“Prisom” is a structure foremost—an enclosed space defined by two 8-foot Lshaped louen panels studded with carriage bolts; at the wall’s narrow intersection stands a prism, or giant three-dimensional triangle, made up on two sides of 2-way mirror and on the third of translucent plexiglass. A video is projected along the spine of the prism from above, the image refracted and distorted within. The images themselves are abstracted, obscured and the mechanism as a whole reacts to the presence of intruders. Intimated are shots of apartments or office windows as screened through blinds, the blinds themselves shifting in and out of focus; overlays of interiors reflected onto computer arrays; the diluted light of blue screens. These images are meant to suggest hidden spaces of cooption and control as well as the hidden spaces of interior lives both viewed from the voyeur’s (or hunter’s) blind.
What is left at the end of the day is a structure and a series of thoughts and templates leading hopefully to some future endeavor. The process that led to the Prisom’s articulation was borne from extensive readings, occasional conversations, discussions in Chris Kirwan’s thesis studio and long periods of reflection; however at some point the piece had of necessity to take on its own life and no longer serve as epistolary. In elaborating some of the thoughts or considerations that informed its production, I do not wish to suggest that this paper is the sole “reading” possible of the object itself for I would hope the piece capable of generating other readings beyond what I offer here. Instead, the following paper reflects some of the considerations and theories that went into the development of the “Prisom.”
Emily Duwel. Prisom: An Exploration of Fortress and Prism.
2001. Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses; 2001 . New School Archives and Special Collections Digital Archive
. Web. 22 Sep 2019
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