Week 3 – CORRIDOR – Semester 2

CLASS NOTES & MORE:

18.02.2022 – Class Notes

Similarly to last week, this class consisted of a presenttion during which we drew in the background (unsighted drawings), 10 minutes of sighted drawing and lastly, research of a chosen art project that was displayed during the presentation.

Research

The art project that I chose to research was Lee John Philips’ The Shed Project. Followed by the death of Lee’s grandfather, Handel Jones, Lee John Philips decided to document and draw each single object in his late grandfather’s shed. To this day, about 8,500+ objects were drawn, and the total amount of objects in the shed is estimated at around 100,000.

I chose this project because I have recently lost my grandfather as well. I would like to find a way to commemorate him for the fantastic human being, guardian and family member he was, and while I doubt I’d have enough willpower for such a long project, this inspired me to look for ways to preserve my memories about him.


PROJECT:

PROJECT SUMMARY:

My project is a process of creation of a story inspired by research, as well as by my family members and memories. My aim is to educate myself and broaden my horizons – that’s why I decided to collaborate with my friends and colleagues and collect their responses.

These responses collected on my research cards will then be turned into inspiration for my story – the house and character designs, as well as the chapters themselves. Through trial and error, I’m still learning the best ways of creatively challenging my peers, as well as incorporating their feedback into my project.

As it’s my final semester at Aberystwyth University, I decided to come out of my shell and make the process much more external than all of my previous projects.

This week we explore the wonders that a simple corridor can offer – and one particular individual’s descend into a mysterious situation.

15.02.2022 – Research

Articles used for this research:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallway

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corridor

https://backrooms.fandom.com/wiki/Level_0

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/the-backrooms

The corridor or hallway is known as the place that connects to other rooms. They’re typically long and narrow, and don’t usually have an other purpose other than connecting different places.

The first recorded architect who used the concept of a hallway was John Thorpe in 1597.

The corridor is an interesting concept for many artists, as its liminality often lets the mind wander. According to Wikipedia, five films named either “The Corridor” or “Corridor” were made.

A collective creepypasta under the name The Backrooms explores the previously mentioned liminality quite well. The project started off accidentally, after a photo of an unsettling interior was posted on a 4chan board. A 4chan user replied to that picture, founding the grounds of a project that would soon be called The Backrooms. To let you understand the nature of the creepypasta, I’ll post both the photo and the response below.

“If you’re not careful and you noclip out of reality in the wrong areas, you’ll end up in the Backrooms, where it’s nothing but the stink of old moist carpet, the madness of mono-yellow, the endless background noise of fluorescent lights at maximum hum-buzz, and approximately six hundred million square miles of randomly segmented empty rooms to be trapped in
God save you if you hear something wandering around nearby, because it sure as hell has heard you”

What’s so unique and captivating about this project is its community. What started out as a small 4chan thread ended up becoming a huge collective project with hundreds of different Levels, lore and content. Each of the many fanmade Levels has its own idea of liminality, and explores it differently. Corridors are a frequent theme in The Backrooms, and as someone who has been passionately following this project for a while, I’m excited to bring it into my research.

15.02.2022 – Research + Experimentation (Cont’d)

18.02.2022 – Group experimentation

02.03.2022 – My favorite levels of The Backrooms

For this week I decided not to watch a movie and instead, make a list of my favorite levels of The Backrooms! For more information about The Backrooms read the research section above.

Level 5 – “The Hotel”

Main Hall – Photo from The Backrooms Wiki

Level 5 consists of a luxurious-looking hotel complex that seems to spawn infinitely. According to the wiki, it seems to have been constructed around 1930s, while the furniture inside it dates back to 1920.

Other than the Main Hall, this level has two sub-areas: the boiler room and the Beverly Room, or “The Eternal Ballroom”. The Beverly Room is a huge ballroom with sets of doors that lead to other parts of the hotel. At the center sits a small Art Deco table, and the room is well-lit by the chandelier placed above.

Boiler Room – Photo from the Backrooms Wiki

The Boiler Room, according to the wiki, is a series of of large hallways that hold the pipes and valves. It’s a hot and dry place, due to the smoke filling the air. Within the boiler area are three 20-century elevators – the wiki advises to avoid them at all costs. We can only imagine why.

Similarly to the original level that inspired The Backrooms (Level 0), a buzz can be heard while traversing this level’s corridors. Another sound reported on this level is a distant tune of jazz music and party chatter. Apparently, travellers reported incoherent whispers behind them or the sensation of someone tapping their shoulder.

Long stays on this level may result in detriment to one’s sanity – those who went insane in this level report sights of a mysterious beast roaming on the level.

This level is among my favorites because of its aesthetics – I can imagine the climate and dread as I’m traversing its halls all alone, distinct music guiding me and breaking the silence. I’m trying to find its source, but the farther I go the more this mysterious tune dissapears. Truly a unique experience to go through.

Level 17 – “Cargo Ship”

Photo from The Backrooms Wiki

This level consists of the inside halls and corridors of a large cargo ship. The wanderer might find a flooded hallway occasionally, which will transport them to Level 7 if they stay in it for long enough.

While this level is devoid of entities that normally appear in other levels, it has its own unique species – the Imprints, who are physical copies of the wanderers that previously appeared in the level. They’re not known to be dangerous, although it’s noted that looking at an Imprint might cause a great amount of distress.

The reason why I love this level is due to the Imprints – knowing that I’d forever become part of this level after exploring it lets me bond with it better.

05.03.2022 – Experimentation

Character design – Noah Rain

Again, I came up with a character dedicated to a room. As usual, the character is a representation of someone from my family – this time, however, it’s a representation of me. Noah is a rather shy and withdrawn boy, who spends most of his time designing characters and writing short stories. He’s somewhat obsessed with liminal spaces and getting lost during exploration of these. In relation to Mrs. Przybylska, he’s her grandson – her daughter’s only child.

09.03.2022 – Experimentation

Corridor design

A Lifetime To Remember – Chapter 3

The old lady fiercely pushed the sturdy doors leading to the corridor.

“They’re quite old. Need to put a little bit of force to get them open.” She smiled politely and guided Jenny and Anna to follow her to the next room.

Anna went ahead to have a friendly chat with Stanisława by the stairs, meanwhile Jenny decided to inspect the place under her watchful eye. She immediately spotted cobwebs dangling from the ceiling, with tiny spiders resting up on their silky nest. Shuddering, she quickly moved away, barely stopping a shriek. She took a few rushed breaths, and, ignoring the spiders, glanced upon the room once again.

The first thing that caught her attention were the wallpapers – bleak, yellow, aged. In some places sticking out of the wall, but in a rather good condition for their supposed age. The main door was surrounded with a wooden coat hanger and a shoe rack. The plain beige carpet had a few red stains on it. The main area to the entrance felt quite empty, and Jenny thought it’s a shame this space wasn’t used to its fullest.

By the stairs, where Anna and Mrs. Przybylska stood chatting a blue rug with golden accents was laid out. The golden lines seemed to form an asymmetrical shape, slightly resembling a cobweb. Jenny started wondering whether Stanisława was an arachnophile, her face forming a grimace at the mere thought.

“Oh, Jenny! What do you think about the corridor?” Asked Stanisława as the woman approached them.

“There’s a lot of spiders.” Jenny blurted out without thinking. “I’m sorry, can I discuss something with my girlfriend… Alone?”

Stanisława nodded, hiding any signs of sadness caused by the remark.

“Sure, I’ll slice us some cake then.” Said Mrs. Przybylska as she left towards the kitchen door.

Jenny looked towards Anna and sighed.

“Honey, I think it’s not going to work out. Just look around you.” Jenny motioned around the ceiling. “This place is infested with spiders, and if you’re so insistent on buying this house we’ll have to sit through more hours of the old lady’s spiel.”

“If you want to quit out, feel free to go home. I’m staying because I find great potential in this house, and the ‘old lady’ is a very kind and hospitable woman who lives here all alone!” Anna barely refrained herself from shouting. “You would also crave socialization if you lived here all alone for years on end.”

Jenny sighed. She always knew Anna was more empathetic than herself and struggled to see her point of view. In her opinion, the house wasn’t worth buying and Mrs. Stanisława’s hospitality was really getting on her nerves.

“Okay but think about this logically. If we buy this house, that means we must put a lot of money into refurbishing this place. Are you sure it’s not better to just find a property that doesn’t require us to change anything?”

“No, but I grew to like Mrs. Przybylska and I want to see the rest of the house. You can do whatever you want, but I will stay here.”

Jenny sighed.

“I won’t desert you here all alone. I’m just saying it’s a bad idea.”

Anna passed her girlfriend an angry glance, when Stanisława entered through the kitchen door with three plates of cheesecake.

“Oh, that looks delicious!” Replied Anna, eagerly taking the plate with the slice.

“I have more where that came from!” Laughed Stanisława and went towards Jenny to pass her the plate. “It seems like you’re concerned about the spiders. There’s actually not that many – if you choose to buy the house, you’ll be able to get rid of them.”

“But why won’t you?” Jenny promptly replied, in her usual blunt manner.

“I would, but… I just don’t have the heart to kill them. They remind me about Noah, my grandchild. But I won’t bore you with this story, the kitchen is here- “

“Please do tell us!” Said Anna, cutting into the old lady’s sentence. “It’s an interesting connection. Why spiders?”

“Well, this is where he finally overcame his crippling arachnophobia. Words can’t express his fear of them! He would scream upon barely seeing one and wouldn’t enter a room with a spider until the poor thing was killed. He was just like you” She pointed at Jenny. “In the sense that he would always check the ceiling for spiders and had a sharp eye for spotting them.”

“I know something about it.” Anna laughed, looking at Jenny’s embarrassed face. “How did he overcome that fear?”

“It wasn’t that long ago. He was staying over, and I was outside. I think he was calling his friend on his phone, when he saw a spider on the wall. He screamed and wanted to run away, but his friend assured him to try and kill it. He took multiple attempts, getting close and running away simultaneously. When I entered the room, I almost died from laughter!” Stanisława laughed recalling the memory and took a bite of her cheesecake. “In the end, he didn’t harm it, but from being subjected to it for a long time, sort of… grew accustomed to it. I was there with him when he said he overcame his fear. That may seem like such a silly thing… But boy did it make me happy.”

“Aww, that’s a really wholesome story!” Anna cheered. “Where is he now?”

“Oh, he’s studying abroad, so I don’t see him quite often. This place reminds me about him though. Even though it’s such a small corridor, he would often say it’s his favorite part of this house – as if it almost beckoned him to get lost in it if it extended longer.”

Jenny thought for a while.

“Isn’t that what they call a liminal space? I think that’s the charm of corridors. They’re more liminal than any other room, I think.”

“Oh, possibly! I didn’t know this term, but yes, I think you’re right!”

Jenny realized she didn’t take a single bite from her cake yet. To avoid being rude (and getting another stern glare from her partner) she decided to quickly eat it whole. She was surprised with the exquisite taste that melted in her mouth with each bite. After finishing her portion, she realized she was left behind, as the kitchen doors closed after Stanisława.

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