Serious Play - Lessons in Learning/Unlearning: Project 404
Play has traditionally been understood as an activity of childhood; an essential space that allows children to learn to recognize patterns and systems within our cultures. How does the practice of play transform when it is removed from the confines of recreation and applied to the processes of artistic creation? These events embrace forms of childhood play through the use of experimentation, chance, and failure, and grant us momentary freedom from the restrictive rules and limitations that burden us in our everyday lives. BRIC is proud to present a series of public programs in conjunction with Serious Play: Translating Form, Subverting Meaning where play offers us a space to engage in the difficult issues we face in the 21st-century such as the over-saturation of digital content, overlooked forms of accessibility, and the uncomfortable lexicon of systemic oppression that afflicts African American communities.
Smartphones, laptops, tablets, televisions, and the ever-growing forms of wearable technology are all accessible tools that provide us with the sense of play and leisure we seek as modes of escape within the high-stress circumstances of the everyday. With the oversaturation of YouTube videos, Instagram images, Twitter snippets, and Snapchat stories, it is easy to become passive when new content fights for our attention at every moment. Project 404 is a practice in mindfulness that ensures we remain active and creatively engaged, with our environment and ourselves, while using the devices that have become our unconscious appendages.
The practice consists of two phases: a silent phase of fifteen minutes during which the participants look intently together at a single image on our individual devices. The image will be chosen by someone offsite from among the images submitted by the participants in the practice. The subsequent phase is a conversation of between 60 and 90 minutes, during which the participants discuss their experiences of the silent phase (with devices put aside).