Library of Illusions

Woman with dark hair.
  • Maitai Kunawong, M.S. AAD 2019
  • Hometown

    Bangkok, Thailand
  • Class

    ARCH 7112 Design VI Option Studio: Library of Illusions
  • Instructor

    Ruben Alcolea

”Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know what the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Albert Einstein — a letter to the family of his good friend, Michele Besso

The concept of time is invented by the human to represent changes in nature, things, and events. Time flies. Days, months, years have passed, but we rarely think about the fundamental nature of time.

In the dictionary, time is defined as a non-spatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future. Time seems to have the unique property which is the point in the space, yet it has the duration between two points. Whereas through physicists’ eyes, time is relative — it depends on the reference frames.

The spectacle is the experimentation of the coexistence of past and present. The video camera captures events and goes through the generated delay process. The interaction with other people when wearing the spectacle creates two invisible space-time. All the mechanical devices are covered with the self-portrait plaster mask hiding the present of myself behind the evidence of me in the past. All events are equally real, or in other words, the feeling of the present is an illusion.

From a spectacle to an inhabitable space, different configurations of the mirror was explored. The movement of the light creates a unique experience every time one entered the space.

A library, in general, is a building containing collections of books for people to read or borrow. If the content is stripped out of books, the library, at the same time, could be seen as a big container of content. It could be anywhere. Library of illusions, therefore, would never be the destination, but it exists on the way to others. Visitors will not come to read here, but books will reach to them. The project occupies the whole subway system that has many doors opening to all. Each day the space would exhibit one single book. Commuters, who use the subway as their daily routine, will be able to experience more than 300 books a year. Who knows, you might remember the day you walked through the Romeo and Juliet tunnel, or the late George Orwell night before going home.

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