Erosion of Space

The erosion of the space and security of the home, can lead to changes in human behaviour, a decline in relationships and the deterioration of mental health. This is fast becoming a cultural and political issue alongside issues surrounding privacy, on-line safety and general wellbeing.

Otto Bollnow (1903–1991), a German philosopher, described spatial and architectural anthropology in his book ‘Human Space’. He theorised that the house or dwelling is the centre of the world and as such offers the occupant space and security. Doors and windows are the thresholds that protect the interior of the house from the chaos of the outside world.

We question those ideas and contend that the emergence, and subsequent accessibility of the Internet has compromised the protection that Bollnow conceived. Electronic screens, whether computers, laptops or handheld devices, enable social media and news to be an almost constant pressure on the individual, causing the boundaries between the internal and external worlds to be blurred. There is no protection from the ‘external chaos’, as Bollnow referred to the outside world, when we allow it inside on our screens. Choice and compulsion within the individual replaces Bollnow’s doors and windows as the threshold between our online and offline worlds, leading to the erosion of the space that defines them.

“We are manipulating images using digital databending techniques to produce ‘glitch’ images. The glitches are created by inserting text from Bollnow’s writings to disrupt the computer code of the digital image. Databending changes the image code in much the same way as genetic engineering changes the coding of DNA, the ‘building blocks of life’. The disrupting of the data distorts the image which becomes a metaphor for the way in which the internet can distract us from, and can interfere with our lives.”

“Printing the work using one of the oldest photographic techniques, cyanotype, produces images that are both a literal and metaphorical depiction of how we have allowed technology to change our blueprint, disrupt our understanding of space and lose control. We feel that using a traditional, alternative process for making authentic, hand made work is an antithesis to images from the digital world.”