Exhibition design for Welcome to Fusedspace Database, Stroom Den Haag, 2005. Collaboration with Dan Michaelson and Tamara Maletic (Linked by Air). Thanks to Takashi Okamoto, Huub Gelissen, Ron Bernstein and Jan van Eyck Academie.
Welcome to Fusedspace Database was an exhibition based on the result of the international competition Fusedspace, which was about “innovative applications for new technology in/as public space.” 307 entries from around the world were submitted, out of which thirty nominees and three winners were selected through an online reviewing process. Since it was a competition of pure ideas, rather than any realized works, the central problem in staging the exhibition in a physical space was that there was nothing really to show.
Together with Dan Michaelson and Tamara Maletic, we teamed up as the Team Science Fiction to meet the challenge. As the name of the team suggests, we viewed the entries as fictional scenarios of the near-future public space infiltrated and transformed by new technology. We employed two ways of organizing and presenting the scenarios: database and cityscape. The exhibition space was to be the place where the two organizations coexist, and the bridges between the two are experienced by the visitors in a stimulating and fulfilling manner.
We created six large collage murals to show the cityscape, in which all of the 307 entries, not only the nominees or winners, were presented. The viewers were given hand-held devices by which they could scan the barcodes on the murals, and read the full descriptions. Inside the mural structures, which we called “cone-houses,” database terminals were placed: one should actually go inside the surface in order to mine the meaning.
In addition to these central elements, other parts played their roles to enhance the viewing experience: “trail signs” on the murals that guide the viewer through multiple paths of keywords; “spiders” on the murals that tell anecdotes and interesting facts relevant to some ideas; laser-printed posters; LED window signs and monitor screens downstairs showing the entries being viewed from the visitors in the gallery; print-on-site catalogue-on-demand.