the Lick Thing is about relationship between people, materials, objects, non-people, phenomena. It’s about appreciation of agency of nature and other beings. It is a manifesto of our current approach to creation - the essence of it expressed through force and matter. We ask a question if all the processes we use have to be only an effect of human activity. It is also a reflection on how we position our presence in the environment and how we see other beings as a whole.
The initial inspiration was an attempt to find a solution for a human-wildlife crisis taking place in the mountains due to climate change and the presence of people in wild animals’ habitat. The objects we were designing were supposed to supplement animals with minerals that they lack and at the same time create a situation that inspires the observer to reflect.
The result of the project are objects co-created by people and animals. The material is a composite of minerals supplementing the nutrient deficiency in an initial form of a machine-produced lick. The final objects are formed as a result of material processing by animals and our decisions as curators of this process. By taking man- and machine-made objects created in a fully controlled way and placing them in animals’ surroundings, we subject them to the process of unpredictable change, which results in creating a new form. A perfect cube is transformed into an object that belongs to a realm of nature.
The key element is the exhibition of objects, which aims to trigger reflection on the receivers. Due to the complexity of the context, the forms created are a medium of redefining many concepts - creation, nature, relationships between people and non-people. The observers at first associate the objects with forms and materials that they know based on their experiences, not yet knowing that the objects are a result of human-animal co-creation. After seeing the objects, they can watch movies presenting how the objects were in fact created. The moment of surprise is also a moment of understanding and acknowledging that the assumption that they were created by human hands and tools and materials such as clay or stone is wrong.