During the month of October, contemporary art centre Flux Factory presents ‘Utopia School’, which consists of exhibitions, lectures, performances and online debates. Dutch artist Maureen Bachaus‘s interactive art project ‘Utopia Project’ is included in the program. The Utopia Project revolves around the question: what does a utopian society looks like? Is it an impossible reality? A daydream? An achievable reality? Or a matter of personal perception?
Maureen Bachaus is a member of the multicultural art collective ‘Either/or..or..or‘. This art collective consists of 5 artists from different countries, and will take part in the Utopia School in New York with various art projects, lectures a.o. initiatives, including this interactive art-video project.
Within her work, Maureen Bachaus often enlightens social themes through personal perspective. For this project she decided to let go of the countless pre- existing theories and decided to explore whether or not it is possible to build a new and virtual Utopia. A focal point of the work is based on the personal perception of people from different cultures with different backgrounds. This new Utopia currently has two pillars: A reconstructed visual environment and a number of crucial life lessons.
The title of the first part of the Utopia Project is ‘Life lessons’, a relay ride video-project. This video project is part of the ‘one-question’ video series, consisting of short interviews in which people from different backgrounds and cultures respond to the same question. In this case: what is your most important life lesson? Say you could carry a life lesson to a totally new and blank world, what would it be? The interviews will be published on this website.
The project is an international ‘relay ride’ project. The artist is the medium who passes the message through and who launches the idea in different countries and cultures. The interviewee gives the project to another (yet unknown) person.
The title of the second part of the Utopia Project is ‘Perception’, an interactive video-project.
Ever heard of the ‘disruption’-theory? This theory assumes that you can come to completely new ideas if you approach a subject in a totally different way: upside down, as it were. For this video project you are asked to respond to the following: film a subject with your mobile phone for 15 seconds capturing something in your environment that you sincerely find ugly: like an ugly building. Or something you feel socially or politically should be different and changed: for example a homeless person sleeping in the park, or a truck full of pigs on its way to the slaughter. However, it can also be a social phenomenon that you dislike, something like unisex clothing.
The videos will be literally turned upside down and combined with other videos. By looking at a subject upside down, new insights and ideas can arise, as well as a possibility to deal with a problem or issue from a totally different angle. The combined video’s will form a new, symbolic world that is focused on an open way of thinking about Utopian and non-utopian aspects of life. The videos will be broadcasted via this website.
This video project is a ‘sharing’ project: the idea should be passed through unlimitedly, the participants eventually create the actual artwork. The artist is merely the person who passes the message through and who launches the idea in different countries and cultures.