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Space Object Quantity (SOQ) began as an inventory of all the things in our new studio space.

Each object (and person, and dog) in our studio is assigned a unique code, defining the space number, object number, and quantity. This is a video installation for an exhibition at Transient Space  in Manchester, UK.

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The studio is divided up into five spaces: Entry (Space 01), Kitchen (Space 02), Workspace (Space 03), Meeting Room (Space 04) and Archive (Space 05). Pictured above is (02) and (03).

Space 03, Workspace.

Looking into Space 04, Meeting Room.

Space 05, Archive.

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We then translated (flattened) the space into a book.

The inventory of things becomes a table of contents to the book.

The proportions of the book match the proportions of the studio.

Each item is photographed and represented in the book, along with its corresponding code.

The corresponding code on the right also shares its approximate location in the studio.

Space 03, Workspace, photo by Naho Kubota.

Pipe in Space 04, photo by Naho Kubota.

Detail of our custom light fixture. Photo by Naho Kubota (fixture designed by Wax Studios).

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We then inverted the book back into a space:
installation of the studio system for the Otis Art Book Fair in Los Angeles.

Detail of the index listing all the items, and their codes, at the Otis Art Book Fair.

Shelving system and books at the Otis Art Book Fair.

Light display at the Otis Art Book Fair.

Fixture and poetry detail from the Otis Art Book Fair.

Signage at the Otis Art Book Fair.

Poetry detail on our potted plant.

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We worked with the poet Mandy Kahn to integrate a site-specific poem for the installation, entitled “EIGHTEEN STATEMENTS ABOUT EMPTY ROOMS.” The event featured a participatory reading conducted by her throughout the two days of the book fair.

Each participant was given a unique code, which determined their location in the space and corresponding line of poetry. 

Attendees were handed the sticker on their way in and had to find their location before the collective performance.

Mandy conducted the reading by motioning to each person, who would then read their line of poetry. She guided the group through a syncopated, sometimes repetitive and rhythmic performance.

Participants placed their sticker on the floor upon completion of their reading.

The stickers then represented a moment in time.

We then translated the entire experience into a website, spaceobjectquantity.com (where you can purchase the book).

Space Object Quantity — Installation, Book, WebsiteArrow whiteClose white

SPACE OBJECT QUANTITY (SOQ) began as an inventory system developed for our new studio and became an iterative experiment in the interactions among graphic design, architecture and performance. The project was designed in collaboration with NILE architecture.

 

1. Studio Space
The project started as a check-list of materials used to build out our new studio. We came up with a numerical coding system to track each item. The six digit code defines three pieces of information. The first two digits define the area (or SPACE) in the studio something lives — entry, kitchen, workspace, meeting room and archive. The second two digits, represent a number we assigned to each OBJECT, and the third is a count (or QUANTITY) of each object in the inventory. Combined, the code compiles the materiality of our studio by defining the SPACE OBJECT and QUANTITY. The system flattens architecture and the expression of the system makes graphic design dimensional.

 

2. Book
We then translated the coded system into a 400 page book that again flattens the architecture into a narrative space. Since the book cannot be edited like a website, or renovated like a space, it becomes an artifact of the studio at the moment of time June 2018.

 

3. Installation

We imagined the concept as a structure that could exist anywhere. To test this, the code was used to create an installation for the Otis Art Book Fair in Los Angeles. The installation used six built panels (one that represented each original space in our studio, and a sixth for the space within Otis). Each panel pulled specific details from the studio it was referencing — light fixtures, outlets, shelves, nylon straps, etc. Each object was coded in the same way as the original studio.


As an iteration/augmentation of the system, we collaborated with the poet Mandy Kahn to write a site-specific poem for the installation. The poem “EIGHTEEN STATEMENTS ABOUT EMPTY ROOMS” is a villanelle, a form which gains meaning from repetition. As Mandy wrote, “the visitor creates their own version of the poem by what they choose to read, what they choose to skip and what they choose to repeat.”

 

4. Video
At the invitation of Adam Griffiths for his "transient_space" project at Design Manchester, we created a video interpretation of SOQ.

 

5. Website
In order to document the many iterations of this project, we created a website: spaceobjectquantity.com.

Photography
Naho Kubota (color studio images)
Sergiy Barchuk (Otis Art Book Fair)
Fiona Mentzel (black and white objects)

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