I arrive at Hashalom Train Station in Tel Aviv, take my backpack off and hand it to the security guard for to be checked. Then I pass through the metal detector, without my backpack, cellphone and headphones, the security guard nods at me. I grab my things and walk over to the automated ticket machines to get my single-pass train ticket. I then need to choose which gate to go in through – there are seven open gates and three closed gates to choose from. Lights flickering, indicating where to insert the ticket, green light flickers, I walk in on automatic pilot, a prisoner of the station's architecture, signage and movement flow. I don’t doubt the flow. I board the train, right next to the railing is the emergency break handle. Once I lay my eyes on it all my logic systems collapse. It whispers to me: "come, come", and I think: "yes, yes"…!
After all, it doesn't belong to anyone, it's always there, day and night. It usually works this way: "I don’t have any interest in it, and it doesn't have any interest in me". But despite the mutual lack of interest it always reminds me of the possibility of me becoming a victim in an emergency situation, thus becoming a part of it, forever. An emergency with no emergency. I go through this experience without experiencing it. So, I stand close, it makes me stare at it as if it's a freshly baked apple pie that just came out of the oven. I know this emergency break handle so well, it's my personal safety belt, the emergency hammer on the bus, the Atropine injection inside my gas mask box, the level 2 shelter in my apartment building.
The revelation of such scenarios threatens the most minute, minuscule time unit imaginable, which is the immediate present; it breaks the rules, paralyzing our immediate desires. And whilst during everyday life little things such as an SMS, a flickering light or a good song can affect my mood, in emergency situations people are mostly affected by the behavior of those around them. Suddenly a group of strangers operate as one, cohesive organism. When everyone boards the train, and choose their seat. And then there's me staring at the emergency handle, wondering to myself, what if I pull it and it won't even work?
The regime of terror, intimidation and emergency that colors my reality creates a situation where emergency has lost its currency, it's looking to redefine itself, and thus me, looking to redefine it too. On one hand I need it, because it's all I know, but on the other hand because it's so known and familiar to me, I find it, and whatever it symbolize both curious and alluring at the same time. My freedom. It has well and truly taught me to create intellectual disruptions and new speculations, to reveal new, not-yet-seen opportunities, no to hurt but to examine and enquire.
An emergency with no emergency
There are a lot of structures that are inherited in our daily aesthetics, we take them for granted.
their presence tells us a story that might not happen ever, they remind us the possibilities that once happened or anticipated to happen by the government.
It All started with this project - sirens
1 / The actual tower of the speakers. There are thousand of forms to this terrifying and beautiful thing. its main point is to spread the word in time of emergency by playing the conventional 1 minutes siren. there are no other use for this pole. no one will ever talk from these speakers, no one will put music, its only for the civil defence siren. the fact that it is always there is like a treasure hunt. no one actually know where they are, but when you find one - its like you can imagine better from where the sound come when its heard.
2 / lights of emergency vehicles
If we will take a police car as an example. There are 6 lights that has to be on the car in different places, each light has a different role in the entire structure, each light has a different name and appearance from flares to flickering and etc..
I love the structure of these elements, a long bar of different components, maybe by manipulating some elements and repositioning them in the public space or put them in a more "artsy" space, there can be a new message. maybe creating a light sculpture.
An inspiration that came across my mind was the artist Dan Flavin
and the work of Keith Sonniar:
A structure that combine multiple aesthetics and materials
The combination of concrete and light.
Laddie John Dill.
that made me thing about building a little "reality" of an unknown place. a place that there have an emergency without an emergency.
Elmgreen & Dragset, PRADA MARFA:
The architecture of Agression
Heavy massive Concrete structures are also part of that aesthetic.
Danny Karavan, "andartat hanegev"
Just like this sign, maybe a question that can be asked in this project is: what is the minimum needed to create a state of security in an emergency situation. what are the very basic things in emergency, what create an emergency
brick / concrete - shelter
speaker - get messages out
Timer - to know how much time passed
lights? one light? red and blue light? - maybe just red light