PHOTOS BY VON FOX PROMOTIONS WITH ADDITIONS FROM SEBASTIAN MESSER

 

Experiments in Happiness was a project stemming from the science of 'happiness', society's current obsession with 'wellbeing' and all things relating to mood. Phase one took place in an empty 3 storey building in the centre of Newcastle.

An initial wide ranging research period was undertaken, which included lots of reading in Wellcome Collection and interviews with academic specialists from Psychology, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Philosophy & History from Newcastle & London.

On 25th March, with the help of The Empty Space (Newcastle) I met with 7 local artists with varied interests and enthusiasm for Live Art. We spent a day together exploring the building and getting to know each other's 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 art space. 

The results of the R&D were shared with the public as a free drop in event on 19th & 20th May 2017.  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.