Marek Walczak (b. 1957)
Martin Wattenberg (b. 1970)
Website and networked installation, computers, printer, desk,
Commissioned by New Radio and Performing Arts Inc.
for its Turbulence website with funds from the Jerome Foundation.
Additional programming by Jonathan Feinberg
On a blank screen, viewers type in texts of their choice.
Rooms appear on the monitor as a two-dimensional plan, similar
to a blueprint. The architecture is based on a semantic analysis
of the viewers’ words, reorganizing them to reflect
the underlying themes they express. This structure is then
translated into navigable three-dimensional dwellings composed
of images that appear as a projection on the wall behind the
monitor. Viewers may navigate these 3-D environments, while
the texts they typed are read back by means of text-to-speech
The “apartments” created during the exhibition
and on the Apartment website are clustered into buildings
and cities according to their semantic relationships. Visitors
can also print out their “apartment” and take
Apartment is inspired by the idea of the memory palace, a
mnemonic technique from a pre-Post-it era. In the second century
BCE, the Roman orator Cicero imagined inscribing the themes
of a speech on a suite of rooms in a villa, and then delivering
that speech by mentally walking from space to space. Establishing
an equivalence between language and space, Apartment connects
the written word with different forms of spatial configuration.