Sleeping in a Tiny Place


It's not a pill, it's a capsule. New media and video installation artist Jeff Gompertz of exhibits 'Capsule Hotel' as part of New Hotels for Global Nomads at the Cooper-Hewitt in NYC. The exhibition focuses on the hotel as a design laboratory and fantasy-generator. 'Capsule Hotel' is comprised of three elements: two capsule units direct from Japan hooked up with surveillance gear so you can watch your neighbor in the next capsule; digitally processed security camera footage of a hotel in Osaka; and a field recording of a young woman's memories of her father's time in the capsules. Visitors are encouraged to enter the capsules, where they can experience the feeling of being contained in these shiny ultramodern units for themselves. Security camera footage offers gray images of anonymous businessmen in white robes. The field recording adds a more personal layer -- the woman recalls her own confusion, as she thought the capsules actual pills that her overworked father somehow slept inside. - Margaret Penney