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Technology today allows us to communicate to each other very easily. Online messaging, websites and games have tied us into a contradictory virtual environment, establishing connections between people precisely by disconnecting people, and in so doing radically changing our notion of public space. However, the internet cannot replace public space as a physical space for human interaction. Despite the increasing complexity and definitions of the public realm, we would like to argue that every given open space can be a potential public space, whether it be a park, square, plaza or even sidewalk, so long as there are people physically gathered together. We began with a simple intention to highlight the irony behind virtual “connections”. Our installation features a panorama of people seated at their personal computer screens, with their backs facing the viewer. We will invite people of different age groups and professions to take photo while they are on the computer either at home or at work. Thus, each computer desk will reflect the different characters of their owners. More than emphasizing the number of people plugged into their computers, viewers are welcome to manipulate the installation by peeling off the computer screens, revealing the park behind while the silhouette of the screen remains. To prevent littering, each computer desk will be divided into strips and attached to the main structure with string so that as people peel them off, they will be left hanging with the openings. As the screens dissolve into openings, what results is a strange juxtaposition of viewing the physical environment through the silhouette of the work station, and a visual collage of installation and park space.

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Location: New York, U.S.
Program: Temporary Structure
Year: 2011
Status: Open Competition
Collaborators: Xander Lu