Isabella Helms | Ed. Peter Traynor | 19 November 2021
What springs to mind when you think about the ‘domestic space’? Do your thoughts take you to the comforts of home or the place you can be most yourself? For many, the solace of domestic spaces are better found online, where avatars transcend the limits of the human body and the possibilities of our surroundings become limitless. However, the digital world doesn’t always provide spaces that incorporate visions of comfort and inclusivity. In their latest project as part of their Agora residency, Amiss Collective challenge the presumptions of the domestic space in their Mozilla Hub’s exhibition, Honey, I’m Home.
While studying for their masters in Architecture at the Royal College of Art, Raluca Moldoveanu and Alice Prum realised that they had a shared interest in the relationships between corporeal and spatial design. Together as Amiss Collective, they address hard-hitting questions about the gendered style of online spaces and their exclusion of non-normative bodies. Their aim is to foster the glitch of perfection that runs rampant in the digital world and hijack it to promote inclusivity within their projects. Honey, I’m Home is an opportunity to actually interact with this glitch and immerse ourselves in a heightened experience of what technology inflicts upon us every day, mostly without us even realising it.
The space acts as a window to the self. Influences of pop culture, vanity and domesticity encase us in an environment that is familiar and homely. Objects that are gender-specific take the spotlight; the kitchen utensils, the make-up, the bed, all have something to say about how deeply gender roles are ingrained in our environments. So much so that they are creeping into online spaces. These new, shiny environments have the potential to break free from the restraints of historical gender roles, yet consistently fail to do so.
Within this space, Amiss not only highlights the ways that online spaces are reflecting some of the deep misogynist aspects of our physical homes but asks us to imagine an online space in which we can finally break free of these social expectations. Using the work of scholars such as Legacy Russel and her Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto, Raluca and Alice harvest the research of feminist curators and art writers and implement it within their work, giving viewers a chance to see these theories being put into practice within an online space.
Cocooned in the walls of ever-moving social media pages, open web browsers and YouTube clips, we are shown just how much influence the online world has over our daily lives. As we navigate around the space it becomes apparent that the clips reflect the constant exposure that our devices give us to online marketing schemes, all masterfully designed to target our deepest insecurities. Social media clips, shopping lists, music, all of which we are surrounded by daily, are utilised to emphasise the way outside influences can transform our domestic space. There is a focus on the way social media targets women, in particular, sparking an essential conversation on the impact that constantly changed beauty ideals have on the way that we see ourselves.
Amiss Collective’s work provides insightful commentary about our use of online environments, allowing us to experience the contradictory nature of social media platforms and their influence on our lives. Through impacting the way we think about architectural structures in relation to the body, Honey, I’m Home invites us to imagine a future of online and physical spaces which are free of the gendered expectations of society. This perceptive, immersive but most of all hopeful work shows that the issues with inclusivity within our internet spaces are truly being noticed and rectified. New relationships between bodies and machines are forming as technology advances, and although our experiences online are all subjective, this body of work shows how there is a potential for them all to be inclusive.