Room 2 (2011)

Installation/Performance: Joseph Ravens, Marianne M. Kim
Video documentation: Robert Troub
Location: ArtSpace West Gallery (Arizona State University)

Room 2 - Marianne Kim and Joseph Ravens connect across distance and time to collaborate on projects that involve the body, various technologies, sculptural objects, and provocative visual imagery. Our ROOM is part of a series of sites that we use to locate human experience. This room contains our objects of desire.

JR: The first room was the bedroom.

MK: I remember. It was a good room. It conjured illness in a very sterile and sexy way.

JR: True, and the next room is the dining room . The dining room is where we consume, this is where we witness the process and product of consumption.

MK: We become competitors with an insatiable desire to possess anything in front of us. It’s sort of a dining experience that alludes to hoarding, hunger, and humorous mayhem.

JR: Author Michael Pollen discusses the idea that, where a bird might build an elaborate nest or perform a complicated dance in order to attract a mate, so to do we display our objects in order to profess our ability to provide – thus making us choice mates. We are only animals, after all - magpies pecking at anything shiny to line our cluttered nests. Our desire as humans to distance ourselves from animals is powerfully intense. So we set up this ritual – dining – and we give it a room in our home. We make it civilized – a ritual. This might be a stretch.

MK: No I get it, there are several layers to this ritual. Attraction, superiority, survival.

JR: The installation is also loosely inspired by the Japanese video game Katamari Damacy.

MK: What is Katamari?

JR: In this simple video game you roll-up into a ball anything smaller than you. Of course your ball grows bigger and bigger until, at last, you are able to consume mountains and continents and oceans and stars. The rudimentary narrative reminds us that there can be no consumption without a mighty hunger. Where does that hunger begin? Who plants that seed and where does it come from?

MK: My desire causes too much personal suffering. I don’t think I want to play.