This week, suspended in mid-air in the space in between things, I fell in love with a book called On Love by Alain de Botton. This love story, told in first person, speaks of a man's passion for a simple, gap-toothed woman called Chloe.
"As [Marcel] Proust once said," writes de Botton, "classically beautifully women should be left to men without imagination. My imagination enjoyed playing in the space between Chloe's teeth."
It is that gap in between things that has been on my mind all week.
In this greatly politically, socially, economically, morally depressing world it encourages me to think that we have gotten a few things to be good enough that we can take the focus off of them and start to think on what happens in the space between them. Here's a taste of a select few:
ARCHITECTURE: Singing-Ringing Tree is a tree-like architecturally-scaled sculpture that works as a musical instrument. Created by architects Tonkin Liu takes for granted that we can design and build fabulous architecture, and instead becomes interested in exploring the power of the wind around a building as a performing force.
INTERIORS: The beloved United Visual Artists' installation Speed of Light explores the space in between using over 148 lasers to create new notions of form-making by sculpting something using nothing (light) out of nothing (an empty place.) Having explored volume, they are now ready to play with what surrounds it.
FASHION: Dianna Eng's Fairytale Fashion Collection feels confident enough with mastering fabric that she has integrated the digital into the clothes and seems to study the relationship between clothes and the spaces they occupy beyond the human body. After all, clothes operate in the world much like small pieces of architecture.
SOFTWARE: Adobe's new CS5 package, foolishly packaged as another iteration of an existing platform but actually embodying a whole new way of thinking about workspaces and creative tools, also speaks to the space in between. Each of their products has become strong enough that they can now focus on the seamless integration of the platforms, including integrating interactivity into InDesign and bringing context-aware functionality that is likely to surprise you.
Finding love in Chloe's gapped teeth or music in the cavities of Singing-Ringing Tree or stories in the spaces in between the Speed of Light doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to improve the things – the objects - themselves.
It's just lovely to be able to take a moment and think about the things that design, culture and technology has accomplished and how it is empowering us to explore the spaces of our imagination in between words, things, objects and thoughts.
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