Exoterika consits of:
Tina Becker, Denis Bulut, Lisa Ertel, Desiree Heiss, Ines Kaag, Pia Matthes, Marlene Oeken, Philipp Scholz, Martha Schwindling
For one week in September 2014, on the grounds of Domaine de Boisbuchet, nine individuals participated in a workshop lead by BLESS designers Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag, using these conditions to deepen individual sensory experience and to open to collective creative interaction. The group was prompted by an idea of modularity, through which surfaced ideas regarding adaptability and flexibility, in support of human needs. Working methods were shaped by five principles: consensual setting, awakening interruptions, active monotony, sudden insight or unexpected enthusiasm, and reassuring accomplishment.
Exoterika are souvenirs of this deeply embodied and personal participation; they translate the subtle internal workshop experience to practical, available, and obvious situations. Exoterika are agents for parallel experiences, for other participants, in other settings, to readjust their own relationships of routine and wonder.
For an exhibition during the Salone del Mobile in Milan in spring 2015, Exoterika took the material form of wine glasses that were altered to insert “awakening interruption” into the habitual social situation of a reception. Talking and drinking, holding a wine glass is usually a small and unexamined gesture—fingers to stem or palm around globe. When holding the Exoterika glass, negotiating taking a sip of wine becomes a focused, performative, unexpected behavior and spills over into heighted awareness for both the drinker and those watching. Small talk is punctuated with large gestures.
The five Exoterika wine glasses require adjustments of posture, both in the physical and in the attitudinal sense. Boirebuchet amplifies gesture through double-fisted drinking. Chaincheers, an accessory worn around the neck, lends an air of officiating. Stoner exerts a grounding gravitational force even as the wine attempts to levitate the mood. Openinghiker plots an arc of social exchange, keeps drinking at arm’s length, and challenges equilibrium. Youcansaythatagain redirects the façade of social intimacy by cycling “private” conversations to public, more rapidly than the gossip ever did.
Exoterika are not prescriptive or conclusive, but rather lean into spaces beyond the workshop. They remind us that the extraordinary is close at/in hand.