Project 13


Project 13: Night Project

W. Petrov, Pensioner, Kiev.

How can you escape far-far away, to set off on a boundless journey, where everything around you will be new, unexpected, where everything is surrounded by the unfamiliar and interesting, you encounter things which don't have names, their purposes and reason for existing are incomprehensible, where your every step is accompanied by the risk of falling under the feet of a strange being, and at the same time you will be surrounded on all sides by symbols and signs addressing you but in a language that is foreign to you? It is not at all mandatory for such a journey to buy a ticket for a train, plane or boat, or even to leave one's own apartment. When night has fallen, and you remain alone in your room, sit down at your desk, turn out the light, and turn your desk lamp so that it illuminates only one small part of the desk, it can be one of its corners (but this circle of light shouldn't be too wide, not more than 20-25 cm in diameter).* And you will quickly see how suddenly a new mysterious world emerges, which you couldn't have anticipated before. Ordinary things: a note pad, a pen, a ruler, a box of paper clips, an eraser which during the days were lying on your desk, will acquire roles in this magical circle of light that are unexpected and unfamiliar to you. But most of all, you yourself will change. In a strange way and without any particular effort, you will begin to shrink and soon you will become very tiny amidst these enormous, strange and incomprehensible objects. This journey of yours begins at that moment; very slowly, not rushing, you begin to walk around each of them, carefully examining them, concocting all kinds of guesses about the purpose of each of them and about what is written or drawn on them...

* For this purpose, a special cardboard ring can be put on the lamp.



1. Take or build a desk (it's best to take an old wooden one, dark brown with age, a simple wooden table with a long history) 70 x 130 x 72 in size.

2. Buy a glass dome 28-30 cm in diameter and 20 cm high and place it in the upper right corner of the desk.

3. Take a few small objects which can usually be found on a desk: a box of paper-clips, erasers, pens, pencils, an ink bottle, a piece of cookie, a sheet of paper, etc. Place all of this under the dome.

4. Place an electric desk-lamp next to the dome, turn it on and direct the light on the objects under the dome. The lamp should be 75 watts. The lamp should be simple, black, office-like 

5. On the rest of the table, place objects which are usually found there: notepads, pens, paper clips, a telephone book, a water glass, a bottle of glue, etc. Place all of this in the same way, in the same disorder as the items under the dome so that - and this is very important - it gives the impression that the dome covered the corner of the desk and the objects there completely accidentally and not selectively, the objects under it are just like the ones nearby.

6. The circle of light from the lamp should illuminate only what has wound up under the dome, it should coincide almost exactly with the rim of the dome.