Under the guise of a fictional company, I have created inflatable devices called Clusterings, “the latest in connectional technology”, which literally connect people, in groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. Clusterings is absurd, utopian, slightly off — an invention that solves no immediate need. I was inspired, to some extent, by the Japanese tradition of Chindogu, the art of the “un-useless object”.

The product line also includes optional accessories such as water bottle holders, ashtrays, iPod docks–extending the utility of the devices. Typically, the project is presented in a tradeshow format, with cheerful representatives of the Clusterings organization on-hand to demonstrate the product and allow potential “customers” to try out a demonstration model.

A deadpan instructional video functions as a “how-to” for the Clusterings, belaboring the very simple process of using the devices. A second phase in the video shows the devices being used in a variety of everyday situations: playing soccer, running around a track, trying to get on a bus, ordering ice cream, reading newspapers, drinking from a water fountain, etc.

In one interpretation, Clusterings is about connection, communication, negotiation, relationships, the individual in relation to the group. By bringing people together for shared experiences, new possibilities unfold. The project forces a collaborative navigation of local conditions.

More sardonically, Clusterings is also a spoof of commercial offerings–inviting us to reflect on the notion, peddled by consumerist society, that we can achieve happiness and fulfillment through buying the latest, greatest consumer gadgets.

Genresinstallation, participatory, performance, socialYear2007-

Exhibition History

2nd Creativity World Biennale, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Curated by Liana Brazil, November 21-25, 2012

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, Pandemic Gallery, Brooklyn, Curated by FIT Art Market, May 14-30, 2010

Drake Hotel, Toronto, Canada, Curated by Mia Nielsen, April 3-6, 2008

MACO: Mexico Arte Contemporaneo, p|m gallery, Mexico City, Curated by Powell MacDougall, April 25-29, 2007

Listening: Living Art from Japan and San Francisco, December 7-16, 2006 and January 17-27, 2007, The Lab, San Francisco

Conflux Festival, McCaig-Welles Gallery, Brooklyn, Curated by Christina Ray, September 16, 2006

Listening: Tokyo-SF, Green Culture Zone, Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, July 29-Aug 5 2006