<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Art Installation Office

I believe I have mentioned that I work in an interesting room in this office: the back room/storage room. It's not really supposed to be a storage room, see, but there was nowhere else to put all those inspirational posters and spare chairs, so... It's actually a really lovely room: big, with a full wall of windows along one side, so there's lots of space and lots of natural light. There is, as far as I can see, only one design flaw: the window that goes into the hallway.

Now looking at it, I can totally understand why there is a wide, floor-to-ceiling window going from this back office into the hall. The hall, after all, is closed off, and this window allows light to come from our big outside windows into what would otherwise be a closed space. Great theory. Unfortuntately, whoever designed it failed to think about the actual use of these spaces. The light beckons from the end of the hall to any and all, promising access to the outdoors. Drawn like moths, they walk the long length of the hallway only to find that their promised exit is but a pane of glass that looks into a big back office/storage room. Frustrated but curious, these people proceed to have a good look at whatever else is in the room: the desks, the chairs, the computers and, oh yes, me. Some of them do not seem to understand that I can see them, too.

Now the worst is actually the desk that I refer to as the Art Installation Desk. Sitting in this desk, as I had to do with some frequency for a few weeks, one becomes the centre of attention for anyone walking down the hall. Other than the floor, there is really nothing else to look at but this bright, natural light surrounding me, on a computer, typing at the end of a very long hall. Not only does everyone here now know what I mean when I say Art Installation Desk but they all fear it, too. (Or perhaps they only fear hearing another of my stories about it...)

To make things more interesting, unrelated activities in the building have increased traffic in this area over the past few days, drawing more people to the hall. Even though I am not sitting in the Art Installation Desk, enough people are coming to the window and peering inside that my normal desk is starting to feel like an art installation, as well. The whole office is, really--not even my sometime roommate can escape the scrutiny, far away from the window as she is.

I have tried to fight it. I have asked when the blinds that are supposed to cover this window will arrive. I have cheerily waved to those who peer in the window, and I have stonily ignored them as if I am oblivious to all but the words on my computer screen. Today, I have given up and accepted it. I work in the Art Installation Office. As proof, I have written and posted this sign on the window:

"Like Bugs in a Jar: York Employees at Work"

Mixed Media Installation by K. Sumner-Smith, 2004

Two and a half months in the making, "Like Bugs in a Jar" is a live and dynamic piece designed to showcase life in a University office/storage room. The artist dedicates this piece to a continued lack of window blinds.

Astute viewers will notice the similarity between this work and Ms. Sumner-Smith's earlier installations, "No, This is Not a Public Entrance," "I Know You're There--I Was Just Ignoring You," and "Stop Tapping on the Glass: Frustration, Distraction and Lost Students."

About the artist: She may be looking at you right now.

This display is open between the hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday.

Note: Please do not tap on the glass--you may scare the workers.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 2:08 PM


(ROTFL) Oh, my good gosh!

It's a good thing your at a Uni! Otherwise, bosses might casually offer you Ritalin or psychotherapy.

"What? Humor? Sharing an opinion that is not safe and clinical and uninspired? Um... I have to promote you or fire you."

By Blogger John, at 11:24 AM  

I don't know, John--I don't think I'd complain too much if someone tried to promote me. Not if it came with a bigger paycheque!

By Blogger Karina, at 12:06 PM  

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger

Spontaneous Things © Karina Sumner-Smith 2000-2005