Some people are scared of rooms. These people, who suffer from koinoniphobia, might want to stay away from Digital Grotesque. The exhibition isn’t necessarily scary but it does feature a room that might be overwhelming… even if you don’t have a phobia. Made using digital fabrication techniques, the room has some eighty million surfaces. And in case the complexity isn’t enough, the entire room is gilded. Based on the model photo above, I can’t tell if this novel form of space making is the future of surfaces or an aliens interpretation of the Baroque period.
The newness of it is the difficulty. The creators of the project, Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger are exhausting the complexity that the fabrication techniques will allow, but it isn’t clear yet what that complexity is achieving. Is this complexity for complexity’s sake, and what does that mean? What we’re left to wander around seems baffling without many ways to place these 80 million surfaces in a larger room of precedent. Maybe this is what Gaudi would be doing today? Maybe this is the extreme end of the kind of work that Greg Lynn does that actually makes Greg Lynn seem tame? Or maybe just aliens with baroque tendencies? Well, that seems less likely now.
Even if you aren’t lucky enough to walk around the room and digest all the surfaces yourself, you’ll be able to see the photos of what’s eventual fabricated. Or just watch the video below and go with your gut reaction. The experience of space is sometimes visceral.