WAFBITD — We All Feel Better In The Dark. The multiplex cinema as a gazing device.
Do we walk through the light the same way as we walk through the dark? Isn't darkness filtering out, or covering up certain things?
1. An example. The installation of Dan Graham at dX Kassel (1997) inside the Fridrichianum. The dark. Monitors show a Godard movie. Screens of mirroring see-through-glass or perforated steel create
corners around each monitor. If it were light, the mirroring glass and the darkness work as a filter or a mask that flattens the
human skin and gives it a fine gloss. As a car-driver behind the car-window occasionally may look better then reality would reveal. Here the mirroring glass also multiplies the gaze, giving one the intriquing idea of many elusive things going on at the same time. The masking provokes imagination to come in.
What if the multiplex cinema consists of mirror-glass movie halls, suspended in a dark environment containing the necessary infrastructure?
2. Public privacy. Courting is allowed within the cinema-darkness. By wrapping courting in a semi-transparant veil of secrecy, darkness enables it. The darkness enables a public privacy inside and outside the projection-room.
As warmth intensifies the Brown-movement among molecules, somewhat the same happens among flaneurs under darkness' influence, together with the flattening texture-effect. Only a tip of the blanket is lifted (lit up), as it is also the case with the car-driver behind the mirroring glass. This is the substance of the glimpse.
In the glass cinema, lit up by its movie-projections, different particles of a texture will be accentuated in a fast fluctuating mode. But, obviously, the prevalent darkness keeps the veil from being removed. We all feel better in the dark... A piece with this title closes the disco2-album by the pet shop boys, whose members studied architecture. Apparently phenomena like (gay-) saunas and darkrooms played a determinant role for this track... It opens with the words: the secrets/ of sexual/ attraction...
3. The Glass Device. How could a cinema with glass movie halls be structured?
The halls are suspended in a dark environment. This dark environment can be both artificial and natural. The halls are caught in an envelop of lamellas that reassures the darkness. This, then, implies that at daytime the lamellas are closed only letting pass a dark deep blue light (appealing to the somewhat romantic notion of the azzurro sky with the stars). At night the natural darkness comes in by having the envelop's lamellas opened. This enables also the lit up projection-screens being perceived from the outside environment.
1997 Case Study Berlage Instituut met Alejandro Zaera