Room for Space

Room for Space: Sessions with a Meditative Object

Part research, part design, part invention – Jessica Anderson's work navigates the boundary between mind and body through a recontextualized lens of science, medicine, and biologic phenomena. Taking the position as neither a skeptic nor a promoter, she examines the role of holistic healing practices in contemporary culture.

By inviting viewers to stare at a singular object, Room for Space questions the personal impact of a meditative moment. Meditation, as confirmed by extensive research and measured data, changes the physical structure of the brain in ways that similar exercises in relaxation do not. Our brains, therefore, are sculpted by the act of meditation. A meditative moment can leave a measurable mark on our biology and anatomy. But what does it mean to meditate? And can we reach a point of meditation through the simple act of looking?

Over the course of the installation, Anderson will test these questions by performing 12 staring sessions with her object. Each session will increase by 10 minutes and each will conclude with a circle painted on the wall. The circular data will be available for evaluation by all observers of the installation and will function as evidence of the ephemeral stare. Standing in place of the live action, these circles will ask and answer the question: if, by staring at a singular object, did she reach a point of meditation? If so, at what point did the meditation begin? And in turn, what is the significance?

By elevating the act of contemplative looking, this installation results in a living, sculptural relationship between the stagnant object and our own consciousness.