CHOICE 2010 (IT BECOMES BEAUTIFUL)
COMMUNITY BOWL #2
On 6th September 2009 during the local event known as "Birkastans Dag" we opened our workshop at MADE BY: and invited passers-by to help make our Community Bowl #2. MADE BY: provided the material, the hammer and posted simple instructions for those interested in taking part. After 5 hours of continuous hammering 129 people had finished the piece.
What they had done was make a tangible connection to one and other; they had created a community around a physical object.
With CB#2 MADE BY: examines not what makes us individuals but why we find it so imperative. Being "ourselves" seems much easier under the veil of anonymity offered by an Internet community than "in real life". Is this because we all have so much in common? Repeating the project to make CB#3 would produce another unique piece, but this continuation of the process would also dilute result. Similarities become more pronounced as numbers increase and in the end unique pieces become almost indistinguishable from each other.
CB#2 raises a number of issues, questions of ownership and intellectual rights, and their value in a world where almost everything seems to be patented and copyright protected. CB#2 was a MADE BY: brain child but obviously we could not realise Community Bowl #2 if we made it ourselves, ownership of CB#2 is not completely clear as it was made by so many.
This project offered those willing to participate the opportunity to become an anonymous member of a community where the results of their input becomes a metaphor for the community the are a part of.
129 people took us up on our offer. Our solution to the question of ownership was resolved by MADE BY: giving CB#2 back to the community in the form of a donation.
An "interactive" project like this one with an enthusiastic public as it's main component opens and encourages a spontaneous dialogue. It's this dialogue that interests me. I want to know how other people think and look at life, it gives me perspective. When engaged in a common project, camaraderie develops in which social barriers are broken down and the gaol becomes the focus. I like that moment; it's the moment when the object becomes more than just the sum of its components.
There is a very important basic need that goes unfulfilled if we live a life apart from those around about us. I like to feel at home in my neighbourhood and enjoy greeting people I know when I'm out. People are so good at setting up barriers and drawing invisible borders that when a project like the Community Bowl is initiated we automatically expect it to fail, and we enjoy it at a very fundamental level when it doesn't.
Having such an unknown quantity as 129 strangers as a collaborative partner in a project means complete surrender of control. This goes against the grain of the modern crafts ethos where the individual stands as sole creator of her work. As crafts practitioners have striven to be accepted as artists on their own terms and set a path to place the crafts alongside the fine arts, so has the audience for our work decline. I see our project as a counterpoint to this. By inviting our neighbours to take part in the CB#2 project brings us closer to the people around us and can be seen as a step back a time to when craftsmen had a more integrated role in the community.
CB#2 weights 450 grams, is made in 1.2 mm sterling silver sheet, and is now on display as part of the permanent collection of the Swedish National Museum in Stockholm.
The RGB project in Liverpool was MADE BY:s first commissioned piece. Made to be shown at the Bluecoat Gallery as a part of NICE 08 Nordic Culture Festival, a high profile part of Liverpool's Cultural Capital of Europe Event in 2008. The Nordic Culture Festival is an annual event and a vehicle to promote the Scandinavia countries in Northern England; the undercurrent of NICE 08 was the shared Cultural Heritage that exists between Northern England and Scandinavia.
For RGB we took the position that we are all part of our cultural heritage, past present and future, and that we all contribute to it's continual regeneration. We view our history though a modern lens and use this image as a guide into the future. 72 large aluminium bowls were used in this project, the bowl having strong symbolic value and liturgical importance as a metaphor for the community in which we live.
In making RGB we used paint to illustrate our differences, we did not choose random colours we chose Red, Green and Blue which are the primary components of the additive colour system that is the foundation of all screen technology, TV, computer, cell-phone and the Internet speak to us through this system. Red, Green and Blue together have an almost unlimited potential to diversify, from black to white and all the colours in between.
In RGB we throw paint into bowls and in this way we examine chance and control, our community and how we all take part in creating our collective future.
GIVE A LITTLE LOVE
"Give A Little Love" was made for exhibition at Platina, Scandinavia's leading gallery for contemporary jewellery. A long list of artists, designers, architects, taxi drivers, teachers, photographers, children, actors, musicians and other creative people were invited to participate.
Although our piece is small it is an allegory for perhaps the biggest thing of all, Love and its constant need to be nurtured. Some things die quickly if not looked after. They change from something beautiful to something ugly.
Give A Little Love is MADE BY:s first collective project and speaks our mutual need for both giving and receiving, speaking and listening, respect and friendship in our newly formed 3 man group.
As our practice expands, finding it's form, as we learn to work together, trust and respect each others judgement, so we develop MADE BY: into something special. In order to do this we must be prepared to Give a Little Love.
Love Signs at Platina opened on 14th February 2007