Wish You Were Here / Welcome to the Little House
Last week, a friend and I visited the traveling art installation: Wish You Were Here / Welcome to the Little House in the DTLA Arts District. The installation is a beautiful little house made of reflective material. The reflections on the outside of the house vary between locations; in Los Angeles, starry lights were specially designed and placed around the house, to make it appear as if the house was floating in the middle of a universe. Aptly, the Los Angeles installation of the project was named Little House in the Cosmos.
The reflective exterior is just the beginning. Viewers then crawl up into the house (yes, literally crawl. If you want to visit, I would advise not wearing a dress, like I did!), where you are greeted my a dark, cool circular room with white leather seating and calming music. In the middle of the room is a large heart. We were encouraged to listen to music provided over the headphones; we were told that the sounds were also designed by the artists. They played a loop of a few different sounds, based on the time of day. Each sound was designed based on the different frequencies our left and right ears are able to hear. The resulting piece is a glorious dance between the unique sounds based on each ear's unique receptive abilities, drawing up images of external stimuli being pumped into the holes in our head and meeting up somewhere in the middle. At least, that's what I pictured when I closed my eyes and learned back in the darkness of The Little House.
While we were in the room, the artist sat and explained to us the concept behind the installation. The idea behind the house's reflective exterior is untying our idea of 'home' from a physical space, and searching for it in a more personal, conceptual space. When viewers look at the house, they see a reflection of themselves, reiterating the idea that home (and its associated values of comfort and security) is what we carry within ourselves, rather than a place we return to for external validation.
The inside of the installation is meant to represent that concept of inner home, the space we carry and nurture within ourselves, where we retreat to for respite from the outside world. One thing I thought about when I was inside the house was how we often interpret a sense of inner darkness as a bad thing, a place to get lost in. But the dark can be a welcome place from the light and noise of the world; a place to rest, to recharge, to recapitulate.
The installation will be traveling around the art circuit for the next year, hitting up Burning Man, New York, Miami and returning to Los Angeles in about a year. Visit their website to learn more about what it is and where it's going.