A camera obscura is a device through which a building, structure, or any kind of inhabitable container can be used to generate and hold an image of its surrounding environment. A simple aperture replicates the eye to project the world upon the contours of a darkened interior. Without a mirror, or brain, the image appears inverted -- phantasmagoric, yet sensible, familiar. A collision of housings, the places we dwell, but more precisely pertaining to the places where we house our lives, spaces of affiliation, safety and trust. Here, a concept of housing develops beyond the places where we rest our heads at night; it points to a sentiment of belonging, to spaces where we feel welcomed and nurtured. Inside the camera obscura, housing becomes an optical receptacle for the public. With the same glance, the public appears as a persistent aspect of housing. The lights come on, the beautiful CCTV ends, though the world outside continues to churn exterior to this private space. Certainly it remains on those blank walls, too? A reminder for the mind, for the body, that we are a part of what takes place in our adjacent spaces, inside and out. In essence, the camera obscura prompts us to feel we are connected to these expanded realms of dwelling -- though they may be out of sight, these spaces remain linked to the assuredness of our own enclosures and walking patterns. The apparatus proposes a communal responsibility to an idea of public housing, as aspiration for the ‘public’ and ‘housing’ to exist, to hold weight, as one in the same. Does this occur, and if so, where? What can we cultivate when we live according to the currents of our needs as a collective organism, as a cooperative amidst porous architectures?
Em Joseph, 'A View for domesti.city', 2018