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The Bubble

THE BUBBLE: Safety By Ritual and Design

Meditations on threat, safety and the actions we take to navigate our fears.


The Alice Gallery, November 19 - December 10, 2016

Curated by S. Surface


We often speak of safety as a place that one can arrive, but safety is never static. New threats arise continually, requiring a constant reinvention and renewal of the tools we use to protect ourselves. In this terrifying time, what does safety look like? Are the ritual actions of safety more important than the devices? How do organic bodies evolve for safety in comparison with designed objects? How are we shaped by what we are protecting ourselves against?


Ian Curry explores the design of safety with an ethnographic survey of strategies ranging from the practical to the superstitious. As a designer whose practice has ranged from physical goods to museums, he is interested in how we both shape, and are reciprocally shaped by protective mechanisms and spaces. Coven is a conjoined ring of inflated protective suits. The bodies suggest a group protecting both the space within their circle, and themselves.


Meghan Trainor’s "Protection Circuits" are spells as artwork created in the context of her Digital Witchcraft practice. Some were made in conjunction with her participation in activism against construction of a new police precinct, locally referred to as the Block The Bunker movement. Others were conjured in response to a Mechanical Turk query that Ian Curry generated, asking participants to explain what makes them feel safe.


Micha Cárdenas is an artist/theorist who creates mobile media to reduce violence and increase health. Inspired by the BULLETPROOF shirt designed by Foremost and Damon Turner for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, micha cárdenas, Patrisse Cullors, Edxie Betts and Chris Head are collaborating to develop UNSTOPPABLE, a set of materials and processes for producing DIY bulletproof clothing at low to no cost. Her video documents empirical investigation of the bulletproof attributes of kevlar and rubber, which can be recovered cheaply from discarded cars.