I have titled my new art project Conversation Pit in romantic retro–speculation for the 1960s and 70s architectural phenomena of the conversation pit. Romantic because my knowledge of it is predominantly formed through Hollywood-mediated fiction; there was not a whiff of the conversation pit in my own rural New Zealand 70s era childhood. Retro – Speculation because I speculate lines of causality and influence in my retrospective view from the 21st century.
my retro speculation:
Occupying the small durational and psychological hiatus between the radical thinking of the 60s and the TV years of the 80s the conversation pit was a physiological and psychological acknowledgement of the intrigue, intimacy and downright sexiness of the shared activity of thinking and talking together. It was a particularly 60s/70s notion to embed such a space in the home and the fabric of living. The predictably sanitising 80’s response was to take them out again. I question, was such a reversal purely architectural or was it ideological as well; to restore clear demarcation between the realms of the sensual, the sexual and the intellectual?