WEEK 13: MODELS ARE REAL

Brian Rex brought to my attention this piece of writing by Olafur Eliasson. The writing was first published in a 2008 issue of 306090.

Models_Are_Real

Models exist in various forms and sizes: objects such as houses or artworks are one variety, but we also find models of engagement, models of perception and re”ection. In my artistic practice I work with analogue and digital models, with models of thought and other experiments that add up to a model of a situation. Every model shows a different degree of representation, but all are real. We need to acknowledge that all spaces are steeped in political and individual intentions, power relations, and desires that function as models of engagement with the world. No space is model-free. This condition does not represent a loss, as many people, deploring the elimination of unmediated presence, might think. On the contrary, the idea that the world consists of a conglomeration of models carries a liberating potential, as it makes the renegotiation of our surroundings possible. This, in turn, opens the potential for recognition of the differences between individuals. What we have in common is that we are different. The conception of space as static and clearly de!nable thus becomes untenable – and undesirable. As agents in the ceaseless modelling and remodelling of our surroundings and the ways in which we interact, we may advocate the idea of a spatial multiplicity and co-production.

-Olafur Eliasson

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