Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine sitting (or standing) waiting for a bus, you glance over at the digital sign only to find that the bus you have been waiting for over the last 20 mins is delayed yet again, but this time – indefinitely. You look across the road and you’re faced with apartment buildings, a laundromat, a convenience store… Behind you are more apartments and university buildings… There’s nothing else around to really capture the imagination. So to pass the time, while you continue to wait for that bus, you grab your phone to entertain you for the time-being…
If you’re familiar with the Symonds St and Mount St intersection in Auckland then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. That area used to be my hood in the good ‘ol uni days and it’s only now, having not been there for a while that I’ve become more aware of the environment. The buildings in that area creates a hard-scape of poor quality waiting or ‘hard-waiting’ as OH.NO.SUMO would call it. As a result ‘… people would retreat individually into the media offered on their mobile phones. This in turn results into greater separation and dislocation from an existing community that is waiting to be activated. A community that is not only linked virtually but physically.’ - OH.NO.SUMO
Stairway Cinema is a short-term installation by OH.NO.SUMO which responds to the surrounding environment and its inhabitants. Short movies are collected from the internet and projected onto a screen. The footage is continuously curated by the public through recommendations in social media. Since it provides current and popular clips that people generally look for in their phones, this hopefully encourages people to ‘unplug’ from their individual viewing (even for a little while) to a more shared experience.
We were lucky enough to be able catch-up with Patrick Loo, one of the creative minds behind OH.NO.SUMO, as he was tickering around ‘behind the scenes’. It was great to hang-out with him and hear first-hand a bit about the process and what inspired them to create this installation.
Stairway Cinema exterior – I thought this was designed beautifully, the entrance opening is just the right height to create curiosity, drawing people in to reveal enough of the cushions on the stairway to invite them into the cinema.
Inside the Stairway Cinema is a projection of short movies curated by the public through social media channels. Great clips, it was so entertaining that we ended up just hanging-out there for an hour. Thank goodness we weren’t waiting for a bus or else we would have missed quite a few!
The red cushions are visually inviting and are surprisingly comfortable. It created a nice cosy environment to just relax for a while and escape the chaotic intersection.
Knitted fabric is sandwiched in-between the material creating a pattern visible only from inside. Patrick said that it was best viewed at night since the the stronger contrast of light and dark makes it more effective.
OH.NO.SUMO is an award-winning collective, established by Patrick Loo, Sarosh Mulla, James Pearce and Katherine O’Shaughnessy. Their aim is to push the boundaries of conventional design practice and allow for uninhibited design freedoms through creative thinking and active participation.
Thursday 26th April – Saturday 28th April
St PAUL ST GALLERY Three – cnr Symonds St & Mount St, Auckland CBD