Margot Sparkes & Guillaume Baeriswyl
Deux pattes bon ! Quatre pattes mieux !
What to do when facing a space that refuses me? Its standards obey a logic which ignores my body, in a world where the dominance of a certain idea of ergonomics strives to fluidify my environment (whether material or digital) in order to facilitate my access (of my share of capital) to products. By forcing myself in the space, I draw pleasure from this friction. First, I explore the situation: things that don’t concern me have happened here. Who are the actors of these events? What forms of life are they? What do the traces of their habits say about them? Then, I question the logic of the space's constitution: how have its architects translated their understanding of needs into construction parameters? The disinterest which the place is showing me gives me agency: speculative imagination. The same speculative attitude is at the core of the method applied by the artists’ duo. How to think a place not made for ourselves? And, if “self” and “place” could be respectively extended to “human” and “world”, how can we de-anthropocenter our idea of the built? A form of failure is inherent to this method. It is of a cognitivo-philosophical nature: the impossibility of stepping outside oneself. We find it here in the design exercise: although the ergonomic logic is not applied to humans, design and ergonomics remain human thinking systems. The application is shifted but the rationale remains. This might be the difference between building for or by a non-human entity. The tragedy of this intrinsic failure can lead to two emotional states. On the one hand, despair: trapped within oneself and exhausted by it, one would develop a formal expression exerting a dystopian cynicism; on the other hand, an acceptance leading to a potential self-derision and, thus, a form of hope. Margot and Guillaume suggest here the second position. By re-injecting the cultural after denying it, by appropriating the sounds of beasts in order to extract from them a pop song, they smile at the impossibility of escaping their failure, and consequently, this failure becomes ours all.