I discovered Olafur Eliasson’s work when I began to think about creating multi-media components for my own work. I had images in my mind, many involving light and projection, and I decided to search for artists whose primary concern was light – and see what people were thinking about and making possible in this field.
I was stopped in my tracks by the beauty and variety of Eliasson’s work. If you navigate to his website and have a look through his selected works you will discover a wonderland of environments, spaces, objects, ambiences and concepts from this extraordinary and prolific artist.
Eliasson writes: “Start walking down the street, registering the inclination with your feet. You may experience a minor fall with every step you take – and another thrill while your limbs jiggle slightly. When in motion, our bodies co-produce what we sense, partially handing over the production of the space-so-far to our feet, eyes, and entire sensorium…
Experience the difference between simply walking down [a] hill and walking while imagining [it] to be straight. The discrepancy between the physical registering of the street and your brain projection imbues your experience of the street with a felt presence. The mental exercise disrupts and reshapes this everyday functioning of our senses, of our selves, our urban surroundings – exhibiting the sensory numbness (indirectly) nurtured by many city planners.
The intricate translation of information among our limbs, brain, perceptual apparatus, and sense of orientation is a vehicle of the self. To embark on such exercises and journeys allows time to give space to feelings. Walking becomes a tool for emotionalising space, a landscape, an urban setting, or a building.”
Quoted from ‘Your Gravitational Now’ / Originally published in David Featherstone and Joe Painter, eds.: Spatial Politics: Essays for Doreen Massey (Chichester, 2013), pp.125–32.