Blur Building was built for Swiss Expo 2002 on Lake Neuchâtel. The lightweight tensegrity structure measured three hundred feet wide by two hundred feet deep by seventy-five feet high. The primary material was water, which was pumped from the lake, filtered, and shot as a fine mist through 31,500 high-pressure nozzles. In the words of the designers, “It is an architecture of atmosphere. Upon entering the fog mass, visual and acoustic references are erased, leaving only an optical ‘white-out’ and the ‘white noise’ of pulsing nozzles. . . . There is nothing to see but our dependence on vision itself.” Blur Building is thus an anti-spectacle that is, contrary to immersive environments that strive for high-definition visual impact, decidedly low definition: “There is nothing to see but our dependence on vision itself.” The altered perception produced by the architectural performance is, in this instance, a critical means to a particular end: to question and enhance the potential of public monuments to offer new forms of awareness.
Gallery label from Applied Design, March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014.