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The cabinet of [atmospheric]curiosities. A journey in search of the origins of atmospheric practice

Wieczorek, I., Usman, H. and Percs, M. (2020) The cabinet of [atmospheric]curiosities. A journey in search of the origins of atmospheric practice. [Show/Exhibition]

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The Cabinet of [Atmospheric] Curiosities lies somewhere between indexation and speculation, a dialectical device and a generative instrument. It is a work-in-progress that sets out a conceptual framework for a constantly-evolving and open-ended instrumental taxonomy of spatial atmospheres. It both looks into multiple ways in which atmospheres have been theorised and materialised and engages with the development of new tools, methods, and creative processes that define atmospheric production. Drawing from the fascination with cabinets of curiosities—historically seen as a means of recording, classifying, and communicating knowledge through a collection of disparate artefacts—the display combines words, drawings, images and objects, illustrating the complexity and nuances of the notion of atmosphere. It is conceived as a place where canonical works of atmospheric staging and engineering—some neglected and forgotten, some never realised and those that have been lost—are re-visited, re-constructed or re-enacted. Similar to the cabinets of curiosities of earlier times, the display does not imply contemplative distance. A series of optical instruments, including lenses, glass cloches and reflective surfaces, transform The Cabinet into an immersive device, encouraging an inquisitive journey in search of the origins and logic of atmospheric practice. By looking into the historiography of atmospheric design, The Cabinet reveals that although concerns for atmospheres have only recently crystallised into an influential transdisciplinary debate, the conceptual foundations and protocols for the production of atmospheres can be found beyond contemporary examples. Yet, the documentary nature of the project is subverted by a creative inhabitation of the studied works, which are approached as territories for experimentation and invention. In doing so, The Cabinet becomes a site where histories and fictional scenarios co-exist and overlap, establishing multidirectional dialogues and opening up a new context for an exploration of the imaginative potential of the notion of atmosphere. The project also aims to challenge the boundaries between architectural design, history and theory, offering an opportunity for combining traditional modes of historical research with design-led-research, curatorial practice and artistic production.

Item Type:Show/Exhibition
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Architecture
Science > School of the Built Environment > Urban Living group
ID Code:86665
Publisher:The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK)


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