SUBMERGED EXPERIENCE, 2021 Venice Biennale Exhibit

2021 European Cultural Centre Architecture Award

Use: Art Installation/Exhibition
Location: Venice, Italy

From the detail of a single stitch, through the granular lens of New Orleans, synthesized with Venice, NANO pursued the transformation of space, emphasizing the liminal moment. A heterogeneous experience is created which heightens the observer’s perception of change through time resulting in the experience of existence. Within the context of site, both micro and macro, the juxtaposition of place reveals parallels typically unseen. This installation will challenge the observer to pause and deliberate on how the confluence of space is experienced.

Liminal space is the experience of departing one condition but not fully entering the next, the “crossing over”. It’s a transitory space. Within the liminal moment the body is between junctures; its existence uncertain. Shelter and safety are inherent in our psyche as architects and designers; but reflection and existence can only be tested in that liminal space of the unknown. With this understanding of scale, place and being, there must exist the opposite of the normative, where the contrast of quiet and loud, known and unknown, safe and unsafe define the flux of space. The liminal moment, although temporal, reminds us of our absolute and relative existence in our world and inspires reflection on the ephemeral nature of existence.

Venice and New Orleans exist in precarious states. Both are liminal cities; places between land and water, part of both, yet fully in neither. New Orleans and Venice remain resilient by embracing their unique topography, cultural identities, and indigenous peoples. This dynamism has fostered diverse and distinctive cultures through artistic innovation, exemplary in theNew Orleans Mardi Gras and Carnevale di Venezia.

Within the purlieu of the space, each extent has a role to play. Abstracting the vulnerability of Venice and New Orleans and their relationship to water, section cuts were created by emphasizing the high, low and corresponding topography, conceiving an alternative field condition resulting in the reflection of submerged space. Surrounded by the songs and sounds of both cities, an atmospheric cadence emerges, changing from rhythms to voices creating spatial syncopation. Absence of ground is contrasted by the traces of moments past, both collective and individual, on vertical boundaries.

Existence is measured by experiences over time, time as the means of measure from inception to death. From the womb we become aware of our existence, our first relative experience with spatial and emotional relationships. Within the liminal, the relative path was established by the simulation of the each of the creators’ movements and their individual expectations of the space. This phenomenological experience is an amalgamation of these movements, articulated by shifts and stops along their paths.

SUBMERGED EXPERIENCE is a conscious manifestation of the latent conditions of space, as revealed by our unconscious actions, experiences that are not experienced, yet are perceived as the way we see our world and traverse through it.