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the kitchen 3.0
digital media and information studies

Liza Lou’s Kitchen (1996) is showcased in the Making Knowing: Craft in Art (2019) exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The installation features a full-scale mock-up of a kitchen covered in colourful beads. Three walls and a floor make up the room, and visitors who look into the open room from the outside notice that the artwork is rich in glittery details. It shows references to American everyday life such as branded cleaning products, cornflake boxes and a traditional pie and embeds feminist critique in ornament or writing that cover household objects such as ovens and cookbooks. Not being able to step into the installation or interact with the single objects hinders visitors from experiencing the artwork entirely. Some details, such as the female figures inside the oven, are only seen from a particular perspective, and missing fine details like those can obscure the artwork’s meaning to the audience. More-detailed photographs taken from perspectives the visitor cannot take are published on the Whitney or artist website but do not offer a comparable experience to the physical objects.

By publishing 3D Models online, artworks are accessible to a broader audience. Visitors could interact with art that is too fragile to be touched or even stepped through 3D representations. The model for Liza Lou’s Kitchen explores how 3D models can support this goal and enhance the experience of art.