Time-light-space: Olafur Eliasson’s agency manipulates embodied biological experience of architectural space



Architecture, Space, Time, Light, Perception


The use of artificial brightness as a material form within “Big Bang Fountain” by Olafur Eliasson in 2015, provides insight into how the perception of time articulates subjective meaning and understanding of architectural space. This work outlines the relationship between the human ecological experience of time and the transitory, elemental ambiances of perceptual light cues used by the artist. This fundamental correspondence within Eliasson’s work is founded upon exploring the interstice between perception and experience. This paper argues the interstitial moment of brightness/darkness experienced which tempers the illusionary occurrence of holding time still. The examination of this work seeks to broaden the understanding of how the experience of the phenomenological flux of architectural space subject to light occurs. As such continual incremental changes in perception draw attention to the ecological mechanism which shapes innate the relationship with architectural space. The exploitation of characteristics within perceptual ecology, known to humankind innately, but perhaps not explicitly, informs and elucidates consciousness of the diurnal experience of architectural space. The basis of how and why this work causes a response is a result of the exploitation of evolved phenomenological sensory experience rather than recognition of Euclidian spatial geometries.


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