A Matter of Perspective
is an interactive installation about the perspective of language.
As human beings we have an urge to understand. To understand this world we live in; to understand ourselves. We try to explain everything we see, hear, smell, feel, taste - everything that we observe and experience.
Among many others, language is one of the frameworks that helps us understand this world we live in. It allows us to break concepts into various components and enables us to categorise, classify and structure the reality around us. This not only changes our perception, it frames our vision of reality.
With language we have created a system to label reality; to put ourselves and others into a well-arranged system of boxes. Moreover, we largely construct our own identity by focussing on what differentiates us from others.
Language, however, has two sides. It is not only capable of this division by distignuishing one thing from another. It also gives us the possibility to connect and bring together by focussing on our similarities. Unfortunately, our focus is mostly on the former.
A Matter of Perspective
, therefore, tries to bring our focus back to what connects us, by emphasizing the one thing that we all have in common: our humanity.
The installation consists of a folded construction. On one side the viewer is able to read three labels concerning one specific theme or topic such as gender, religion or origin. The viewer is then confronted with a choice; which label do I associate myself with or do I feel like society is giving me? Once the viewer has made a choice by walking through one of the portals, the counting number of that particular category adds one. As the viewer now looks back, he/she is now able to read the word ‘humans’ with the total number of humans that have also made a choice. How many of them chose one category is, however, no longer visible or relevant ont his side of the installation.
As an addition, I created a proposal for an online platformonline platform
in order for the project to have a possibility to grow beyond the physical installation. It has the same structure when it comes to the choices. The users - after having made a choice - can decide whether or not they want to further explain their descision and be added to the database of 'humans' collected on the platform.