Back in 5 Squad make immersive installations, sculptures and moving image that imagine possible futures. We take a tongue-in-cheek look at the post-apocalyptic, the nihilistic, the existential and the revolutionary through the lens of popular culture.
Referencing dystopian speculative fiction, 80’s power ballads, video games, 20th century films, alternative post-cash currencies, crowd-funding, folk customs, new technologies and other phenomena, we deconstruct the strange and absurd convergence of, amongst other things; weaponized nostalgia, perpetual retro-mania, biometric and psychometric data harvesting, social media as self-managed surveillance and patriotism as internalised social control.
We take these facets of contemporary society, exaggerate them to their logical capitalist-realist conclusion and then envisage a future built around that imaginary.
In Even After… it was unfettered capitalism, in Higher Scores… it was alternative currencies, Gorge imagined the possibility of immortality through parabiosis, while Game If I… looked at the power of data in a society of surveillance characterised by a culture of participation.
Frequently we use found footage to produce our audio visual collages, embedded within contextualising sculptures and spaces. More recently we have incorporated original written and performed material.
Our model of practice takes a collaborative and inherently experimental approach, embracing the notion that a work is never finished; our works evolve at each iteration and can exist as immersive spaces, standalone sculptures and moving image works.
Recent times have taught us the complexity of dystopian fiction’s dance with disaster. There have been moments when the actions of prevalent cultural forces appear to interpret dystopian fiction as a blue print for future forms of society.
Our fictional worlds produce new narratives that critique present times and the post neoliberal hegemony that shapes them. These absurd dystopian collages function as acts of inoculation against their realisation within society.
Utopia and Dystopia inhabit and encircle each other, binary stars ceaselessly orbiting – the gravitational pull of each caressing and molding the cores and surfaces of the other. Eventually, the stars will collide.
Back in 5 Squad are here for the supernovae, the black holes and the molten hybrids left in their wake.
2018 game if i this rid dull me that. Spit n Sawdust, Cardiff, UK.
2017 Higher Scores. Brighter Futures. Together we are individuals. Data makes us free. Plymouth Contemporary Open, Plymouth UK
Gorge Spike Island, Bristol UK
Higher Scores. Brighter Futures. Together we are individuals. Data makes us free. FIGURE FOUR Baltic 39, Newcastle-upon-Tyne UK
2016 Higher Scores. Brighter Futures. Together we are individuals. Data makes us free. Inland Arts Festival, Redruth, Cornwall UK
Higher Scores. Brighter Futures. Together we are individuals. Data makes us free. Spike Island, Bristol UK
2015 Even After the Complete Collapse of Civilization there will still be Product Placement and Power Ballads Plymouth Arts Centre (for Plymouth Art Weekender), Plymouth UK
Even After the Complete Collapse of Civilization there will still be Product Placement and Power BalladsSpike Island, Bristol UK
2017 House of Questions Keiken Collective, Palace of Culture week 2 Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall. Future Imperfect Plymouth University
2017 IGNiTE Bursary. Spike Island Studio funding award
2016/7 ACE Grants for the Arts, research and development funding.
2016 Spike Island Studio funding award
2018 Weeklong Residency. Spit and Sawdust, Cardiff, UK
2017 IGNiTE Residency in collaboration with AIM Art in Motion, Trinity Community Arts, Bristol