Keg de Souza is a Sydney-based artist who works across various mediums including inflatable and temporary architecture, food, performance and mapping to develop collaborative and participatory experiences that explore the politics of space.
Keg de Souza’s art work Living Under the Stars (LUTS) relies on the human body being cocooned in a protective tent structure that is reminiscent of the snug play spaces of childhood. The viewer is invited to lie down and look up at the canopy where a light display on a timed sequence mimics the constellations seen in the Southern hemisphere’s night sky. Keg de Souza trained as an architect and this work reminds us that architecture can be transitory. In this case, it’s deflatable, relocatable and adaptable to different situations and environments. And it collapses together outer and inner space. The space it is ideally designed for is an urban setting where stars aren’t easily visible because of light pollution. LUTS offers a simulated substitute for people who are deprived of the real thing, or for those who find it too dangerous to venture into the great outdoors. We can’t help but think that it’s a version of the night sky that only an overprotective parent or a nanny state would offer, or that only an agoraphobic person would settle for. Protection can be nurturing and protection can be limiting. The participant in LUTS accepts a packaged version of stargazing; sacrificing freedom and expansiveness by choosing cosiness, nearness and containment.
Christine Toussainte Morrow