Dialogue in the Globe
2017 | Installation | Tavistock Square London
The proposal was focused on the curation of a communal museum which stimulates dynamic interactions between the audience and the memorials at Tavistock Square in London to create global networks and empowerment. It was initiated from the observations of the Square on its history, development and spatial practice followed by layers of research and analysis from different perspectives. The result of the investigation implied audience showed less care and appreciation towards the site and its history. “Dialogue in the Globe” was designed to retrieve the significance of the Square and expose the unnoticeable connections by detouring the perceived space. It produced collective spaces in both physical and virtual environments to form and expand interconnections. Dialogues are encouraged in such curated museum space to provoke resonances and discourses in shaping a community with similar beliefs in fighting for a more desirable society.
How does space take place?
“Space occurs as the effect produced by the operations that orient it, situate it, temporalize it, and make it function in a polyvalent unity of conflictual programs or contractual proximities” (de Certeau 1984, p.117). This proposal started with a dissection of how different spaces evolved in a specific site, geographically, socially and temporally. It further explored the intersecting relationships between space and time in fashioning a place, and beyond that place. A programme was implemented by creating new spaces and redirecting how audience view the place from another perspective. Research and experiments were conducted to understand how audience practised in the place, and more importantly, how design re-represented and transformed their practice in the place (and space). This proposal stimulated connections and engagement in constructing a communal space for the global audience.
In “Dialogue in the Globe”, space exists through interactions and creations.
Design: Physical Space
The design of the physical “Dialogue in the Globe” pivoted on the idea of time. Flip clocks were initially taken into consideration to visualise the time-circulation through an object. Flip clocks keep running and rotating continuously and they illustrate the moment passing across the past to the present and entering the future. The appearance of flip clocks also resembles a Rolodex which is widely used for archiving information of personal contacts and networks.
When the first mock-up was tentatively composed to study the flipping mechanism, it came out surprisingly similar to a mechanical flipbook. Flipbooks are usually made to display animated images or stories with motion and interaction. When all the pages are turned rapidly, a complete work appears and it indicates an idea of forming a unity.
To reflect unity on the universal connections in this proposal, globe models were taken as an inspiration as well. A globe envisions internationalisation full of networks and diversities – voices, thoughts and beliefs. It is a model of the Earth which rotates in correspondence with time and functions as a communal space for inhabitants. In this project, embedding the concept of time-flipping into a globe further enhanced the flow of dialogues in a worldwide meshwork.
Design: Virtual Space
“Dialogue in the Globe” extended the museum in virtual space boundlessly through a website which connected the physical artworks and the integrated programme with the universal audience. It was designed with a neat interface to publish content in a clear and direct manner in response to the minimal yet sophisticated artworks.
The website is comprised of the following key sections.
About: An introduction of “Dialogue in the Globe” including proposal intention, its concept and vision. It also explains the operation of such museum and its supporting organisations and networks.
Curator: The standpoint of the project curator and the corresponding dialogues exclusively established with the museum.
Tavistock Square: A background of the site where the physical museum takes place and information about the memorials.
Create: A platform for visitors to personalise their own dialogues and share with the communities.
Archive: A museum-like database of all customised dialogues which cultivates networks and empowerment.
The proposal of “Dialogue in the Globe” is to be submitted to Camden Council for administrative approval and realised with Amnesty International UK which defends human rights and justice. The Amnesty will provide operational assistance and financial support for production and maintenance. More crucially, it gives the international network with over 50 national branches in different countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and America.
“Dialogue in the Globe” envisages active networks circulating among communities over the world.
The audience who visit Tavistock Square notice “Dialogue in the Globe”. They interact with the artworks which evoke curiosity or judgement. They look up on the website and access more information about the site and the museum. They connect to the memorials and start creating personal conversations. They spread out in their circles and engender discussions reaching more audience. More visitors are induced to take a tour at Tavistock Square which gradually becomes a global space to amplify networks and empowerment.
What is the space in “Dialogue in the Globe”?
“Space is a practiced place” (de Certeau 1984, p.117). “Dialogue in the Globe” created and expanded spaces allowing imaginations and connections to be practised. It explored the possibilities of curating a participatory museum and co-created relations with exist- ing communities to form new ones. It experimented the limits on producing exhibitive materials through physical mediums and virtual networks. It also took on challenges to engage the global audience with personalisation and contribution. The proposal opened a space appreciating all practices beyond tangible expressing agreements, raising doubts, articulating conflicts.
The space in “Dialogue in the Globe” is a place encouraging curiosity and courage, a place for discovering new perspectives, and a place demonstrating critical practices.
Tavistock Square, London