The Bubble Version 1

Bubble 1, Susan Merrick, Inside/Outside Symposium Nov 2019

At the symposium on Saturday I let myself begin.

I mean this in the most basic sense. I have been busy with so much else that I haven’t been able to allow myself time to fully ‘begin’ to think about this project yet. That starts now.

I had wanted to try out an idea that came to me during the reading of Laurences suggested text, ‘hydro-feminism’. I wanted to enclose myself in an echo-chamber of my own making, to consider what it is about those spaces that we are drawn to? Do they have uses? What can we do to disrupt them?

I did order a ‘zorb’ football to use as an inflatable bubble but it didn’t arrive (it was actually lost!), so I created version 1 of the bubble using bubble-wrap.

At lunch-time, after the morning session where we had started to look at some of the films and get into the initial discussion of dissent, and acts of rebellion, I encased myself in the bubble. I sat in the canteen with a box of materials next to me and a sign inviting passers by to ‘disrupt’ my echo-chamber. Initially Maija began by scratching the surface of the bubble, blowing on and around it and peering in. I hadn’t expected to feel so anxious initially. There was a sense of the space being invaded, and that I wasn’t enclosed enough.

However, that soon went, I think because I began a conversation on scraps of paper with another audience member. This person engaged with me and I decided to engage back, but slowly and through posting scraps of paper through the small gap at the top of the bubble.

I considered within the bubble the idea of safety, and that perhaps we need to feel safe or confident when we wish to dissent. When we feel this way the actions and conversations we have, regardless of content and points of view feel more possible perhaps?

In the bubble I also thought about rules. Rules of engagement and normal interaction. I felt it necessary to respond to the audience. I had been asking them to disrupt me, to disregard normal social rules. I myself was sat in a bubble, a very visible and literal barrier to normal social rules, but when the audience engaged with me, I felt compelled to respond in the ‘correct’ way. By replying.

3 comments on “The Bubble Version 1”

  1. just like this blog, we interact, we respond.. The Internet, Social media allows us to communicate faceless in our own bubbles, here in safety we are in an alternate reality, free to act out, society unleashes a self that is normally restrained by social norms, the inside and outside are merging to become a different animal, this bubble is dangerous.

    1. It is dangerous.
      Although if it is freeing us to dissent does it also act as an instigator of change?
      A bubble of change?
      Or do we only ‘think’ we have made changes because we have the assurance of our fellow humans in the bubble, affirming our actions, thoughts and behaviours of dissent….?

      1. Awareness (bringing attention to something) is a facilitator of change. I think these practices and experiments increase awareness.

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