When I arrived at the work the other day I found a bottle of A Psychic Vacuum on my desk. Seriously.
A co-worker of mine lives around the corner from the Essex Street Market, the site of Mike Nelson's installation. She's lived there for 20 years, which meant that she brought more personal history than most to her experience of the project. Wondering for all that time what might be on the other side of those walls, A Psychic Vacuum was almost a relief for her. And yet, what her interaction with the space might have been was deliciously expanded--and maybe even contracted (but in a good way)--by Nelson's distortion of the site. While some things were obscured, others that might have been overlooked received her full attention. Whatever he did, it worked. She loved the installation so much that when she was passing by after it closed and they were cleaning it out, she asked if she could take a little bit of the sand with her as a keepsake. And apparently, as a gift. Sweet.