Come Up To My Room 2017, part 1

Come Up To My Room, is a main event during the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. Located in the Gladstone Hotel, on the Queen West West strip of Toronto, this is the alternative event to the much popular Interior Design Show.

Taking up the second and third floor of the hotel, artists transform the rooms into an imaginative landscape of political, immersive and fun explorations into what art and design can provoke. This year’s theme Transplant looks at our relationship with the world and with those around us that is informed and affected by geopolitics, media, and our digital social interactions. Ideas, knowledge, and culture filtered are expressed through these exchanges evolve once transmitted and transferred from one place and to another. Through this act of transplantation, art, media, and culture converge, diverge, and reemerge into new and unique collective entities, which is what presented throughout the hotel.

Propagation Station by 1:1 Collaboration

Concrete sidewalks and high-rise buildings often render the ecological processes that surround us invisible. Propagation Stations brings to light the natural systems of plant pollination and seed dispersed by providing a canvas for visitors to engage with these often invisible networks. Be it wind, water, bird, bee, human or other, a seed is planted and the growth cycle begins.

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Before you enter the room, a girl hands you an envelop. In the envelop are two stickers, I got the stickers “Echinacea” and “Rain”. The tiny room is covered in a city scape of Toronto. The interactive element, is to find a place for your plant (the key is finding the bees). What I found interesting about the installation is where individuals began to cluster stickers and with which elements.

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Elan Vital by Marian Wihak

A large shipping crate fills the darkened room, beached upon a field of sand. A light glows from inside, invitingly…

Both container and transporter, Marian Wihak’s Elan Vital engages a range of perceptual and phenomenological sensations, while offering oblique connections between variant histories of transplantation across the physical and cosmological worlds. NASA scientists indicate that “comets almost certainly brought most of the organic material and much of the water to Earth”, and responding to the year’s theme of ‘transplant’, Elan Vital evokes the evolutionary connections between the beating heart of our planet and the origins of the galaxy itself.

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Within, the room is another room. A narrow box made of wood. When you step in, one side is a mirror, allowing for reflection and the other is a fabric is projects abstract images of space and the universe. There isn’t much room, but you don’t need it. You only need the patience to become completely enveloped in the atmosphere around you.

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Home-Made by 203Collective

302collective is interested in an exploration of surface, skin, and pattern that communicates ideas of the body in space, both as interior and landscape at the same time. Maps and topography provide a measured understanding of landscape, whereas a single enveloped mailed by an individual traverses the landscape bringing together two scales at once- the personal and measured. Home-made references these scales with sections of the Toronto landscape rendered in #10 enveloped. The resulting interior-scape creates voids and forms, patterns and opportunities for light and new affordances.

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It reads and hangs like an upside down cloud that is sliced up into sections. It’s a very delicate installation provoking the visitor to walk around it. But the center arch invites visitors to walk underneath and experience the installation from a view where you can look up and see new perspectives of light and shade take new forms and shapes.

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Fortune Room by Patrick Li

If my room can spell fortune, would you like to come in and visit?

Inspired by daily life, Patrick Li transforms the everyday mundane into exceptional by using his hands- for example, transforming ordinary eggs into an extraordinary light show. 

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If my room can spell fortune, would you like to come in and visit?

Story line

A wonderful memory: after a tasty meal from the local Chinese restaurant the servers always brought me a cookie to complete the meal. This sweet delight was such a treat not only because it tasted great, but there was that wee slip of paper – my ‘fortune’.

Most people will read our ‘fortunes’ then discard the paper and continue about our regular journey. But what if we saved these leftover fortunes and transplant them into my room to let everyone read and revisit their fortunes again?

The familiar ‘fortunes’ will entice you to read more, perhaps even inspiring you to keep these words of wisdom with you as you part. In the end, a once leftover paper fortune gets transplanted and reborn into its original purpose.

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I really liked this room because of the sheer meticulous detail (by an Asian) to compile, collect, layout and assemble over 20,000 fortunes and over 25,000 thumb tacks. The ‘fortune carpet’ moves like ticker tape when the fan blows over it, giving the room an unexpected animation when admiring the many papers on display.

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This installation makes me think, if I kept every fortune I had, would I be even close to the amount collected in this room? I also admire, the artists engagement with friends to send in their kept fortunes, which he retyped, printed and put on display so they would have an uniformed look. The detail once again to this is greatly appreciated. If I were to rename this room, I would call it ‘fortune paper porn.’

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