Happening in and around the white cube this week…

Changing the way we interact with each other, technology, and the way we make art

Hello, and welcome to the white cube, online version. Should this be a podcast? Maybe.

Over time, I’ve gone through waves of whether or not I wanted the white cube to be capitalised and this is it, finally: no caps. It will just be in italics, that way you know I am referring to this column and not to an actual white cube. Moving on.

I have spent more time than ever on my computer this week. It’s truly astonishing. I’ve used it for everything. Working, writing, countless emails, bingeing Tiger King, and of course, becoming a ~digital artist~. So, I’ve taught myself how to make gifs using powerpoint and a screen recording Chrome add-on and, since I don’t have photoshop, I’ve been playing around with more Chrome add-ons, like Sumo Paint. My style is painterly, naive and wobbly—oh, how I have grown to love this word over the past two weeks.

I feel wobbly. Picture a jelly bean on its back, rocking back and forth. It can only stay still on its side. It’s unstable, and that’s how I feel. I don’t feel sad or angry, nor do I feel worried or anxious. I know this current situation is out of my control, and I’m riding the waves. I’ve lost my footing and I’m finding it again. I don’t want to talk about the c-word anymore.

Instead, let’s talk about this Instagram account, belonging to Max Siedentopf, a German multidisciplinary visual artist and now apparently, my wobbly dream-come-true.

Look, I had no idea who this guy was when I stumbled upon the account (between falling asleep during Baumgartner Restorations’ Youtube videos,) but I was immediately enthralled by his Home Alone project. As I’m writing this, Siedentopf’s account is home to 50 ways to occupy yourself while you are home during this global crisis, or more nicely put, Global Crisis of Being Stuck at Home: a survival guide. Check it out. You are very welcome.

Siedentopf posts the next day’s challenges on his Instagram story, inviting followers to choose and photograph themselves doing them, for him to share in galleries on his feed the following day.

Home Alone Day 9  (March 27)

  1. Place your bed vertically
  2. Find a way to communicate with aliens
  3. Build your own indoor mountain
  4. Use your mouth to become a human fountain
  5. Sleep in your bathtub for variation
  6. Wear all your jewelry at the same time to stand out

This bit of participatory/interactive performance art almost feels like a meme. Though Siedentopf is initiating the performances, he isn’t actually doing them. His prompts are simple, yet incredibly bizarre, resulting in the uplifting content we didn’t know we needed. Siedentopf’s creative endeavour stands out against the waves of posts tagged with “isolation art club” and “quarantine art club.” There is a surreal pressure on creativity right now. With all this time we have, we’re forced to face a burst of inspiration or stagnancy, telling ourselves we have no excuse to not exercise our artistic practices and creative hobbies.

I can’t help but wonder what the world will be like post-c-word. The way we interact with each other, technology, and the way we make art is changing more and more everyday.

On Animal Crossing, some artists are even throwing together virtual exhibitions. Most recently was Brighton-based artist, Stephanie Unger, who hosted an ultra-creative exhibition on the game, inviting players from around the world to visit.

Can you taste the future isolation-flavoured art world?

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