Me & My Shadow:
Embracing Solitary Moments
(One Moment, Please #2: The Teepee)
Me & My Shadow is a B.A. final year project which touches on the problem that people no longer have, or see the need to have, solitary moments in this highly social society.
“All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”
– Blaise Pascal
We live in a day and age where much emphasis is placed on communication, networking and group ideation – the need to be extremely social. Day in and day out, we are swarmed by text messages, emails, calls… And more often than not we would always be around people, pressured by the society to come out of our introverted selves and become adaptable social animals, or risk missing out on the best things in the world such as potential business deals, once in a lifetime opportunities, or simply, the good fun. If, ever, we are alone, we’d be plugged in to the world with our cellphones and gadgets.
This constant human engagement via physical or technological means creates a problem in this society – that Man no longer have, or see a need to have, “alone time” in their lives to recharge and restore their body and mind. Are we constantly socialising because we fear missing out, losing out and being alone? When then, can we eventually have time for ourselves, to breathe, to rest, to grasp reality, and to reflect on our lives?
Through a series of projects such as the building of temporary spaces for passersby to experience mental and physical solitariness, Me & My Shadow explores how the use of graphic design interventions can allow one to realise the importance of alone time in today’s highly social society.
The objectives are to educate the target audience on the misconceptions and importance of solitude, and explore whether moments of solitude can be created for the laymen using self-reflection and the creation of solitary space in the public area.
- - -
"One Moment, Please #2: The Teepee"
Interventions refer to art which enters a situation outside the art world in an attempt to change the existing conditions there. For example, intervention art may attempt to change economic or political situations, or may attempt to make people aware of a condition that they previously had no knowledge of. Since these goals mean that intervention art necessarily addresses and engages with the public, some artists call their work “public interventions”.
One Moment, Please. is a series of interventions, namely #1 The Cubicle, #2 The Teepee and #3 The Chair.
This series experiments with the creation of spaces (or “situations”) in the public sphere, where the three temporary structures are set up in the middle of nowhere, seeking to break the flow and daily routine of passersby, giving them the choice, or opportunity, to have a brief moment to themselves, for themselves.
Also, “social media depositories” in the form of wooden crates were placed at The Teepee and The Cubicle, urging users to leave their mobile phones in them. This lack of social media and connection to others is intended to make the solitary experience a little more personal.
These spaces were set up in LASALLE College of the Arts. Initial plans to bring the spaces to the Central Business District area were cancelled due to the size of the installations, which made it a huge challenge to transport.
The Teepee is also known as the “Om” experiment.
Teepees are often associated with Native American dwellings. They also represent peace, tranquility, solitude and beauty. The portability of these tents makes such interventions extremely interesting for they can be planted nearly everywhere and attract curious bystanders.
It was set up at the Campus Green in LASALLE for a period of 4 days, but due to the risks involved in leaving the installation in public, the Teepee was built at 12PM and taken down at 4PM every day, and subsequently 12PM to 6PM on the last day.
The notes were initially meant to be read, written and kept by the user. What came as an unexpected surprise was when people began leaving their notes behind... Resulting in this: