Entering and exiting The Memory Place:
The Memory Place was a collection of site specific performances at The Edge Theatre in Chicago that explored the idea of cultural memory. In our design process, we started out with a desire to create a self contained space within The Edge that could connect all of the pieces. This brought up the question: how do we get people into a self contained space like this, one that is distanced from reality?
To do this, we created a journey from full spectrum light to narrow spectrum light. This journey was bookended by two yellow lights: the first yellow was from a gel’d clip light which was mixed in with daylight from the outside, giving us full spectrum light that allowed you to see all colors; the last yellow was from a low sodium vapor lamp, which emits a very narrow wavelength of light—radically shifting the appearance of all other colors, making the area appear monochromatic. As the audience travelled down the hallway, color began to exit the space; creating a stark visual shift into The Memory Place; leaving behind a gap of darkness between our curated world and the outside world.
Once the audience was out of sight, these lights were turned back on to create a barrier from the outside world. Effectively holding us in the space. This journey had the texture of a saw blade, in which one direction was easy to progress down while the other was more abrasive, requiring concentrated effort to return back outside.