This installation was commissioned as part of a joint project between the city of Umeå, Sweden and the city of Komatsu, Japan. The words koda – koht – kodu – katus of Finno-Ugric origin have arrived in both Swedish and Japanese cultures in the form of the word Koja or 小屋. The word Koja refers to place, home, roof and house. In the modern Swedish context the term is quite broad extending to a variety of anonymously authored small structures or enclosures found in the wilderness. Koja is also used to describe constructions that a child might make out of a cardboard box: a first getaway in their home, the making of a private world of play. Koja also refers to small hunting, fishing huts or small structures in remote places. In respect to the idea of Heterotopia Peter Johnston wrote on Michel Foucault’s 1966-67 radio broadcasts where he described heterotopias as
“Illustrations of the concept refer to various children’s imaginative games, mentioning tents and dens in gardens as well as all the games played on or under the covers of the parents’ bed. The children’s inventive play produces a different space that at the same time mirrors what is around them. The space reflects and contests simultaneously.”
In 1972 Ugo La Pletra presented Counter Design as Postulation at MoMas Italy: the New Domestic Landscape: the Indivisible Koja comes together as a series of contradictions. Kojas by nature are subversive structures; they operate as both a place to escape to and a way of capturing a territory.
The Koja is made from modified gold vinyl sheet that has been adhered to Mylo to form a two-sided reflective metallic material. The sheet is then cut with an expanding camouflage pattern that opens up when hung. Inside the Koja is an Aluminium Chaise Longue that can hold two people lying down. Once inside a sensor activates a mobile phone scrambler producing an invisible blanket that renders the inhabitant invisible from the unseen infrastructures of global satellite telecommunications.