The Blind Spot


︎︎︎ Master’s Thesis Project - Städelschule Architecture Class
︎︎︎ Studio Tutors: Johan Bettum (Thesis guide), Yeon Joo oh (Assitant guide), Stefan Wieland (Tutor).

The Blind spot is essentially a mapping project, later moving into the direction of a Film, a year long investigation into the ways and patterns in which the Blind spot navigates between the gaps of all perception and knowledge. Dwelling on the limits of cartography of the urban scapes, it aims at revealing the gaps, holes and voids immanent in all that is Mapped. Mirroring the mechanism of Google Earth 360 degree street view and navigation, an apparatus was constructed with a depth perception camera for capturing 360 degree spaces, thus charting out bubbles of interiorities occupied by a flaneur subject from different positions.

The project began with the task of negating the fundamental pre-condition: ‘Reality being always only Partially accessible’ and aimed at exterminating this ignorance, and getting rid of all the blind spots. The interiorities were systematically opened up, and unfolded into a panoramic space (a 3d panorama) thus allowing simultaneously confrontation with the entire 360 degree space. What followed was a kalaedoscopic cubist mess of multiple interiorities intersecting and overlapping, thus loosening the sense of inside, outside and the interstitial. A completely incoherent incomprehensible fragmented space which weirdly enough allowed an immersed, and yet simultaneously a disinterested and distanced view, as the Subject was thrown outside the space, but still allowed its inhabitation.

3d point cloud scans of different sites in Frankfurt, constructed using depth perception camera and photo-grammetry method:

Stills from the film:

Blind spot as Maurice Merleau Ponty addresses is the invisible of the visible, the untouchable of the touch and the unconscious of the conscious, it is the gap entailed in the capture of space, a void in matrix of information, a hole in the whole of the image. And although unacknowledged, it plays a fundamental role in the appratus of knowledge. The Black spots are nothing but the position of the subject itself, the spot from where the space was capture, a spot left blank and uncharted owing to the structure of the apparatus. Using Merleau Ponty’s Framework, the Project intended to chase the Blind spot. To not only pin point, but with the radical approach of George Bataille, to radically subvert it, thus challeging the status quo of the existing hegemonic power relations. Working with a set of very specific devices such as the Point of view (Position), Field of view (Vision), Panning and Tracking (Movement), a Formalist architectural exercise of ‘Cutting’ and ‘Folding’ was used to reconfigure the space.

Bergson’s idea of Duration is thus negated by literally representing motion in time as a sequence unfolded in space, only to arrive at a realisation that this negation is completely futile. The project seems to be a mockery on itself but the effort isn’t worhtless, as the Blind spot although not exterminated, it is shifted. One must repeat the exercise continuously with the hope of exterminating blind spot, only to fail again and keep it moving / shifting to the periphery which actually is a horizon.

The inverted configuration is a radical one, as the enclosure now complete flips itself thus decentering and throwing the subject outside of the space. Earlier it was the Subject which stood in the centre and rotated around to percieve the 360 degree space that one was immersed in, but now the space by reconfiguring itself sheds its ambiguity and gains some sort of objecthood and comes to the centre. The subject is fragmented and scattered on the outside, and the space rotates to show itself to the multiplicity that the subject has become now.