British Council Creative Economy

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Blurring the Lines

An exhibition about culture in flux, told through sixteen stories of people reinventing creative exploration and participation. Discover a navigation scheme for the Russian state library, drone shadow handbooks, hacked musical instruments and a heartfelt letter to Scotland...

(c)Play Nicely/Beto Figueriroa

Growing urban populations, rapid advancements in technology and access to resources are causing tectonic shifts in the way we live and communicate. They are changing the way we experience culture.

The Blurring the Lines exhibition presents sixteen people who are navigating these changes and opening up ideas, communities and platforms to reimagine our collective future. It is open from 2 October - 19 December 2014 at the British Council London and produced by Watershed with the Creative Economy team.

From Elena Fortes, whose film festival Ambulante is bringing documentary to unorthodox places, to Ridwan Kamil, the Mayor of Bandung who is reshaping the identity of his Indonesian city through good design; Brazilian musician and artist H.D. Mabuse whose project Aquatic Pathways offers a platform to alleviate congestion in the Brazilian city of Recife by promoting the use of river taxis, and James Bridle, who through his art work, makes visible the invisible. His recent work Drone Shadows of 1:1 outlines of actual aircraft (which anyone can make), a perfect example. He says, “you can do more in the world if you understand better how it works”.

Blurring the Lines also includes a new piece from Yuri Suzuki, a sound artist and designer, whose work blends technological know-how and great ideas with playful, thought-provoking results. This piece was commissioned by onedotzero and Wits University during the first Tshimologong Digital Hub artist in residence programme. For this commission, he worked with local artists Bogosi Sekhukhuni, Neo Mahlasela and technologist Nathan Gates, to hack musical instruments and create quirky, intriguing performances in public space.  This forms part of Connect ZA, the British Council’s 2014-15 UK/South Africa cultural season.

The 16 come from very different contexts but all thrive on new perspectives, draw influence from a global network and take part in collaborative projects with the British Council. Ella Britton's beautiful and thoughtful illustrations provide a playful commentary throughout.

(c) Ella Britton

The exhibition invites visitors to listen to their stories and discover their work and asks each what object inspires them. For Anab Jain it is the Playmobil Security Check Point, an iconic representation of how surveillance has become an intrinsic part of our culture today and so familiar that it is accepted as a toy. 

We were delighted to work with Watershed's Victoria Tillotson, Ian Danby and Katy Beale, who produced the exhibition with curiosity, open spirit and generosity and are grateful to all the other contributors who brought these stories of shifting times to life.

The exhibition is at British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2BN from 02 Oct-19 Dec 2014. Open to the public from 1000-1800 Mon-Fri and 1200-1600 Sat-Sun. Free.