2015 Inception Award | Jessica Kennedy

Forgotten Space

The Sentience

“Only the ephemeral is of lasting value” (Ernst 2008).

There is a speci c experience that manifest within a space devoid of routine human interaction; it is the experience of abjection. This occurrence matures through time, as these structures are outmoded and cease to function in the way they were initially intended. As this transpires, such structures develop into discarded, forgotten spaces that go unobserved by the community; which often prompts happenings of an illicit manner.Theycarryforwardthedismalmemories collected within their state of abandonment, creating apertures within the urban environment and necessitating the need to be seen and taken care of. The overall aim of this research was to develop an understanding into how the physical forces within a forgotten site could help to establish an expressive dialogue with the public, through the creation of a temporary insertion; exploring whether ephemeral installations can help to reinstate the worth of these forgotten spaces and elicit a notion of care and acceptance from the local community.

The concluding volume of Forgotten Space termed ‘The Sentience’, a through design venture, seeks to use the gained knowledge of the key theories called episodic memory, aesthetic experience and the state of ephemerality, and their in uence over space to proposition a theoretic temporal structure that is simultaneously kindled by the untold and present narratives of the South Fremantle Power Station. Thus possibly linking this site of abjection to the local community by encouraging certain exchanges and interactions.

Within these narratives, depicting a life of both camaraderie and suffering, a design approach started to articulate into a theoretical installation, which imbued the historic with the present to create connections within the consciousness of the observers.

Thus the ‘Network’ was born through trial, error and reevaluation. It translated into a symbolic journey of entanglement lled with various happenstances of suspense, connection and building awareness. Revealing that within the merging and awareness of the key theories one could possibly generate an occurrence and response from the observer; magnifying their attentiveness to their surrounding spatial environment through the connections to materiality and imbuement of the past into the fabric of the present.

Delving further through the use of both materiality and implementation, the 15 narrative nodes scattered through out the network intended to expose corporeal and emotional exchanges of memory and meaning through the physical and representative, becoming “an emblematic and gurative entity laden with cultural memory, which embodies a sense of place”. By embedding the stories of the past workers they become the happenstances of which the observer can catch a glimpse of the life that once was through symbolic representation. It was from this exploration that I believe that an establishment has been made, being that with an ephemeral event/occurrence one can create meaningful connection to a space of abjection that live on through the observers memory even when the event has dissipated and the building re-purposed; the story and connection lives on.

Ephemerality is the indispensable phenomenon through which instilling value and connection into a forgotten space is composed. Throughout this project I have been able to grasp new ways of thinking, seeing and appropriating when understanding how I may instil a sense of awareness back into forgotten spaces. Looking through a phenomenological lens, the engagement of the observer with their surrounding transcends into more than physicality, but also into an occurrence of shared collective memories. Ephemeral matter taken by the bridging of time and space within an embedded network of narratives is the heart of this undertaking.