Inspired by Matt Haig’s ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’, the growing popularity in meditative services like Headspace as well as an emerging nostalgia for previous versions of contemporary practices, Do You Mind? is a screening event that explores themes of mindfulness and digital detoxing whilst also bringing to light the analogue vs digital debate. The 1-hour-long programme will consist of a series of short films by female directors who focus on the beauty of nature which will be screened between a meditative introduction and meditative conclusion. To ensure and enhance a truly reflective space, guests will be welcomed with their own personal ‘Mobile Pocket’ which may be used to conceal any technological devices for the duration of the activity.
With the production of Do You Mind? we aim to raise awareness of and deconstruct common habits of the digital age that we are living in and suggest the benefits of reducing, limiting, improving or even terminating time spent online. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequent restrictions and effects on humans across the globe, we seek to in fact appreciate, inhabit and celebrate the pandemic’s urgent opportunity to slow down and to be introduced to or reminded of ways of spending time online simply less or more mindfully and productively.
The programme itself consists of three shorts, Carve Up (2013) by Jenny Brady, Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing (2012) by Helen Petts and Aspect (2004) by Emily Richardson. They will be screened after an introductory guided meditation and will be followed by a closing guided meditation to allow the audience to be taken through an entrancingly introspective journey. Do You Mind? intentionally draws attention to the presence of its screen and exhibits calm, slow works which allow the viewer to see the beauty of the natural world and how it can exist within screen culture. The event encourages audience members to question digital exposure while suggesting accessible, topical and healthy alternative ways to use technology.
With a set duration of just over an hour, this screening event is the perfect opportunity to employ and enjoy a designated, proactive and constructive space where audience members can come together to move away from their personal screens, try out a unique, visually engaging mode of mindfulness, discover incredibly charming archived analogue films on the big screen. This eccentric event hopes to shift people away from the subjectivity of and obsessions with the small screen and place them more objectively and proactively in front of the preceding big screen. We hope the distinctive themes of Do You Mind? will bring together different kinds of people from different backgrounds with different needs, access requirements and interests who all have in common their addiction to the online world.
Richardson’s film is a reflective depiction of nature which has a soothing effect on the viewer. The film is a portrait of a forest throughout one year, condensed by timelapses and other visual effects. The movement of light throughout the film is almost hypnotic in its beauty.
Helen Petts explores German artist Kurt Schwitters’ escape from Nazi Germany to Norway to the Lake District through vast landscape shots, collage, and experimental sounds. The emphasis on textures and rhymical sounds feel deeply and wonderfully pensive which is how we wish our audience to feel during and after our event.
Brady contemplates orchids and humanity in a mesmerising study of how nature reproduces and the concept of hybridisation. The film has a beguiling effect on the viewer which will help them float into the meditation that follows.
The space in which the event in being held is on the ground floor of the building and is comfortably accessible for people in wheelchairs.
Event will be held in the Black Box space seated on the ground, therefore audience members are encouraged to bring their own yoga mats for the meditative screening.