Constructing our reality

Reality exists because it can be constructed and over the weekend, I encountered various talks that de-constructed this process and I was totally blown away by how empowering it felt.

One thing that stuck in my head was this concept of “devices”. A curator was discussing about the construction of an exhibition space and referred to various “devices” built to counter “visitor fatigue”. That helped me to redefine my relation to the exhibition space as a visitor to one as a creator and it was empowering.

And if you extend this concept further, everything is a “device” built for some purpose. The recent re-design of The Sunday Times and The Straits Times have included more “devices” on the cover to hook in more readers to its papers. Thus, you have short blurbs about stories inside as “devices” on the cover instead of just three main stories like in the past. The cover thus becomes a platform to attract readers rather than making a statement what news you should know about. This reflects a subtle change in tone, from big brother telling you what to read, to many whispers luring you to read something, anything.

And by some strange coincidence, a friend pointed me to this page, where a exhibition poster in Singapore was de-constructed really quickly.

So if everything is constructed, are we then simply users of this spaces and a slave to its constructions? The Situationists would disagree. They would advocate personal empowerment and a re-imagination of these spaces. In short, we define what these spaces mean to us.

And so there I was with my colleague today, listening to a radio station in New York and in our windowless office, I thought that after work I would grab my big coat, step out to chilly night, walk past Time Square on my way to my apartment in Manhattan.

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