Slumpies is a series of colourful sculptures by American artist Jillian Mayer, designed to support the human body. “When I was in public, I noticed people with their chins resting against their necks and their eye gaze low towards their phone screens, which was positioned around their sternum level,” Jillian Mayer explains. “These people were all in public doing very social things, yet they needed or preferred to tend to their digital worlds. I wondered if there was a way to create an object allowing participants to use their phone, while simultaneously engaging and disengaging from the environment they were physically present in” says Mayer.
Kunsthal Aarhus exhibits 14 of Jillian Mayer’s Slumpies, placed around Kunsthal Aarhus Sculpture Park. Jillian Mayer herself came to Aarhus and helped to install them. The visitors of Kunsthal Aarhus, as well as passers-by, can interact and experience them independently of Kunsthal Aarhus’ opening hours.
Each sculpture is shaped differently in a variety of sizes, allowing people to find a position that best accommodates their smartphone-fiddling posture, whether one prefer to sit, stand or slouch. “There are no explicit directions for how to approach each piece, but visitors are permitted to interact with the works freely. A funny little dance occurs when a person is trying to figure how best to control their body into a structure that allows interaction”, Mayer describes. Slumpies are likely to have a build-in obsolescence, maybe becoming less useful as technology changes. “In several years we are not going to be holding phones the same way we do currently and Slumpies will just be sculptures”, Mayer points out.
During Roskilde Festival 2018, Slumpies took part of Art Zone of the Festival and from July to October 2018 Slumpies were exhibited at Ofelia Plads in Copenhagen.
Materials: Styrofoam, jesmonite, fibreglass sheets, epoxy resin, acrylic paint, plywood 1