March 2 – 6, 2015
About the Project
#TheAffordancesOfFailure is a project developed by DodoLab for the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery’s new Artist in Social Media Residency program. From March 2nd till 6th, DodoLab will take over the Art Gallery’s twitter feed to question, along with students, faculty and staff, the possibilities that exist within failure. Using the hashtag, DodoLab is asking everyone to tweet their thoughts about the affordances of failure and join in this collective exploration of our relationship to the idea of failure.
Affordances are perceived possibilities for action, the qualities of an object that show how it can be used. A button affords pushing and a chair affords sitting or perhaps standing, while brightly colored, bite-sized berries afford eating. Affordances exist in the relationship between an object or environment and an organism, both contributing to the existence of the action possibility. A chair, for example, affords sitting to most human bodies but not to a horse or an insect. In this project, DodoLab stretches the idea of affordance to the condition of failure. While not strictly a material object or environment, DodoLab wonders what possibilities emerge in a state of failure? Could it be that failing opens up new opportunities for action to us? If so, then what limits emerge when we feel unable risk the possibility of failure? And, what barriers do our ideas about failure impose on ourselves or on others? What might we be missing if we never fail?
Tweet ideas to @ulethartgallery using #TheAffordancesOfFailure.
DodoLab is an experimental, ever-evolving and often collaborative creative practice that is focused on developing provocative approaches to working with the public and the nebulous reality of public opinion. Often modeled as a type of performative research, the work explores and responds to the public’s relationship with contemporary issues—meaning that it is never solely an idea in and of itself that is explored, but rather an idea in relation to the public’s (or more accurately a specific public’s) understandings and beliefs about that idea. DodoLab’s work aims to create opportunities and mechanisms for meaningful conversation and exchange in the public sphere, drawing out a multitude of voices—from across cultures, generations, social spheres (and sometimes species)—and the diverse realities they reflect. By soliciting then working with this complex and often contradictory material, together with participants and other audiences, DodoLab aims to explore as well as disrupt social barriers.
DodoLab has created projects across Canada and internationally at public galleries, including Confederation Centre Art Gallery (Charlottetown), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, and Foreman Gallery (Lennoxville); with service organizations, such as Trillium (Sudbury) and the Gosling Foundation (Guelph); municipalities, including Breckland Council (U.K.) and the City of Rijeka (Croatia); and academic groups, including The Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (University of Guelph), and the Centre for Community Based Research (Kitchener). See more at: www.dodolab.ca