Week 1: Low-tech immersion
I’ve just started moving into a new apartment, and step one was buying a bed. I unwrapped it Monday, and still had the box laying around, which inspired this project: an immersive cave viewing, all in a cardboard box.
My grandfather was spectacular at creating immersion out of thin air. When my sister and I were young, no matter where we were and how bleak the entertainment, he could create a game. He was a professor of drawing and art, and made projects about the arc of art over human history. This project wouldn’t have come to life like this without his memory.
I wanted to bring us back to the original immersion humans experienced with art: the Lascaux caves, where early humans made paintings around 17,000 years ago. I found this panorama online of one of the most famous scenes.
I used Pixelmator Pro’s ML Super Resolution feature to upscale the image, then cropped it into quadrants, and printed them. (This required hauling the box from my apartment half an hour to Bobst library, then spend forty minutes doing battle with the color printers. It’s wondrous that in NYC you can carry whatever you want around the city and no one bats an eyelash.) At IMA, I used the Design Lab’s paper trimmer and double-sided tape to adhere the printouts to the inside of the box.
Ci Song tried out my creation, eagerly clambering in with the provided flashlight:
He recognized the early paintings scene, and observed that even breathing inside the box creates audible airflow/wind.