Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Atmospheres, tactility and DAV investigation

One of the four pillars of the BAS (Bergen School of Architecture) discipline is DAV (Den Andre Verda/The Other World). This is the approach to architecture through art. Through intuitive investigation with materials, we use DAV to find something that we could not see from where we were standing. Einstein said: "A problem cannot be solved by the same mind that created it", and I think DAV is like that. Trying to see something new by letting go of some control in your mindset.

DAV is not directly fine art, it is a way of investigating something, a method from art. I don't care so much about the label, what is important is what I find in the process of doing DAV. To different extent the traces of my understanding can be read by someone else when they see the DAV. After, I transfer my understanding of the DAV into spacial compositions. My understanding is in the investigation, in the proposal for a space, and not least - between the lines.

A German artist, whose name I cannot remember right now said that "Art is about revealing secrets", and in this sense DAV is art to the investigator. Further you could say that DAV is not about the object, it's an action.

The three DAVs demonstrated here is an investigation of different spaces and their atmospheres at the bath that I am working on for my master. The top one is for a large space filled with cool sea water. It has also a warm pool and a sauna. This space will have a special acoustic that encourages you to make sound, sing. You can move on levels down into the sea water according to your level of courage, or challenge that level.

The middle one is for the place where you wash yourself. It has no showers, but individual lockers for washing. You wash yourself by filling vases with water to pour over yourself. There is a soft stone to sit on. Damp air. Wet. This space is inspired by the most beautiful and intimate washing experience I have had. It was in Leh in the Himalayas. At the guest house where I was staying there was no hot shower, but the lady that ran the place, an old Ladakhi woman, boiled water for me to mix with cold water, and I'd use a cup to pour it over me. You see how much water you use. You are being very intimate and get very much in touch with your own body and yourself. You take care of yourself. You are with yourself. When were you last with yourself? Yesterday I was staring in the mirror and discovered it's been a long time since I've been with myself and really enjoyed my own company, not running off to any distraction, being a book, TV or anything else.

The last DAV is a meditative space. Very cool and relaxing. Nothing to look at. No special experience, except being there with oneself. This was a space I didn't know that I would have until I made this DAV and found it.


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