About

Bubbles

is a group of artists, curators, psychologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists that promotes an interdisciplinary exploration of the nature, diverse expressions, and implications of the phenomena of bubbles, at individual and social level.

The group fosters a long-term yet sustainable collaboration across disciplines and research groups aiming to establish an open and on-going reflection, highlighting the crucial role of contemporary socio-political scenario, technological development, and unique human culture & nature as the building blocks of the bubbles.

Concept

Watch your Bubble!

About borders, multiplicity and extension

How much does your SELF depend on others? To what extent is the bubble surrounding you shaping WHO YOU ARE?

This project is an interdisciplinary art exhibition & conference devoted to the problem of Bubbles and the illusory yet tangible phenomena of self-identity. We intend to merge the borders between philosophy, social psychology, neuroscience, and aesthetics, converging on multiple art disciplines. The project Bubbles explores the building-up of the social and personal identity in a variety of ways: as a constitutive process in living beings, as a process of demarcation and delimitation across groups, and as a blurred and flittering complex phenomenon. Identities and the self, yet historically, culturally and socially determined, can be conceived as unstable, emerging, and constantly changing physically instantiated processes. In virtual space, we blend the features of our identity into an ostensible coherent matter. But what is coherence?

The looking glass self is a mirror of the society, and yet it constitutes society. As the identity assimilates to the bubble, the bubble becomes the identity. Its weakness makes up its power. Although caught up in the anonymity of the bubble, as one among many, the individual self can be the tipping point for the holistic identity to emerge. And yet, it will never be able to break out of this bubble. Bubbles invite an exploration of the ubiquitous, constructed, immeasurable, and fortuitousness nature of identity, uncovering its unconscious/intangible quality. With this project, we discover the dynamic nature of the interplay of social and individual identity, focusing on the transparent and illusory, yet tangible and dividing quality they have.

Bubbles takes inspiration from diverse contemporary social phenomena, derived from digitalization, migration, globalization, truncated transculturization, and hypermodern societies, in which spatial segregation of diverse social groups – living in the same physical space without relating to each other – conform to different and parallel layers or realities and virtualities. Bubbles is also based on recent discussions about social bubbles, namely the isolation and separation of groups according to their preferences, but also across languages, habits, styles, and personalities among others. The bubble metaphor applies to the ever-growing atomization of our societies, where individuals relate less and less with others through enacted “real” interpersonal relations, relying more and more on mediated forms of digital interaction (e.g. social networks). All these play a central role in organizing society as bubbles within bubbles or layers within a system.

Bubbles challenges our most basic assumptions about who we are, our beliefs and how our identity, desires, fears, and hopes are “just” built up from our social and physical context. We intend to highlight how we innocently “hold” to our beliefs and identities as being something definitive and factual.

With Bubbles, we will explore an interdisciplinary and interactive debate on this very process of identity, as social and individual phenomena. The art exhibition will be composed of several artworks, ranging from installations and paintings to video, performance, etc. Talks with artists and experts will present theoretical perspectives and cutting-edge research by leading scientists from diverse disciplines. By means of workshops, screening programs, and dialogues, artists and scientists will invite the viewer to join a collective reflection on the topic.

Core organizational team of the conference:

Luca Settembrino

PhD Student

Vittorio Gallese

Professor of Psychobiology

Simon Guendelman

Medical Psychiatrist

Organizational team of the exhibition: