I spent some time in 2013 getting to make things, think theoretically and experiment at Brown University and RISD. The projects you see here are some prototypes and nearly-flushed out projects that I completed during that time. Each of these works interrupts and explores the habitual things of life and the unexpected lives of things.
a habit in five movements
Filmed and edited by Cristina Kim and Sarah Brown. RISD/Brown University, 2013
"Our sensations and perceptions, in full and continuous appearances, contain repetitive figures, concealing them. We contain ourselves by concealing the diversity of our rhythms: to ourselves, body and flesh, we are almost objects."---Henri Lefebvre (Rhythmanalysis)
A Habit in Five Movements is an examination of an everyday act. In the course of this short film, we parse out the multiple rhythms and actants of the habit of eating and cooking by constructing the same scene from five distinct but co-constitutive perspectives. Between them we have imposed false boundaries, selecting and isolating layers of instrumentation to expose the unperceived complexity already present in the pulse of everyday life. Each scene thus appears as a self contained, multi-vocal performance. Yet, like a musical movement, it remembers and anticipates the composition as a whole. Even so, the film concludes in bouts of chaos and quiet. Reconstituted into a single event, the segments are largely unrecognizable, much as even the most banal of habits could never be said to be fully represented nor entirely unchanging.
Experimental Map Project. RISD. 2013.
Plate/Space uses dinnerware and sound to create both a physical and an aural map of a single meal's multiple trajectories. The first plate appears like a mundane meal, however as the meal is consumed, the subsequent plates show the many spatial and and affective elements that comprise the meal. As the plates are stacked at the end of the meal, a pressure sensor underneath each plate emits a sound connected to the plate's spatial thematic to create a conceptual soundscape or aural map. The images show a limited prototype of five possible layers or plates that engage with childhood memories to food media gender narratives and global food distribution. In its final form, Plate/Space would fill an entire room with multiple stacks of plates that people could stack and re-stack at will. The resulting experience would be a precarious cacophony that would be simultaneously singular and universal in its mimicry of our current food system.
Experimental Phone App & "Marketing" Video, RISD/Brown University 2013.
We live in a culture of distraction that is at the heart of a neoliberal system predicated upon the notion of productivity. To be alive, to feel alive, today, it seems, means to be/feel productive. Multitasking, which has become (almost) second nature, instantiates this principle.We are increasingly living our lives at turbo-speed. Whizzing through daily life in an endless march towards the future, we have become disengaged from the geographic space, feelings, sights, smells, and sounds of the present. The tempo of everyday habits and movements reflect society’s demand for functionality and prudent goal orientated thinking and being.
The mobile phone, but more specifically “smart phones,” facilitate our temporally structured motivation to make all moments legible as productive events. Rather than notice our surroundings or actively listen to a friend we often find ourselves turning to our phones to stay “productive” and “active” and consequently not really “there.” We largely perceive our smart phones as externalized tools that enable us to both integrate into the rhythms of capitalist time and perpetually reproduce ourselves in recognizable ways. We thus forget that our phones are also sensing actors that have become part of us.
What if your phone could ‘talk’ back to you? What if using its GPS, camera, and sound capacities you phone could randomly interrupt the flow of productive time and distract you from your distraction?
With this aim in mind, we designed the mobile phone application, NowThen. Still in development, this application is for phone users who wants a more spontaneous relationship with their phone as well as a more engaged sense of their spatial place. NowThen surprises and reinvigorates our relationship with our environment, our phones and ourselves. For more information on the features of this application please visit the NowThen website.