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Experiments in Happiness (2016)

This one time, I took over an empty building in central Newcastle…

Experiments in Happiness

Experiments in Happiness was a project stemming from my fascination with society's obsession with happiness, wellbeing and all things relating to mood.

It took place in an empty 3 storey building in the centre of Newcastle. An initial wide-ranging research period was undertaken, which included interviews with academic specialists from Psychology, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Philosophy & History from Newcastle & London, to help me get my bearings on the topic and ground some of the work I would create in sound research.

Halfway into my R&D, with the help of The Empty Space (Newcastle) I met seven local artists with varied interests and an enthusiasm for Live Art. We spent a day together exploring the building and getting to know each others’ practices. Four of these artists went on to collaborate with me for the final event: Zoe Murtagh, Lizzie J Klotz, Rosa Postlethwaite and Maria Abbott.

I also collaborated with Northumbria University MA Architecture students to transform the first floor into a playful, social bar/cafe area including playful ways to collect feedback from the audience.

We inhabited the empty townhouse for 31 days, transforming the space from a series of old offices into an experimental art space.

The results of this R&D were shared with the public as a free drop-in event on 19th & 20th May 2016.  Saturday evening was part of The Late Shows.

The process of making this body of original work and collaborating with a new artistic community was a total experiment that resulted in 590 attendees and 15 new artistic pieces.

PHOTOS & VIDEO BY VON FOX PROMOTIONS WITH ADDITIONS FROM SEBASTIAN MESSER. MARKETING IMAGE MADE WITH REBECCA PITT