Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Before even getting into the thick of this essay I couldn’t help but thinking of these chairs that I saw at IKEA the last time that I was at their store near Cincinnati.

I remember tons of screaming kids curling up in them and ripping the shade down so their parents couldn’t find them, and I thought, “where can I find the adult version?” It also reminded me of a 1 day class challenge to create a wearable out of wood scraps in 4 hours, and I decided to (poorly) create a cocoon / beehive shaped pine “hood” to hide most of my skin to attempt to erase my race in an effort to avoid a question I am asked at least every three weeks (mostly by African American children) ---“are you mixed?”

I think that this text was really interesting as is this project, and the cocoon’s form has obviously been borrowed for many utilitarian and other artistic practices. The portion of the text that spoke to me the most was on pages 827-828

“Speaking of space as a social, physical, mental, and cultural implies the introduction of relationships. Spaces are mediators of relationships, they are incorporate action, and Lefebvre argues that the conceptualization of space implies the construction of a tool for analyzing society. Space, says, Lefebvre, is not a thing but a number of relations between objects, artifacts, and living entities. Hence space is relational, concerns the physical and is produced through human interaction with humans and/or non humans (Latour, 1997).”

I think this is the most valuable way to look at space, is not s a locale, but as a relational grouping. By viewing space this way within artistic practice we can expand our conceptual implications. Thinking about space in terms of relations can and should influence the space(s) in which we see our own work existing.

The Cocoon is a piece that broke the mold of the traditional views of space. "You carry your space of calm and quite in a bag, to be used when you need it." In a way I think we all have something that we consider our Cocoon; the space underneath a blanket, with our head covered by a hooded jacket, or finding solitude in the comfort of an ikea chair.

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