Near Strangers (2017)

DIASPORA, Constanza Casamadrid & Juan León

Sponsor: UNTREF, Host: V2_Lab

Near-Strangers looks into the process of getting to know the people with whom we have meaningless interactions and who would otherwise remain strangers. When does someone become recognizable? What is it to be recognizable?

The project makes the network of links between people visible through two types of objects: Circuit Portraits and Memory Sound Boxes. Both objects invite the audience to get closer (please d̶o̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶  cross the line) and literally to make contact (please d̶o̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶  touch). This network emerged between August 3 and September 14 in places in Rotterdam, including V2_ (DIASPORA’s workspace) and the Wolphaertstraat in the Charlois neighborhood (where they live).

Circuit Portraits (2017) is a light installation composed of interactive portraits of the people DIASPORA met during their residency. These portraits made of copper react to touch and light up to become more detailed and also to reveal the connections that exist between them

Memory Sound Box (2017) is a box-shaped object that collects recordings and images of the near-strangers that DIASPORA’s acquaintances identified in their lives. Each box reproduces a narrated story and shows a photograph of the place where it happened. To listen to the story, you need to get close to the object. As you get closer, the volume rises – a whisper becoming a chat.

This project was developed during a residency as part of a Summer Sessions residency at V2_.