Hurricanes, school shootings, divisive politics, anger, illness… how does anyone navigate, let alone survive in our society now? How can we fix these things? How can we cope in a world were yelling is more important than listening? Is there a phone app to heal a broken heart?
'147 Devices for Integrated Principles' is
a community conversation,
a participatory ritual,
a collaborative journey,
a fluid meditation, it is an attempt to respond.
'147 Devices for Integrated Principles' unpacks our relationship to everyday objects and how we use them to ease the suffering and pain in our lives. From phone apps that let you talk a million people, to robots in your home that respond to your every word, we are still lonely, disconnected and unhappy, hoping that there is some device out there that will solve all our problems.
Pulling from the literary concept of Homo Faber that human beings are able to control their fate and their environment through tools, ‘147 Devices for Integrated Principles’ is a work that examines how a family of four animates everyday objects in a desperate and perhaps futile way to connect to each other. Instead of devices we normally run to for protection or defense or anger, they create devices such as A Device for a Broken Heart, or A Device for Growing Old, A Device for Understanding A Teenager, and A Device for Saying Goodbye. Plastic bags, tape, twine, aluminum foil, and other basic materials become usable, Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions and relatable “devices” for transformation.
The artistic team of Hillerbrand+Magsamen is the collaboration of Stephan Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen. Together they create sculpture, installation, performance, video and photographic works they call “Suburban Fluxus”. Often including their two children, Madeleine and Emmett in their work, the family critiques and playfully scrutinizes contemporary suburban life.
Hillerbrand+Magsamen have presented their videos in international film and media festivals including Houston Cinema Arts Festival, London SciFi Film Festival, WAND V Stuttgarter Filmwinter, New York Underground Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Boston Underground Film Festival and MonkeyTown. Their cinematic based installations have been exhibited at the Everson Museum (Syracuse, NY), Center for Photography Woodstock (Woodstock, NY), Diffusion Photography Festival (Wales, UK) and Houston Center for Photography (Houston, TX).
They have received grants from Sustainable Arts Foundation, Austin Film Society, Experimental Television Center, Ohio Arts Council, Houston Arts Alliance and Houston Center for Photography. Their project HIGHER GROUND was a commission from the Houston Airport System and received 1st prize from juror Richard Linklater in the CineSpace program at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival.
Hillerbrand+Magsamen have participated in residency programs including: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York, NY), Experimental Television Center (Owego, NY), Elsewhere (Greensboro, NC), Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM). Stephan Hillerbrand is a recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships (Germany) and MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH) residency.
Mary and Stephan live and work in Houston with their two children, Madeleine and Emmett.