A video installation spanning four floors, created site-specifically for the Avery Building of Columbia University. Drawing inspiration from Bachelard‘s work, „The Poetics of Space”, this installation invites viewers on a journey of exploration and introspection through the interplay of video, own imagination, and architectural elements.

“The house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” Bachelard

This video installation stimulates viewers‘ imaginations, offering insights into the otherworldy railway space of the Waldwick Tower, a former interlocking tower whose original purpose was lost amidst the global automation and centralization of railway systems. Drawing inspiration from Bachelard‘s „Poetics of Space,“ this installation presents the tower in a poetic light. The tower‘s architectural design, reminiscent of a domestic home rather than a specific functional structure like a water tower or swimming pool, prioritized visibility.

“Closed Drawers” is an endeavor designed to set viewers in motion while stimulating their imagination. Through a blend of visual fragments with the Waldwick interlocking tower and intertwined textual narratives, the installation serves as a portal into the otherwordly space of the tower itself. It invites the audience to embark on a journey of discovery, exploring the tower’s space and fostering a sense of curiosity and wonder.

Each segment of the installation offers a glimpse into the tower’s structure, whether it’s the concrete basement or an enigmatic chest of drawers. Viewers can engage with the work in passing, absorbing the essence of each fragment as they walk by the installation. Alternatively, they may choose to linger, delving deeper into the accompanying text inspired by Bachelard’s Poetics of Space, gaining access to layers of information about the history / preservation of the tower and poetry.

Drawing inspiration from the verticality of a house, the installation is referencing the railway world, with passing trains serving as a constant reminder of the transient nature of movement, one reason why the movement of the viewers is so important. The disjointed nature of the videos, each depicting isolated fragments of the tower, encourages individual interpretation and imagination, ensuring that each viewer’s experience remains uniquely their own.

Accompanying each video is textual narration, providing context and insight into the specific location within the tower, further enriching the viewer’s understanding and appreciation of the installation, by showing graphically next to each video in which part of the tower you are at the moment, in relation to the Avery building.