The Big Brother House is watching you

Andrew Milligan, Edward Hollis

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    The transitory celebrities who compete in Big Brother occupy the arena of their competition agog and open mouthed, for while Big Brother is, apparently, about the contestants, the real star of the reality show is the House in which it takes place. The Big Brother House is a place of mirrors concealing hidden eyes, disembodied voices and multiple voyeurs. Rather than granted refuge in this house, its occupants are exposed in a crazy cottage where Orwell meets vaudeville; and prison cells or luxuriant dens appear overnight installed by mischievous pixies. The BB House is the antithesis of Bachelard’s vertically ordered Oneiric Axis of nightmarish cellar, formal, domestic ‘middle kingdom’, and the dream space of the attic. The Big Brother house is horizontally layered but fabricated, (to build and to lie). The Big Brother House is a model in extremis of what contemporary domestic interior has become. Like a Foucaulvian heterotopia it is an hermetic, apparently complete model of occupancy. Indeed there is no exterior to this house, which is both closed-off and opened-up through live digital streaming, RSS feeds, and text updates. As such the BB House reveals surrealist tendencies: the mirrors are evocative of Magritte; the windows are for the voyeur not external vista; the BB occupants and the TV viewers are passive idle loafers. In this respect, the Big Brother House reflects the spectacular model homes that have adorned expos from the Great to the Ideal Home exhibitions, from Peter and Alison Smithson’s House of the Future (1956) to Archigram’s 1990 Automated House (1967). Like these other models, the BB House is not a ‘real’ home, but is as abstracted as a white card maquette. But the Big Brother House possesses something that these other simulations lack: occupants who are at the same time real and imagined: The Big Brother House is not a fantasy, but an experiment, as empirically valid as any the most Orwellian of rational modernists could desire. Because the design of the house (and the show itself) is iterative and repeated, learning with each iteration from the experiences of the last, it is a continuing experiment in the negotiation between occupancy and constructed space of the most radical kind. This paper explores the emergence and the development of the many Big Brother Houses of the last decade, and the ways in which they have been occupied, in order to discuss issues that affect more general perceptions of the contemporary interior.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOccupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space
    EditorsTerry Meade
    PublisherUniversity of Brighton
    Pagesn/a
    ISBN (Print)9781905593736
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventOccupation Conference - Brighton, United Kingdom
    Duration: 2 Jul 20094 Jul 2009
    http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/research/office-for-spatial-research/news-and-events/occupation

    Conference

    ConferenceOccupation Conference
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityBrighton
    Period2/07/094/07/09
    OtherOccupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space
    Internet address

    Fingerprint

    VIP
    experiment
    correctional institution
    simulation
    lack
    learning
    experience

    Keywords

    • Occupancy
    • Transience
    • Control
    • Virtuality
    • Representation
    • Interiority

    Cite this

    Milligan, A., & Hollis, E. (2011). The Big Brother House is watching you. In T. Meade (Ed.), Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space (pp. n/a). University of Brighton.
    Milligan, Andrew ; Hollis, Edward. / The Big Brother House is watching you. Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space. editor / Terry Meade. University of Brighton, 2011. pp. n/a
    @inbook{a0aefb164eff48bf8b90272d055270b5,
    title = "The Big Brother House is watching you",
    abstract = "The transitory celebrities who compete in Big Brother occupy the arena of their competition agog and open mouthed, for while Big Brother is, apparently, about the contestants, the real star of the reality show is the House in which it takes place. The Big Brother House is a place of mirrors concealing hidden eyes, disembodied voices and multiple voyeurs. Rather than granted refuge in this house, its occupants are exposed in a crazy cottage where Orwell meets vaudeville; and prison cells or luxuriant dens appear overnight installed by mischievous pixies. The BB House is the antithesis of Bachelard’s vertically ordered Oneiric Axis of nightmarish cellar, formal, domestic ‘middle kingdom’, and the dream space of the attic. The Big Brother house is horizontally layered but fabricated, (to build and to lie). The Big Brother House is a model in extremis of what contemporary domestic interior has become. Like a Foucaulvian heterotopia it is an hermetic, apparently complete model of occupancy. Indeed there is no exterior to this house, which is both closed-off and opened-up through live digital streaming, RSS feeds, and text updates. As such the BB House reveals surrealist tendencies: the mirrors are evocative of Magritte; the windows are for the voyeur not external vista; the BB occupants and the TV viewers are passive idle loafers. In this respect, the Big Brother House reflects the spectacular model homes that have adorned expos from the Great to the Ideal Home exhibitions, from Peter and Alison Smithson’s House of the Future (1956) to Archigram’s 1990 Automated House (1967). Like these other models, the BB House is not a ‘real’ home, but is as abstracted as a white card maquette. But the Big Brother House possesses something that these other simulations lack: occupants who are at the same time real and imagined: The Big Brother House is not a fantasy, but an experiment, as empirically valid as any the most Orwellian of rational modernists could desire. Because the design of the house (and the show itself) is iterative and repeated, learning with each iteration from the experiences of the last, it is a continuing experiment in the negotiation between occupancy and constructed space of the most radical kind. This paper explores the emergence and the development of the many Big Brother Houses of the last decade, and the ways in which they have been occupied, in order to discuss issues that affect more general perceptions of the contemporary interior.",
    keywords = "Occupancy, Transience, Control, Virtuality, Representation, Interiority",
    author = "Andrew Milligan and Edward Hollis",
    note = "An abiding concern for designers of interior space is the way that buildings and places are used or occupied. Issues of inhabitation, enclosure and containment are of critical importance in this new century and an understanding of relationships between politics, place and space is indispensable for any sort of practice today. Researchers, practitioners and students in the fields of interiors, art, architecture and spatial design must be open to alternative readings of territory and a range of spatial practices. This publication and DVD is concerned with the motivations, forces, constraints and drives in design for occupation.?? Fred Scott states that {"}The function of buildings in human affairs is more correctly described through patterns or rituals of occupation. Buildings will otherwise resist description in terms of more precise functions; as James Gowan has sometimes commented to me, 'I can eat a sandwich in any size of room'. The intended fit between function and space can be elusive, unfocused, but the image is vivid, which is the reason why the idea of obsolescence is so uncertain with regards to buildings{"} (Fred Scott, 'On Altering Architecture', Routledge, 2008).?Occupation may be benign or may be achieved through the acquisition of territory by force - processes of control of people and places. Occupation may also be a state of mind where daily routines and activity are curtailed, moulded and adapted to a particular environment. Equally, spaces may be composed or formed through processes and layers of inhabitation. The conference theme, 'Occupation' will address the friction and negotiation that exists between built space and Inhabitants.?Occupation Memory and Imagination?: Acts of consciousness or forms of belief that lead to occupation and/or the redrawing of boundaries, occupation and memory, building an occupation through representation or making a claim on imagined space or territory, film and virtual and space.?",
    year = "2011",
    language = "English",
    isbn = "9781905593736",
    pages = "n/a",
    editor = "Terry Meade",
    booktitle = "Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space",
    publisher = "University of Brighton",

    }

    Milligan, A & Hollis, E 2011, The Big Brother House is watching you. in T Meade (ed.), Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space. University of Brighton, pp. n/a, Occupation Conference, Brighton, United Kingdom, 2/07/09.

    The Big Brother House is watching you. / Milligan, Andrew; Hollis, Edward.

    Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space. ed. / Terry Meade. University of Brighton, 2011. p. n/a.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    TY - CHAP

    T1 - The Big Brother House is watching you

    AU - Milligan, Andrew

    AU - Hollis, Edward

    N1 - An abiding concern for designers of interior space is the way that buildings and places are used or occupied. Issues of inhabitation, enclosure and containment are of critical importance in this new century and an understanding of relationships between politics, place and space is indispensable for any sort of practice today. Researchers, practitioners and students in the fields of interiors, art, architecture and spatial design must be open to alternative readings of territory and a range of spatial practices. This publication and DVD is concerned with the motivations, forces, constraints and drives in design for occupation.?? Fred Scott states that "The function of buildings in human affairs is more correctly described through patterns or rituals of occupation. Buildings will otherwise resist description in terms of more precise functions; as James Gowan has sometimes commented to me, 'I can eat a sandwich in any size of room'. The intended fit between function and space can be elusive, unfocused, but the image is vivid, which is the reason why the idea of obsolescence is so uncertain with regards to buildings" (Fred Scott, 'On Altering Architecture', Routledge, 2008).?Occupation may be benign or may be achieved through the acquisition of territory by force - processes of control of people and places. Occupation may also be a state of mind where daily routines and activity are curtailed, moulded and adapted to a particular environment. Equally, spaces may be composed or formed through processes and layers of inhabitation. The conference theme, 'Occupation' will address the friction and negotiation that exists between built space and Inhabitants.?Occupation Memory and Imagination?: Acts of consciousness or forms of belief that lead to occupation and/or the redrawing of boundaries, occupation and memory, building an occupation through representation or making a claim on imagined space or territory, film and virtual and space.?

    PY - 2011

    Y1 - 2011

    N2 - The transitory celebrities who compete in Big Brother occupy the arena of their competition agog and open mouthed, for while Big Brother is, apparently, about the contestants, the real star of the reality show is the House in which it takes place. The Big Brother House is a place of mirrors concealing hidden eyes, disembodied voices and multiple voyeurs. Rather than granted refuge in this house, its occupants are exposed in a crazy cottage where Orwell meets vaudeville; and prison cells or luxuriant dens appear overnight installed by mischievous pixies. The BB House is the antithesis of Bachelard’s vertically ordered Oneiric Axis of nightmarish cellar, formal, domestic ‘middle kingdom’, and the dream space of the attic. The Big Brother house is horizontally layered but fabricated, (to build and to lie). The Big Brother House is a model in extremis of what contemporary domestic interior has become. Like a Foucaulvian heterotopia it is an hermetic, apparently complete model of occupancy. Indeed there is no exterior to this house, which is both closed-off and opened-up through live digital streaming, RSS feeds, and text updates. As such the BB House reveals surrealist tendencies: the mirrors are evocative of Magritte; the windows are for the voyeur not external vista; the BB occupants and the TV viewers are passive idle loafers. In this respect, the Big Brother House reflects the spectacular model homes that have adorned expos from the Great to the Ideal Home exhibitions, from Peter and Alison Smithson’s House of the Future (1956) to Archigram’s 1990 Automated House (1967). Like these other models, the BB House is not a ‘real’ home, but is as abstracted as a white card maquette. But the Big Brother House possesses something that these other simulations lack: occupants who are at the same time real and imagined: The Big Brother House is not a fantasy, but an experiment, as empirically valid as any the most Orwellian of rational modernists could desire. Because the design of the house (and the show itself) is iterative and repeated, learning with each iteration from the experiences of the last, it is a continuing experiment in the negotiation between occupancy and constructed space of the most radical kind. This paper explores the emergence and the development of the many Big Brother Houses of the last decade, and the ways in which they have been occupied, in order to discuss issues that affect more general perceptions of the contemporary interior.

    AB - The transitory celebrities who compete in Big Brother occupy the arena of their competition agog and open mouthed, for while Big Brother is, apparently, about the contestants, the real star of the reality show is the House in which it takes place. The Big Brother House is a place of mirrors concealing hidden eyes, disembodied voices and multiple voyeurs. Rather than granted refuge in this house, its occupants are exposed in a crazy cottage where Orwell meets vaudeville; and prison cells or luxuriant dens appear overnight installed by mischievous pixies. The BB House is the antithesis of Bachelard’s vertically ordered Oneiric Axis of nightmarish cellar, formal, domestic ‘middle kingdom’, and the dream space of the attic. The Big Brother house is horizontally layered but fabricated, (to build and to lie). The Big Brother House is a model in extremis of what contemporary domestic interior has become. Like a Foucaulvian heterotopia it is an hermetic, apparently complete model of occupancy. Indeed there is no exterior to this house, which is both closed-off and opened-up through live digital streaming, RSS feeds, and text updates. As such the BB House reveals surrealist tendencies: the mirrors are evocative of Magritte; the windows are for the voyeur not external vista; the BB occupants and the TV viewers are passive idle loafers. In this respect, the Big Brother House reflects the spectacular model homes that have adorned expos from the Great to the Ideal Home exhibitions, from Peter and Alison Smithson’s House of the Future (1956) to Archigram’s 1990 Automated House (1967). Like these other models, the BB House is not a ‘real’ home, but is as abstracted as a white card maquette. But the Big Brother House possesses something that these other simulations lack: occupants who are at the same time real and imagined: The Big Brother House is not a fantasy, but an experiment, as empirically valid as any the most Orwellian of rational modernists could desire. Because the design of the house (and the show itself) is iterative and repeated, learning with each iteration from the experiences of the last, it is a continuing experiment in the negotiation between occupancy and constructed space of the most radical kind. This paper explores the emergence and the development of the many Big Brother Houses of the last decade, and the ways in which they have been occupied, in order to discuss issues that affect more general perceptions of the contemporary interior.

    KW - Occupancy

    KW - Transience

    KW - Control

    KW - Virtuality

    KW - Representation

    KW - Interiority

    M3 - Chapter

    SN - 9781905593736

    SP - n/a

    BT - Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space

    A2 - Meade, Terry

    PB - University of Brighton

    ER -

    Milligan A, Hollis E. The Big Brother House is watching you. In Meade T, editor, Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space. University of Brighton. 2011. p. n/a