Charles Wisseman, Mixed Media Artist



Next layer of the safespace box is about letting go of dualistic black-and-white thinking. There are two doors-- lady on the right, and tiger on the left. This box unlocks from the lady side, but choosing the tiger side activates a mechanism (salvaged from an old CD player) that blocks access to the lady side. To regain entry, black and white blocks need to slide apart to access a gear mechanism behind the brass strip. A slightly difficult manipulation is required to pull back the retaining pin from the lady side, representing the labor needed to open the mind. The black and white columns are connected by a gradient of gray from an old photo I took at the Vietnam wall, a monument to the failure of simplistic thinking. Buddhists believe that these kinds of dualities are an illusion, so I made the partition to the lady side able to fold down to allow direct access to the opening mechanism. The yin-yang slider moves in a ladder of seven blocks, each with a chakra-rainbow color dot. Metal panels on the inner doors have dualistic words on magnets so that the user can choose the appropriate side for each word. Almost February, and I am ready to move beyond a black-and-white world.
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