Household collective encourage Human Error in debut at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester

By Ben Miller | 21 February 2011
An image of a black, white and grey drawing of a tall, thin table and chairs in architectural plan style
© Household and Dario Utreras (2011)
Exhibition: Human Error, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, until April 30 2011

Multidisciplinary duo George Wu and Sarah Gottlieb set up their Household collective in 2008 as a kind of swapshop of skills, lending their artistic and technical ingenuity to fellow creative souls.

Their first solo show is less collaborative and more in thrall to pistons and cogs. Highlighting human reliance on robotics and technology, it consists of a series of mechanisms which overcomplicate simple tasks and encourage hapless visitors to make mistakes as they attempt to use them. The rise of the machines, they suggest, is full of flaws.

“The smooth operation of our daily lives relies heavily on the assistance of various machines,” they notice.

“Technology makes our life easy but frustrates us when it lets us down. We easily forget how we managed without these machines before we forget them.”

The flash of photo booths and the whirr of photocopiers echo across a series of large-scale interactive sculptures, requiring at least two audience members to have a crack at running or carrying out tasks with each device.

To give everyone a head start, the playground of presets opens with a week of demonstrations by the artists. Video instructions, manuals and diagrams are also provided to help.
  • Open 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday. Admission free.
  • Watch the video introducing the show:
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