Who are we?
We are an interdisciplinary group of artists and designers that came together to discuss and challenge how balance – as a practice, an idea, an ideal – is integrated into our practices, and how we might learn from each others. In our early sessions, we were fascinated to discover that we shared a fundamental understanding of our work; we all consider our medium a balancing act between accessibility and disruption – we all use our research to invite and to confront our consumers so that the work is interesting yet challenging. Working from this common understanding, we thought about how we might go about making an exhibit for the public.
And then, of course, the pandemic broke out. We retreated further and further into our own little, isolated worlds and quickly our discussions (now over Zoom instead of in-person) turned to how we were going crazy in our flats, how we lacked inspiration from our stagnant surroundings, and how our homes were starting to feel strange. The domestic space had become something of a paradox: a place of simultaneous comfort and confinement, security and boredom, intimacy and alienation. Believing that this experience was common for those of us stuck in the suffocating safety of our homes, our project became about how we might re-examine our surroundings as a means of sparking creativity.
Through practices of defamiliarization and culture-jamming, our work seeks to tell the story our own experiences of trying to unbalance ourselves to find inspiration during the lockdown, and our emanating insanity, and thereby provide the public with insight into what it means to be a working ‘creative’ in the age of COVID. We hope that the public will also be able to use defamiliarization (choosing to see something familiar in a radically different context, thereby enabling previously obscured insight) as a tool for when they feel stuck themselves, to help them bust out their box. (But not literally, of course – stay at home when possible!)