Week 8 – LAUNDRY ROOM – Semester 2

CLASS NOTES & MORE:

08.04.2022 – Class Notes

Picture by Arne Svenson

During this workshop, we presented our artist + art project research relating to a concept of our chosing. Mine was “DRAMA”, for which I chose Arne Svenson’s “The Neighbors” – a series of photographs depicting everyday life of people living close to his studio apartment.

While the project’s aim was never creating conflict and drama, the results of Svenson’s neighbors’ privacy breach caused exactly that – a conflict resulting in a court battle.

I found it quite important to use this project as a lesson for us artists – to have more understanding and empathy for others, as well as the importance of consent while depicting others and intruding into their lives – especially if we’re planning to explore their vulnerability publicly.


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’re exploring deeper into Stanisława’s family tree.

09.04.2022 – Research

Article used for this research:

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

A laundry room, also called the utility room, is typically a room used for washing and drying clothes. Typical equipment for such a room consists of a washing machine, an automated dryer, or a place to hang the washed clothes, and often, a laundry tub used for washing delicate clothes. Other equipment may include an ironing board, storage cabinets, and countertops used for folding clothes.

In older houses, the laundry room is typically located on the basement floor, while in more modern homes this room may be found near the kitchen or the bedrooms. Most houses in the UK do not have a laundry room, however, and the washing machine is located either in the kitchen, bathroom, or garage.

In Hungary, communal laundry rooms exist in older apartments and hotels, called mosókonyha (meaning “washing kitchen”).

10.04.2022 – Research + Experimentation (Cont’d)

11.04.2022 – Reflection

What is a laundry room?

This is the hardest part for me to answer, since I never had a utility room in any house I lived or stayed at. Therefore, because I don’t have personal experiences, I will base this reflection on pure assumptions – which may be barebones or idealised.

I wouldn’t initially come to the conclusion, whether the concept of the laundry room has a much different “impact” on me than the concept of the bathroom – both have quite heavy association with water and becoming clean – almost like purification of the self. That’s also the reason, why I chose such similar colors for these rooms. However, upon a more careful reflection, I realised that there is probably more to this room than I could’ve thought of. While showering or bathing might be considered a purification ritual, it’s a change that isn’t as noticeable. It’s one of the daily routine tasks, and is hardly ever treated like something to ponder about. Laundry is quite similar, however I’d argue that it has a more powerful impact. Because we can perceive the difference before and after, we can more easily bid farewell to all of the unwanted feelings, lingering sensations and failures in the shape of dirt that previously soiled our garments.

15.04.2022 – Mini-review (except not really)

I tried to search for an interesting short film about laundry, but unfortunately found nothing that truly spoke to me. So instead, I wanted to tell you about my first experience seeing a laundry room.

The first time I stumbled upon a utility room happened during my childhood, in the bounds of the nostalgic digital space. I was playing “Garfield”, a now-abandonware game where you help the charming orange cat clean up the house before Jon’s arrival. The game has been a source of many pleasant memories from my past, and I deeply enjoyed it. I remember my confusion, when I stumbled upon that room – it seemed like an extention to the kitchen, a duller and grayer counterpart to it. I was puzzled to see this place, so bizarre and unneeded – why just not have the laundry in the bathroom, I asked myself. While the seemingly lacking purpose of this room bothered me as a child, this memory has been locked into my mind for what seems like little reason. Perhaps it was that groundbreaking moment in children’s development, when they realize, that the world is more diverse and different than what they’re used to.

23.04.2022 – Group Experimentation Online Edition

23.04.2022 – Character Design

Danuta Wolska

24.04.2022 – Room Design

A Lifetime To Remember – Chapter 8

Jenny reluctantly followed after Anna and Stanisława into the small laundry room. The size of the room didn’t allow for a comfortable exploration and assessment of it, but Jenny decided to analyse whatever she could get her eyes on in order to get her mind off the conflict.

The first thing that caught her attention were the tiles on the floor and walls – more often than not they were either broken, discolored or, sometimes, absent. The state of the room seemed run-down, with dust freely piling up in a few unused places. Jenny thought it made sense, given the location and purpose of the room. Other than the pitiful state of the tiles and some displaced clothes laying sadly on the floor, Jenny didn’t really notice anything interesting or out of ordinary. Typical laundry equipment filled up the room, so boring and uneventful that even she didn’t feel the need to make a mental note of their existence.

“Hmm. It needs some renovations.” Jenny thought aloud.

“It sure does, but we never really bothered to do anything in that matter, since the room was only used for one thing. My mother on the other hand…. If you could hear the constant nagging and complaining!” Stanisława chuckled. “She always said that the quality of the laundry room reflects in the quality of the clothes you’re washing.”

“There’s some truth to it!” Anna chuckled, which irritated Jenny.

Jenny decided to avoid interacting with her partner at all times, at least not til’ she made her mind on the conflict.

“Laundry in general has a close connection to her in my mind. She is a very clean individual, even now at her ripe age of 85. Maybe that’s why she outlived my husband!” She laughed with a slight hint of bitterness. “Especially the smell of detergent, and the aroma of freshly washed curtains, neatly placed to dry is what brings back memories of her. She used to get angry and convince us to clean it, but now she’s not healthy enough to visit, so it just… lays abandoned.”

“I can promise you; we’ll take great care of it if we decide to make this our home.” Said Anna with a sympathetic look on her face, shifting her glance to Jenny.

Her girlfriend rolled her eyes and left the room without saying a word. Stanisława returned the sympathetic expression right back to Anna.

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