School of Art, Media, and Technology

Mass Observation 2.0: Research Into the Everyday – exhibition

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***Please note the Opening reception has been changed to 7:30pm on Tuesday, January 26 (It was previously listed as 6:00pm) For more info click here.

Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center

66 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003

Mass Observation 2.0: Research Into the Everyday - exhibition


Part exhibition, part archive, and part platform for workshops, events and talks, Mass Observation 2.0 aims to create a participatory space for research and exchange. It is based on a collaborative transdisciplinary seminar and project by Parsons/The New School’s School of Art, Media and Technology, New York and the  Institute for Art and Art Theory / Intermedia, University of Cologne. The project aims to research everyday life with a theoretical and practical, analytical and investigative, critical and experimental, online and offline approach, and to understand the everyday as a phenomenon that since modernity continuously shapes our perception of the world and increasingly generates altered forms of communication and relatedness under the influence of new technologies. The exhibition features digital material in the form of a collective “dominant image” archive, creating and performing instructions devised by students as methods for defamiliarizing and interrupting habitual responses to the everyday, as well as artistic research projects.

Based on the studies of the historical social research organization Mass Observation, founded in 1937, which was conducted by British anthropologists, artists, social scientists and psychologists to respond to the fact that the everyday life of “common people” was not represented in the media nor in the political system of Great Britain at this time, the goal of this project is to question how everyday life is perceived today, in a globalized world, where the requirements of social media to perform oneself seem ubiquitous, and the demands of technology affects our sensibilities on an everyday level.

Investigative themes featured in the exhibition include: the changing construction and definition of “private” and “public”; “friends” and “strangers”; the ways in which the digital and built environment situates us as subjects; how these environments invisibly promote a passive or active engagement in everyday situations as well as the way recent shifts in technology have affected our relationship to everyday physical objects and materials.

This exhibition and the accompanying program was made possible with the generous support of Parsons/The New School’s School of Art, Media and Technology-based Funds, and the University of Cologne, Fund for Innovation in Teaching. 

Exhibition Contributions by: Sara Gomes Castelo Barbosa, Lena Becker, Brian Cole, Ramona Dirks, Andrew Gunther, Elizabeth Harnarine, Eva Hegge, Victoria Herzog, Matthias Hoeing, Katarina Kloppe, Soomi Lee, Katharina Lingnau, Tim Mayer, Marina Peitzmeier, Patrick Radtke, Vitalina Reisenhauer, Anna Richter, Camie Rüther, Roberta Sabbatini, Julianna Santolucito, Marcos Scheidt Berenhauser, Janne Tüffers, Victoria Walker, Alina Warnecke, Vivian Wei, Duo Xu, Joyce Xu, Linda Xue, Yihan Zhou

Faculty: Selena Kimball and Karina Nimmerfall

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