The Confines of Space
Design & Construction

The Confines of Space is a sculptural light piece that I consider a self-portrait of my past. For seven years, I worked as a programmer through 4 different offices, each well populated with small gray cubicles. In my seventh year of work, I found myself needing to get out of these spaces and I left the neutral gray workforce to begin my creative life at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. In The Confines of Space, I explore the contrast of my old life and my new life by creating endless space in a confining and comparably small object. With this juxtaposition, the viewer can be witness to endless space existing in a place where it physically should not.

In The Confines of Space, I am recreating the feeling of something huge being trapped by something small, but not from my first person viewpoint as a programmer in a cubicle, more so as an outsider looking in on something that should not exist in such a small space. With no doorknob and a locked deadbolt, there is no way to enter the space. The only entrance into this space is a viewport through the neutral gray door barely large enough for the eyes. What I created behind the door is a white endless void. Neither shallow nor deep, what the viewer sees is purely at their discretion.

What I wanted people get out of this piece was a sense of wonder firstly, but really, I wanted people to see what they choose to see. When people ask me what it is, I don't tell them what it is, I ask them to look inside and see for themselves. Having shown The Confines of Space to a group of people, each viewer has seen something completely different.

Here are some thoughts from various people:

  • "There's a disconnect, I get a bad feeling. It's affecting my sense of balance leaning my head against the door."
  • "I have a desire to get where I want, but I just can't get there"
  • "Awesome. I completely lose any sense of depth."
  • "Feels sterile. I really want to open this god damn door now."
  • "Walking into the Matrix loader program."
  • "I feel I'm dead, the light directs me to go in. The space makes me want to explore it."
  • "I feel like there's a strong it's pushing and I should respect it."
  • "The lower part of my body feels vulnerable because I can't see what's below on the other side."
This mix of thoughts and feelings about my piece are exactly what I want. I don't want to hear from every single person that it's just an endless space, because it's not really the endless space that matters as a "physical" thing. It's moreso what the space creates for people.