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'A Playground for Non-Humans' Exhibition, 2020
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'A Playground for Non-Humans' Exhibition, 2020
Uploaded by Byron Blakeley
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34-36 Bedford Square, London Borough of Camden, London
United Kingdom
'A Playground for Non-Humans' Exhibition, 2020
Photograph of the 'A Playground for Non-Humans' Exhibition, 2nd November, 2020 in Bedford Square. An Exhibition in partnership with Japan House London. Showing Installation by AA Students, Daniel Vladimir and John Hambly. For 'The Playground in the Sewer'

The film 'underground' tells the story of a community that hides away from the
second world war but remains oblivious to its ending. The director, Kusturica,
explores this underground world that operates independently to the one above
and yet remains reliant on it. In the same way this contraption reveals the life
under our feet (or maybe generates its own fictions).
The volume and diversity of non-human life living in mostly-human waste is
surprising and disturbing, from Ferrets and Eels to what we prefer to ignore1
. But
perhaps rodents are a perfectly valid form of non-human inhabitation, after all
vermin have evolved and changed their behaviours to suit city life.2
they're success is more a reflection on our inability to deal with our own waste.
The installation hacks into the manhole on the corner of Bedford square to install
an instrument that detects activity below. It would be a CNC timber frame that
slots together to hold a pulley system; at one end a counterweight and bell - the
movements of which indicates the presence of a creature stepping on the
peddle concealed with a baiting system under the manhole.
The device only suggests life, it is not explicit and leaves us guessing, perhaps
making the bell that little more disconcerting. Our associations to the life below
with the unsavoury and disease is what the contraption forces us to confront. It
would also tell us a little about the intensity of this life as well as its habits and
The installation would be a success if it made us aware, uncomfortable, and
divided our opinions.
AA Life_2020_A_009.JPG
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'A Playground for Non-Humans' Exhibition, 2020