Playful Interventions for the New Normal

Our notion of “normal” is relative.
What we consider normal is a set of rules that we bind ourselves blindly.

In my practice, I aim to break those invisible rules through playful interventions. Playful interventions is an expansion of the “magic circle” that is defined in Homo Ludens (Johan Huizinga, 1938). The magic circle is a special place in time and space created by play which sets the boundary between the ordinary real and what happens during play.

When boxers fight in the boxing ring, their conflict is artificial. Though the punches, the pain, the damage, and possibly even the motivation are real, the fight is negotiated by rules of play. Within the magic circle, different rules apply and limited violence may be acceptable, whereas in ordinary life the same actions would result in serious repercussions.

The function of the magic circle is to forbid people from bringing external motivations and personal histories into the world of play to make everyone equal. Playful interventions expand the notion of this magic circle into our everyday life. Through playful artifacts, it overrides our existing social rules for a new one.

From the notion of begging on the street to the problem of biased AI algorithms, I question them with playful interventions.

A new rule starts with a new word.
And with a new rule, comes the new normal.

Tomo Kihara