Shortlisted for 'Mental' exhibition, Science Gallery, Melbourne
Enlighten Me was a piece created for the Science Gallerys exhibition 'Mental' The themes of the exhibition included connection, belonging, overload and neuroscience.
The installation uses entertainment, interaction and humour to explore in the most simplest way the topics of belonging, overload, empathy (towards oneself), thoughts and imagination. It is a philisophical approach to convey how important to our imaginations and insights are to our mental health if we discard these internal gifts for voyeristic entertainment (social media, online entertainment) this results in dehuminising and loss of identity. they become unfamiliar and a type of darkness sets in. that have been discarded. to become enlightened by our true selves we must embrace the darkness and no longer be passive voyers to exterior entertainment stimuli.
A large black box will be errected with enough room to fit 1 or 2 people with a door closed behind them to give a sence of isolation. The box will be painted with black 2.0 to absorb as much light as possible. Upon entry the audience member will see a seemingly empty dark room, once the door is closed behind them the room becomes completely dark, almost unnervingly dark. A button will be sublty highlighted by a dim light in the centre of the wall facing the person with the word 'Bored?' above it, inviting the person to press the button.
When the button is pressed the room will illuminate with neon typography which delares the words 'Enlighten Me'. This will be illuminated for a short period of time (approx 5 seconds) until the neon typography switches itself off, at which point the person is engulfed in darkness (this darkness represents what we are disconnected from, ourselves, our imaginations and our thoughts). A sense of urgency will be felt to enlighten the room again, this sence of urgency reflects how we are with entertainment from technological sources.
The action of continuously pressing the button in order to be consistantly enlightened and an avoidence of the darkness will be felt. Like a lab rat pressing a container to release food. We are enlightened but not by ourselves. The audience can press the button as often as they like but the lights will always switch itself off after 5 seconds.
We are living in a time that we are more connected than ever through technology but we have also become so isolated because of it also. I have singled out social isolation caused by our technologies as a contributor to depression and isolation. Both of which are a trigger for mental illness.One of the key triggers of depression is lack of insight about oneself
(lacking a sence of belonging caused by overload of technology, and a lack of empathy toward oneself), perception (