Section 32: The Black Room

A house in Boronia transformed to engage the public in what the stand-alone suburban house may be like by the end of this century: an immersive audience experience was created with visual art installations and performance. Conceived by lead Artist: Clare McCracken. November 12 - December 12, 2016.


This project was commissioned by Clare McCracken. Section 32 broached ideas of the city in a state of flux: with climate change, rapid population growth, housing affordability, technological advances, and shifts in the labour market gearing up to permanently change both the look of our city and how we inhabit it. The Black Room was conceived in a collaborative process as a bedroom featuring a map of the future.


This immersive map imagines the interplay between the physical and temporal environments of the future. The audience navigates the blackened bedroom with a UV torch, to reveal and highlight the fluorescent imagery. Historical navigational methods are employed (compass rose, celestial navigation), and GPS navigation locates the house. Devoid of landmarks: the map imagines a time when climate change and population growth have superseded the concept of permanence. 

The gridded imagery with human star formations broaches population density; the individual vs community; the cogs and machinations of community building; and virtuality vs reality. The Milky Way is represented along with the Southern Cross and pointer stars: providing an astronomical perspective. 

A network of letters can be decoded to reveal that everything needed for survival and nourishment iswithin the house, or within walking distance in the local community. It also raises the notion of perspective and choice: in future networked societies how might a virtual existence supplement and complement our everyday lives?


Here/There, Near/Far
Jessie Stanley, 2016.
Installation in a suburban bedroom: paint, UV torches, mattress, linen.

Photographs by Andrew Ferris.