AUTOMATES performing ‘Massages By Strangers’ at DesignTO 2019!
In the wake of high-profile allegations, toxic workplaces, and powerful leaders who committed sexual harassment have been exposed. Interestingly, Harvey Weinstein’s female victims recounted a similar act before he escalated his behaviour: soliciting or giving a massage.
‘Massages By Strangers’ features a hybrid space consisting of guided massages by Maggie Van Luven, Sarah Olivia, Meg Armstrong and Brooke Hamilton and musical performances by Depression Era, Korea Town Acid, WeTurnToRed and Phèdre, and aims to reposition massage from negative connotations (eg. gateway to harassment, body-rub parlours) to its therapeutic roots. This environment actively engages multiple senses – touch, sight, hearing, and olfactory, which encouraging collective listening as boundaries surrounding issues of consent and respect are negotiated. Given seismic shifts in social attitudes around health, wellness, impropriety, and rights, ‘Massages By Strangers’ captures a newfound urgent mood.