Michael Cohen

The Confines of Space

What is infinite space? Can it be perceived? Can it be contained?


Project Development Studio (Physical Interaction),Thesis

The Confines of Space is a sculptural light piece that I consider a self-portrait of my recent past. For seven years, I worked as a programmer through 4 different offices, each well populated with small gray cubicles. In my seventh year of work, I found myself needing to get out of these spaces and I left the neutral gray workforce to begin my creative life at ITP. In The Confines of Space, I’m exploring the contrast of my old life and my new life by creating endless space in a confining and comparably small object. With this juxtaposition, the viewer can be witness to endless space existing in a place where it physically should not.

User Scenario
The viewer looks around the freestanding object, sees the door and attempts to open it. The door is locked. The viewer then sees the viewport at eye level and slides it open. The idea here is that the viewer would then see what seems like a vast endless space inside a three foot deep closet. I would ideally like it if the viewer was completely dumbfounded, but all I really want to leave the viewer with is the idea that what you see is not always what is there and what is there is not always what you see.

The piece will consist of a free-standing closet. A locked door and three walls. The door is a standard luan door that will be covered in sheet metal. There will be a sliding viewport at eye level and a deadbolt locking the door. Inside, the walls will have no visible corners and will be painted completely white. There will be white light on the other side of the door. The light source will be below the viewport, close to the floor. The size is estimated at 3' W x 7'H x 3' D.