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The Waiting Room

"Waiting Room" is an interactive art installation that invites visitors to meet their future selves and consider the choices they have made in their lives.

“Waiting Room” invites visitors to meet their future selves and consider the choices they have made in their lives. The interactive art installation and performance allows visitors to imagine a world in which time travel exists, and invites them to sit in a waiting room to wait for their future selves to arrive.

The Waiting Room:

While waiting, visitors can write a message to their younger selves, offering advice or guidance on the path they should take. These messages go into a time capsule to be opened at a later date. As part of the performance, visitors receive a receipt that serves as a reminder for their future selves of the time they were present. However, they are also reminded that due to the unpredictable nature of time and circumstance, their future selves may be running late or held up.

The Setting:

The installation aims to create a realistic waiting room environment, using materials such as a blue carpet, two painted walls with a red stripe, five chairs, a table, plants, dead flowers in a vase, a newspaper, a magazine, a clock mounted on the wall, a trash bin, a desk with a chair, a red push button, a receipt machine, a computer, and specialized software.

The Experience of Waiting:

While waiting in this familiar yet unfamiliar setting, visitors may feel the familiar sense of boredom, discomfort, and numbness that often accompanies the act of waiting.

Reflections on Waiting:

“Waiting Room” encourages visitors to consider the role of waiting in their lives and to reflect on the ways in which humans use waiting areas to pass the time and occupy their minds.

The Exhibition:

Through this immersive and thought-provoking installation, visitors are invited to consider their own relationship to waiting and to reflect on the choices and actions that have led them to this point in their lives. “Waiting Room” was exhibited at the Slade School of Fine Art Final Degree Show in 2009, where it received critical acclaim for its exploration of the theme of self and time.

Text printed on the recipt:
Should Time Travel be invented or already exist. I have built this waiting room as a place where you and your future self can choose to meet.

Please keep this receipt as a reminder for your future self of the time your were present, but bear in mind that you might be running late or held up due to circumstances beyond your control.

You know how you can be.
Your are welcome to have a seat and wait for yourself.


Kjartan Abel is a sound designer, music composer, and immersive installation artist, known for his explorations at the intersection of technology and creativity. A seasoned museum nerd, AI enthusiast and tech enthusiast, Kjartan adeptly melds digital innovation with traditional media. His artistry extends to tinkering with Raspberry Pi, crafting unique experiences that resonate in today's tech-driven culture, often exploring the dimensions of space and time. With an MFA in Fine Art Media from The Slade School of Fine Art and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Kingston University, Kjartan’s blog offers a window into his multidisciplinary approach and his journey through the evolving landscape of New Media.

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