Edition 2019, TC 2019

Unemployed Bed Bugs

In a 24/7 society, the need for beds has declined. Due to the constant demands of work, humans only spend short intervals sleeping on the go. This new phenomenon has made beds obsolete, and therefore the main working environment of bed bugs is disappearing. In the last 10 years, the unemployment rate of the bed bug population has risen to 82.6%. This level was last seen before the invention of beds.

Where do YOU sleep?


The work was an upscaled version of a bed, through which the audience could walk and experience the durational performance. The immersive installation was divided into seven rooms. Each of which designed in an individual scenery. We included different media such as soundscapes, various scents, visuals, diverse tactile materials, and a range of lighting. Our main focus was the experience of the audience and the goal to provoke a moment of irritation and fascination. 

In relation to the semester topic Bonds & Ties, we raised questions such as: How do we (as a society or individuals) value sleep? How could a possible future of sleep look like? How do you sleep? What kind of influence had a 24/7 society on sleep? We as humans are tied to sleeping. The change of social structures, to which we are bonded to, such as the demand for 24/7 work, influences our sleep habits.


Our group had already realized the work Dreammachine in Shanghai at MCAM. In Zurich we continued working in the same group based on what we had done in Shanghai. 
Having decided the topic in the beginning of the Zurich phase, we defined tasks and divided the work based on each of our individual interests and skills. 

Due to the limitation in time and the scale of the exhibition, we worked less experimentally and instinctively compared to Shanghai. Also, we already knew the strength of our group as performers, which was a big advantage to save time. Thus, we focused on building a framework and setting for us to perform in. The main challenge was to realize the scale of the installation in the given time.

Contributing Artists

Rafael Gil Cordeiro BA Design, Trends & Identity, Zurich University of the Arts
Brooke Jackson MA Arts Education Curatorial Studies, Zurich University of the Arts 
Qian Yuxuan MA Drama, Nanjing University 
Nuriia Khasenova MA Music Pedagogy, Zurich University of the Arts