Work title: THE FELTON HOLE - architectonics of nothingness
"The blur ceased to be an island; it became the environment from which new islands will emerge."
Is it possible to enter an invisible island of total isolation without being radically dislocated from our everyday environment? Where is the threshold between anxiety of isolation and romanticism of solitude, and furthermore - can we tactically accelerate the historical time and reach the point where solitude becomes precious piece of highly personalized commodity? Finally, is it possible to render a space of anonymity in the system frantically obsessed with generating, tracking and networking our personal profiles?
MAPPING THE NOTHINGNESS
In order to push forward speculative thinking on these issues, it was necessary to get back to the environment where the contemporary concept of network was originally created.
Felton Street is situated between Harvard University and MIT, Cambridge, MA, and therefore should have been recognized as one of the most Wi-Fi saturated surrounding in the whole area. However, due to the specific architectural configuration of its surrounding, Felton Street contains gigantic network gap.
At the same time real and imaginary, The Felton Hole presents speculative chunk of emptiness, possibility of radical disconnection from the world of total connectivity.
Emerged from seemingly emptied blur made of intertwined realities, this project is defined as its antipode, intervention in a contemporary condition, seizure taken as a gift opened to a new urban imageries.
TOPOGRAPHY OF NOTHINGNESS
To be visible means much more than to be inside someone’s view. Visibility nowadays is nothing else but borrowing the fragments of the omnipresent gaze that is cast upon us.
The potential of sensing the network gaps therefore goes far beyond a romantic drive for solitude and invisibility. Even though it has “no program, no functional requirements, no occupancy targets or public flow rates”, and is of rather unstable size definition, anonymity and invisibility inside the holes transform nothingness into an active space where solitude becomes empowered to resist outside conditions.
This kind of emptiness has potential of rendering an entirely new topography of freedom.
TECTONICS OF NOTHINGNESS
In a socially open environment anonymity and invisibility can work just to the certain point. Any further attempts to secure and strengthen spaces of solitude would produce a set of specific restraints that will ultimately end with extreme enclosure and privatization. Up until now The Felton Hole existed as the invisible Wi-Fi gap, but in order to gain total blockage of all existing signals (including GSM) project proposes wrapping the piece of emptiness in a metal membrane which would keep all electromagnetic waves on its surface (Faraday Cage principle). Wrapping the emptiness in one particular material directly generates a form of intimate architectural enclosure. A new sense of physically enclosed piece of solitude immersed into a blur of everyday reality can be recognized as a luxurious and quite exclusive urban mark.
A resistance turned into a commodity, nothingness has become fully consumable matter; experience of weightlessness was shifted into historical desire for appealing architectural tectonics. Hence, there is only one possible metal in which private piece of emptiness should be wrapped – gold.