What drew you to each other’s practice?
We both have an ongoing interest in new technologies, virtual worlds and examples of hyper-capitalism. We previously worked together in 2019 for a duo exhibition in London that focused on the technological impact that humans have on the planet, titled The Big Four, exploring the big four technology companies and their ongoing quest for global domination. Since then we’ve been continuing with our separate practices, waiting for an opportunity to collaborate and work together again on a larger project.
How will you use the 1:1 FUND?
Through the 1:1 FUND we’ll be working together to undertake initial research into digital worldbuilding, exploring the relationship between 2D/3D worlds, the real and the virtual and how differently time is experienced within video game spaces vs the physical world. This research will form the backbone for a future collaborative body of work, and the production of new digital and physical artworks.
Why did you choose the idea you will be working on?
We’ve both worked with(in) video games in our separate practices, and enjoy playing them in our free time, but haven’t previously had the time and space to properly research and develop artworks and ideas surrounding them. As the opportunity had no set outcomes, the 1:1 FUND seemed like a perfect chance to spend time solely focusing on research, valuable time that will inform the creation of future artworks.
What is the one thing you most hope to gain from undertaking this work?
We hope to come away with lots of new ideas for artworks, and a greater perspective on the relationship between the digital and physical, time distortion and what it means to create a fleshed out, realistic virtual world.
Bob Bicknell-Knight is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and writer, working primarily in painting, sculpture, video, installation and digital media. His work is influenced by surveillance capitalism and responds to the hyper consumerism of the internet, exploring ideas surrounding the automation of work, global power structures and technocratic authoritarianism, as well as critically examining contemporary technologies. Within his practice he harnesses different processes and materials to create both physical and digital artworks, including fabric printing, painting, ceramics, readymade objects, bookmaking, 3D printing technologies and tools made readily available by the internet, including game development software. Recently he’s been undergoing a number of projects, from researching how drone technology is slowly re-shaping humanity to depicting tech billionaires as trophy hunters, alongside creating a body of work concerning the multinational technology company, Amazon, and its treatment of its employees within Amazon Fulfilment Centres around the world. He’s interested in our complicit relationship to corporate giants, the sculpting of one’s online identity and dystopian science fiction. Bicknell-Knight is currently producing a research-based body of work surrounding Spot, an autonomous robot dog, used to carry heavy objects and navigate unpredictable terrain. The work takes a museological approach to Spot, looking at the object as if it’s a historical artefact from an unknown past, imagining what the dogs were used for in our present-day.
Rosa-Maria Nuutinen (b. Hämeenlinna, Finland) is a London based artist with a predominantly drawing based practise, concerned by the ideas of our current society’s impact on people and on the environment. Nuutinen considers our society’s connection and disconnection towards ourselves, our bodies, other people and the alternative places to be and exist in response to those. Her work explores the notion of absence and the act of trying to preserve something, resulting in both fictional and dystopian narratives. These existential experiences come across as gooey biotechnological insides and savouring a sauna moment with your old wrinkly grandmother. Concepts such as cyborg bodies and biotechnology are present within the work. Nuutinen is interested by the idea that humans, in order to maintain our excessive life style, have to rely heavily on technology and keep creating complex technological mechanisms, in the hopes of continuing to live and to conserve our environment. Nuutinen is currently undergoing a residency at Oulu-AiR, where she is deepening her project ‘In You I see Myself’. In her project Nuutinen is exploring anime + manga fan cultures through virtual characters and worlds, investigating the relationship the fans have towards their beloved books, tv-shows and characters.