A Girls Learning Code Installation for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2014.

Produced and curated by Kat Barrett.

“Our creativity comes without, not from within. We are not self made. We are dependent on one another, and admitting this to ourselves isn’t an embrace of mediocrity, and derivativeness – it’s a liberation from our misconceptions. And it’s an incentive, to not expect so much from ourselves, and to simply begin.” - Kirby Ferguson

Developed by Girls Learning Code, Envision is a static and thought-provoking installation that showcases a series of physical objects remixed into a space by a group of young and imaginative minds. It pushes the idea that what makes a space is what is inside of it – furthermore presenting that when objects are reborn, a space is reborn. Arranged as a non-linear narrative, the installation aims to reveal how 40 girls between the ages of 8 and 13 interpret a space by means of reinventing objects, not destroying them. How do they find inspiration for creation? How are they are impacted by what they see? How is what they see integrated into what they build? The environment itself immerses visitors to wonder how this process will affect generations ahead, and how remixing will push human progress in art, technology, and society.

In essence, Envision is composed of a six icosahedrons containing smaller objects intertwined within it. The smaller objects are a series 3D prints that were independently designed by young girls at Girls Learning Code. Each object represents something that they would like to see in a space 10 years from now. Whether it’s a plant, chair, or even a time machine, each object is original and remixed into something new, yet familiar, interesting, and functional. The objects are further strategically grouped together by age group as if the creations are living, breathing, and the space was reborn. How the girls designed these objects were based on where they find inspiration. I As visitors approach the small objects and compare them to things that already exist, they are able to explore and appreciate the process behind how youth are creating theses objects, and consequently what it means for the space to accept change.

The inspiration for Envision came from the idea that many of today’s young girls are easily discouraged about creating. While thousands of versions of one thing already exist, many find it difficult to be original and author a project that is not seen as plagiarizing something else. Through Kirby Ferguson’s theory of the remix, Girls Learning Code aims to speak out and say: if it hasn’t been done by you, it hasn’t been done – that everyone should feel confident in creating for the sake of creating. The interconnected “web” of the sphere of this installation further represents that we cannot be creative without each other. We need one another to feel inspired; so to surround ourselves with people is to fuel our curiosity and motivate us to be makers and not just consumers of our society.

Photos by Kat Barrett and Stacie DaPonte

Video by Shilling DeHass and Kat Espiritu