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The Couch


Sena Cleave and Debbie Chan

The Couch is a mobile art space that draws on the homemaking practices of carpenter ants to platform the work of emerging artists. Carpenter ants chew faults into human infrastructures to build their own homes, but an infestation alone cannot demolish a building. Instead, the ants uncover the foundations by disturbing surface elements like window sills or baseboards. When The Couch is installed within a gallery, it carves out space for artists that the institution did not invite, thus infesting the gallery. 


Consisting of a couch and a coffee table, The Couch hosts gatherings that merge art and daily life. The Couch 'infests' galleries, living rooms, lobbies, outdoor public spaces, and more—art objects are exhibited on the table and guests are invited to sit on the couch. The furniture is modular so it can be packed and moved to another site, where the next group of exhibiting artists will recontextualize it.

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