Underground Spatialities

Underground Spatialities

The analysis of space has been historically dominated by a horizontal imaginary that privileges notions of wayfaring and planar geometries. This class introduces students to the theoretical, phenomenological, artistic and political implications of thinking about space volumetrically and kinaesthetically. It builds on scholarship that calls our attention to the geopolitics of volumetric space using underground water movement as a case study. We focus on three underground formations: Rice University’s tunnel system, the Natural Bridge Caverns near San Antonio, and the Houston Cistern.

The course combines insights from science, anthropology and the humanities and offers an opportunity for students to translate those insights into a collective multimedia exploration of underground space that will combine photogrammetric modeling, digital sound and film recording/processing and photography. With the support of the instructors, students designed and produced a collective installation that explores underground movement gaining practical skills on how to conceptualize a spatial exploration, collect and combine existing research but also generate creative, sensory material methods to be translated it into an audio-visual-sculptural installation, and coordinate its execution in some cases doing the work themselves. The installation opened to the public at the end of the semester.

Spring 2019 | Rice University

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