhibition was well placed, staying in this small space to visit an unknown fields by reimagined road trip could be suitable for delivering the message . The small space represent the people live in the city, since they don’t have feeling of those unseen, unknown activities, pollutions, change happening out there around the world. And taking this road trip to these reimagined unknown places.
My favorite object is three ‘rare earththenware’ vessels made from toxic mud from a rare earth tailing lake in Baotou, Linner Mongolia. The size of them represent how much toxic byproduct derived from producing digital devices like cell of car battery, laptop and smartphones. It’s said that these toxic byproducts represent the undesirable consequences tracing the shadows of material desire along the supply chains and cargo routes of south China sea. The way they didn’t make the consequences looks negative and ugly but been given more meaning based on designed objects. These beautiful designed arts make me more interested about what’s the story and meaning been given behind it. I think this design can lead more related discussion about more unknown fields we are not aware of in the world instead of only see the date and video recording about it.