Humans since 1982 ()
Stockholm-based studio Humans since 1982 was established in 2009 by Bastian Bischoff (b. 1982, Germany) and Per Emanuelsson (b. 1982, Sweden) who met as postgraduate students at HDK Gothenburg in 2008.
With a diverse and complex practice that traverses art, design, and technology, Humans since 1982 defy easy categorisation. Their provocative sculptures and experiential installations are driven by a shared curiosity and desire to make sense of the world. The studio is co-owned with engineer David Cox (b. 1983, Australia) and comprises a growing multidisciplinary team of international specialists. Imagined, engineered, and created within a warehouse studio in an industrial part of Stockholm, Sweden, everything that leaves the Humans since 1982 studio door is hand-assembled on-site by the studio team.
Their most recognised projects A Million Times and ClockClock are kinetic sculptures that subvert clocks by presenting them as art objects, unleashed from a solely pragmatic existence while continuing to report accurate time. Multiple analogue clock faces are programmed through the studio’s custom combination of bespoke hardware and software resulting in precise cyclical and cumulative patterns, before falling into place once each minute to tell the accurate time in a digital format. The programmed choreographies are inspired by and draw upon natural, artistic, and mathematical pattern formations to create an artwork that is in a constant state of change.
“We experimented with animated typography and developed a font that was based on a grid of clocks, whereby we made the clock-hands stop in certain positions in order to create letters and digits. Once the clock hands rotated again the characters would fall apart. Using clocks to show this circle of formation and decline was intriguing and after some experimentation, it proved to be beautiful too. Even though the movement of each clock hand is very restricted and simple – as it can just rotate around the ever-same centre – when programmed to move simultaneously with the other clock-hands, referring to each other in time and space, it created something with emergent properties: the whole was more than just the sum of its parts.”
A practice both pragmatically mechanical and mischievous Humans since 1982’s work is technical, intricate, yet immediately accessible. Signatures within their wider practice include the elevation and subversion of everyday objects including smartphones (Collection of Motion), children's toys (Rocking Church), and surveillance equipment (Surveillance Light), permeated with visual puns and the pursuit of obtaining the unobtainable. With equal parts playfulness and meticulous process, industrially produced objects become visually engaging and technically challenging artworks.
Humans since 1982’s actively seek to cross the boundaries of creative practices through collaboration across art forms. In their evolving collaboration with Steinway & Sons piano makers the studio is developing an immersive live music performance ‘Celebrating Time’ with Swedish pianist Mathias Algotsson. In 2023, the studio explored the borders and implications of ownership and collecting in our collaboration Humans since 1982 x Paul Milinski. Their work has also taken centre stage for contemporary dance performance through collaboration with Cristina Caprioli/ccap Rocking Church and Pending Sky. In 2021 the studio was one of six artists selected to create a new edition for the IKEA Art Event, releasing two limited edition artworks Collection of Drones.
Humans since 1982 are exhibited worldwide at leading galleries, fairs, and institutions including Somerset House (UK), National Museum of China (CN), Saatchi Gallery (UK), Art Wuzhen (CN), Art Miami (US), Verbeke Foundation (BE), Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (US), Luxembourg Biennale (LU), Phillips de Pury & Company (US), San Francisco Museum of Art & Design (US), Design Miami/Basel (CH). They have been commissioned for major public commissions by Moncler, Milan (IT), City of San Jose, (USA), Audi at Design Miami (USA) and Changi Airport (SG).