My installation’s title, Interchange, refers to a specific type of traffic junction. At an interchange, two or more roads cross over one another without directly intersecting, allowing traffic to pass through or change direction without slowing down. In lieu of the traditional intersection, at an interchange there is no need for a driver to wait for lights to change, or to negotiate with other motorists and pedestrians. In Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, anthropologist Marc Augé characterizes the individualized, uninterrupted interchange as a replacement for the slower, more social space of a crossroads. Like Augé’s other examples of non-places, including highways and airports, interchanges are “surrendered to solitary individuality, to the temporary and ephemeral.” They are sterile, dehumanized spaces, emphasizing streamlined individual itinerary at the expense of any opportunity for socialization, exchange with others, or chance experience.
Upon entering Anna Leonowens Gallery 3, you would usually find yourself in a small white-walled room. I built a long corridor of scaffolding and plywood leading to the window on the opposite wall. I intentionally used materials which suggested a state of flux, and the metaphor of a construction site. In my thesis, this is discussed in the context of poet Lisa Robertson’s “soft architecture,” Michel de Certeau’s concept of the city as palimpsest, and Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project. The gallery lights were left off for the duration of the show; the only light comes from the window.