Flight Mode questioned the effects of the departure of solitude from our schedules. It presented two lo-fi spaces, minimal environments to snap us out of our intricate web of connections. Vying for intention and not merely attention, this project sought to generate engagement for a seemingly unproductive end: unplugging and reveling in the solitary experience. 

The audience was invited to wander inside two shipping containers by Toronto’s waterfront. The format of a shipping container, often used at pop-up events, was chosen for its ability to define zones of heightened attention. At commercial events, containers entice audiences to interact with brands in person, as a way to circumvent fatigue for online or print-based marketing. In the context of Flight Mode, the containers sit on a post-industrial site as a prompt to reintegrate solitude into our lives and reclaim much-needed mental space. 

Each container housed an artwork that elaborated on an aspect of solitude.

Ecolocation, by Hagop Ohannessian, suggested that solitude leads to an integrated understanding of nature while considering our fractured relationship with it at present. He presented the multi-sensorial perspective of whales – intelligent beings that play a vital role in marine ecosystems, who are forced to navigate a habitat strewn with plastic pollution and by-products of the global shipping industry. By creating a contemplative environment, he generated empathy for their threatened existence and further, made a sobering connection between the state of our marine ecosystems and that of our own habitat. Both fragile and yet, neglected.

Lily Jeon explored the interplay between solitude and self in Antiprism, by providing a visible interface for movement based-meditation. She commented on the sensory overload caused by constant connectivity and suggested that being bombarded by stimulation paralyzes our minds, making them go blank. She explored how mindfulness helps us recognize ourselves by slowing down, developing patience, and fostering deeply personal experiences.

Their propositions were incomplete experimental actions, awaiting visitors who were willing to rediscover the value of being by themselves.

Click here to visit the Flight Mode website. The accompanying publication is available through this link.

Dates and Location:
21 September – 8 October, 2018. 
333 Lakeshore Boulevard East, Waterfront Toronto, Canada

Supported by:
SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre)
Ontario Arts Council
Waterfront Toronto

Exhibition Credits:
Curator: Prachi Khandekar
Installation Artists: Hagop Ohannessian and Lily Jeon
Graphic Designers: Heather Lynn and Billyclub
Photographers: Rémi Carrerio and Vincent Castonguay
Printing: BookArt 
Site provided by Waterfront Toronto
Programming Space provided by Sidewalk Labs Toronto