John Sunderland

The curated works of the author & artist

2006 Fells Point Historic District

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND USA

Client: CSRM Baltimore

 Problem:

The Historic Fells Points harbourside district of Baltimore, where hundreds of thousands if not millions of immigrants arrived from Europe in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is a national treasure. The directors of the existing Visitor Centre felt the need for a new and more dynamic presentation of the story of Fells Point.

Project

Create a more dynamic interpretive attraction.

Commission:

Project Designer. JS was commissioned to research, conceive and design a dynamic interpretive format for the presentation of Fells Point stories.

Solution:

‘The Fells Point Time-Bubble’

Having ten years earlier used the Time Bubble device JS invented to present the history of a small village community in Flanders, Belgium, the designer proposed the same method for Fells Point and the concept was accepted.

 The installation is based upon a simple user-friendly device, a hemi-spherical acrylic dome under which original artifacts relating to people and stories are placed. The Time Bubble is the centrepiece in a room set-dressed to suggest an arrivals area on a nineteenth century harbourside. The objects may be selected by pressing switches on a circular collar surrounding the dome. When illuminated after selection the choice triggers a video dramatization of the individual connected to the object; for example, a nineteenth century scalpel, with the doctor who owned and used it. The object appears on a large video screen in the darkened room. This is followed by a title text naming both the object and the person it belonged to. An actor playing the part of the doctor then appears as though in contemporary time to relate his story.

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