A new art display in New York City has a unique solution for the next time you and your dining companion disagree on whether to eat inside or outdoors. New York-based French artist Shani Ha has created an interactive installation called “Table for Two” that lets two people dine at a table split by the exterior window of a building.
Ha intended the project to be a commentary on social relationships in the digital age, and the window that divides the table serves as both a symbolic representation of our electronic screens as well as a mirror in which we see our own reflections. The description on Ha’s website reads:
When two persons sit at the split table, they can decide to look at each other or chose to look at their own reflection; confronting the fact that we are becoming more and more self-absorbed and sometimes the presence of the other is simply here to validate our own existence.
When sitting alone, the viewer will face an empty table and his reflection in the glass as a reminder to introspection, narcissism or loneliness.
Though the table may be a rich and complex metaphor for social isolation in a hyper-connected world, it might also just be an ideal lunch spot for a couple with different temperature preferences. Bring your own food, though, because all the exhibit offers is a porcelain cup of tea.