Elephant in the Room is an open call light installation that was exhibited on October 1st, 2011 as part of Toronto's art festival, Scotia Bank Nuit Blanche.
The installation consists of a 4 meter tall "constellation" of stars forming the three dimensional outline of an elephant in a blackened room.
The “elephant in the room” is a saying that refers to the collective denial of an obvious problem. Those who choose not to address the problem preoccupy themselves with trivial or tangential issues even though they are aware the predominant problem will not disappear on its own.
As a design art practice we like to play with the ordinary and challenge habitual engagements with space. The elephant in the room is a spatial metaphor but it’s only been used to talk about an abstract concept. What happens when we impose that metaphor on a space?
Traditionally, the constellation is a tool that defines patterns in space, categorizing series’ of celestial bodies and imposing mythological references on them. The imposed pattern or picture, when recognized, brings order to space, making the infinite manageable and offering a point of reference.
Combining the two concepts creates a new and paradoxical humour. The elephant in the room is so obvious that it does not have to be singled out, yet this is what we have done. We have made the obvious even more obvious by mapping out an elephant in our own public room using LED “stars”. We force confrontation with the elephant in the room by making it our new North star; that which we want to avoid becomes the essence of our navigation.
Produced in collaboration with the University of Toronto Robotics Association (UTRA).