Close to ⅓ of people living in New York are immigrants. Yet over the last decade communities have become increasingly fragmented as inequalities between social groups continue to grow. The current political climate is increasing the tension and making the situation more explosive, with hate crimes increasing by 28.4% in New York, and by close to 20% across the USA, in 2017.
The Space In-between installation aims to facilitate more positive encounters between people of all races, genders, ages and cultural backgrounds. The installation makes empathy – a somewhat abstract and intangible concept – more tangible, by giving it physical form.
By exploring the spaces in-between people, the installation challenges interpersonal distance between strangers in public spaces, a distance which varies greatly between different cultures.
The sculptural piece measures the average “intimate distance” in the USA; 48cm, and through its physicality aims to transform the very abstract concept of ‘negative space’ between people into a physical ‘positive space’, giving empathy a tangible form to create a moment of intimate connection between strangers.
Why is it called negative space anyway?
To explore the effects of this tangible positive space, I staged the installation on the streets of Brooklyn inviting strangers to come and feel and experience the piece.
Much awkwardness and laughter followed.