Seven dancers explore the concept of empathy with everyday objects in a performance surrounding the Urchin, an installation on the Arts Quad. Fugitive Spaces was choreographed by Jumay Chu, a senior lecturer in Performing and Media Arts, as a part of the Cornell Council for the Arts 2016 biennial, titled “Abject/Object Empathies.”
If you walk around the Cornell campus at this time of the year, you might be surprised by what you find. The Cornell Council for the Arts 2016 Biennial has just started around campus and one of the most capturing installations is the urchin. It is an enormous white structure in the middle of the Arts Quad. You can’t really tell what it is until you start getting closer. That’s when you see the spikes.
“Like a real Urchin, you can look at it, but it’s best not to touch it,” said director of the Masters of Architecture Program Prof. Caroline O’Donnell, on her new Arts Quad exhibit. O’Donnell created the exhibit, “Urchin (Impossible Circus), with the help of Christopher Morse ’17 and John Lai ’17 as a part of the Cornell Council of the Arts’ 2016 Biennial celebration. The exhibit — installed on the arts quad this past weekend — attempts to transform 500 plastic lawn chairs into a living organism. “The idea is that when you see it from afar, it seems like a designed object,” O’Donnell said. “As you get closer, at some point you realize that it’s just a plastic chair that you’ve already sat in 100 times.