Monday, December 12, 2011

Try This at Home: Musing on a sustainable practice

Object has been working in partnership with the National Institute for Experimental Arts (NIEA), UNSW to present Try This At Home in October 2011. 

 The Project Space was transformed into a cosy yet unusual lounge room inviting audiences to consider the way in which we are each designing the future in our everyday actions.
Artists, designers and collectives including CO2penhagen (Denmark), Haque: Design + Research (UK), Magnificent Revolution Australia, Makeshift (Australia), and the Slow Art Collective (Australia) present examples of adaptive practice, in which existing resource use is redirected for more sustainable outcomes.

Image  Slow Art Collective, Fieldwork, 2011. Photo: courtesy the artists

From 8 October Try This At Home was presented in the Object gallery and through the exhibition’s online presence:

With the help of viewers’ contributions to this site, the exhibition will perform the ways in which the urban contexts of our homes support or hinder our attempts to live sustainably, identifying opportunities for positive changes to the social and structural fabric of our city.

In Natural Fuse by Haque: Design + Research, carbon-sinking plants are networked into an analogy for climate change. Viewers may borrow a Natural Fuse unit comprising a planter box and appliance to use in their own homes. Before they use the appliance, they need to check online to see if there is enough energy in the network. If there is, they may proceed with a clear conscience. If not, they face a choice: do they go ahead anyway and risk another planter box receiving a fatal shot of vinegar?

Image: Haque: Design + Research, Natural Fuse, 2008. Photo: courtesy the artists

Utilising abandoned objects left by local residents for council pick-up, the Slow Art Collective present an installation made from household refuse and document the hidden world of fellow jumble scouts, who collect and repurpose these discarded items.

Viewers earn their television privileges by pedalling Magnificent Revolution Australia’s bike-operated home cinema, to see the story of the world’s first carbon neutral festival CO2penhagen and can later participate in a bike-power workshop.

Makeshift bring a new social practice to Surry Hills and Darlinghurst with 6 Jars, forming a collective that exchanges home-made food. 

Image: making time Tessa Zettel & Karl Khoe, Making Time, 2010
Try This At Home is the first exhibition in the Australian Research Council (ARC) funded five-year Curating  Cities research project, investigating how art and design can effect sustainable urban transformations. Within this research project, the role of Try This At Home is to explore methods of community engagement and participation, with the results to inform future exhibitions.

Try This At Home is an Associated Event of Art & About Sydney 2011, produced by City of Sydney. It is held in conjunction with Curating Cities: Sydney-Copenhagen at Customs House 17-24 November 2011.

Try This at Home website
Object website
National Institute for Experimental Arts (NIEA) website 
Sustainability Stories link

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