This blog post is part of the Random Sampling Singapore project. The Project aims to sample 100 places on the island of Singapore over a one year period in order to gain an unbiased and holistic view of the city state.
On the 4th July 2021 I went with my friends Kristen and Andrew Hobby to find coordinate #12. It is located between SimLim Tower and the MRT Station Jalan Besar in the middle of an undeveloped area. We couldn’t reach it by a couple of meters, because of a big fence with warning signs in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
As the MRT station is located right next to it, we tried to reach the point underground. We went deep down into the stomach of the blue line and took the train from Jalan Besar to Bencoolen MRT station and back. Singapore has the longest automated metro system in the world. The train of the blue line is operating with 4th grade automation (GoA 4). For the passengers it means that you can view the tunnel through the glass in front of the driverless wagon.
I took videos from the two trips and a couple of videos and photographs from the surroundings.
Kristen Hobby wrote some words to this day:
We live our lives in a tunnel, viewing what is in front of us and occasionally looking in the rearview mirror at the tunnel behind us.
But what pulls us out of our tunnels?
Our nightly dreams take to new and wondrous places, filled with faces that are familiar and ones that are strangers to us and in this we encounter new situations and experiences, seeing life as a larger reality.
Art takes us away from our tunnels, allowing us to imagine other worlds in the colours and shapes before us. What have we never encountered before? What have we never considered?
Pulling us out of our tunnels doesn’t need to be difficult, viewing a grain of sand or a mosquito wing under a microscope tumbles us into new worlds, where items we think we are familiar with are presented to us in new ways.
The setting sun, the scent of a rose, a children’s smile are all magical ways to escape our tunnels. Pictures of our cosmos, filled with giant gas nebulas, planets and stars reminds us we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves and that we ourselves are so much bigger than the bodies we inhabit.
Do you feel like you are living in a tunnel? What is before you? How do you escape tunnel vision? What invites you to see the world anew?
Kristen nailed my thoughts on that day. Tunnel vision- is a rather negativ afflicted term. It’s awful if you can’t see anything left and right anymore. When you feel trapped and it only goes into one direction, on and on. To leave this trap and reach out to people art helps. Connecting with artworks from different people can pull you out of your tunnel and broaden your view and let you connect with others.
But perhaps there are even situations in live where it is good to have a tunnel vision. When I was watching the MRT video many times I felt very focused. To concentrate on one spot where all the lights appearing and expecting something showing up, relaxed me. It was like I could look into my inner soul and hear my heart beating. Nothings was distracting me, nobody else mattered, just me.
If you are forced to reduce your radius and cannot move around as freely as before then it’s best to explore yourself and the areas around you. See your surrounding micro cosmos with the same curiosity as the macrocosmos and a whole universe will open up to you. At the end you will see it is just a miniature of the macro cosmos.
The artwork “tunnel_vision” is zooming into your micro cosmos; Focussing into yourself and finding a new universe.