Metaphor Hunt by Ben Coiacetto. Thursday 15th & Friday 16th December 12-6pm


Metaphor Hunt is a participatory event by artist Ben Coiacetto. The workshop/performace is part of his current solo show at the Gallery ‘HyperUpcycling’.

Cognitive linguist George Lakoff describes metaphor as a mapping across domains – from a more concrete ‘source domain’ to a more abstract ‘target domain’, based on perceived similarity between the source and the target. Using suggestions and material provided by the audience and myself, we will collaboratively perform a process of metaphorical mapping. New images and links between domains will be created out of discussion, photoshop and images of individual people,objects and animals as the source for each metaphor.

Artwork produced from the performance will be available to order as animated giclee lenticular prints, or as standard prints. All profits from the sale of prints will be split between the gallery and various charitable organisations.

During the performance the artist and those involved will be:

-thinking about the ways in which actions traditionally performed by humans are becoming increasingly automated

-visualising the mind space where decisions are made and the brain activity which precedes ‘free’ decision

-attaching abstract ontological ideas to people, objects and/or animals whilst thinking about correlations between them.

-exploring the sub-reality and logic of the metaphor we create while manipulating its ontology, politics and cognitive topology / image-scheme-structure.

-challenging philosophies which privilege humans over other entities

Here is an example of what might happen. ‘Max’ comes to the gallery. We have a chat. Max works as an Uber driver and thinks that Facebook is a waste of his time. After a little brainstorming we decide to morph Mark Zuckerberg’s head into a rat trap using photoshop and digital images from an internet search. We also decide that as an Uber driver; Max feels exploited; as though he is just a piece of data stuck in an algorithm. I photograph Max. Using photoshop I morph the digital image of his face into an image of a chunk of GPS data and place this chunk of data in the rat trap. If we have time, we create an animated gif out of the work and Max posts the gif around facebook etc. Come to the Gallery itself and be photographed like ‘Max’ in order to become a digital ‘source domain’.

OR bring in an image of a ‘source domain’ on usb or email an image and/or suggestions to make sure you title the email ‘METAPHOR HUNT’. We suggest emailing in a photo of a widely known figure like Trump, Assange or simply a family member or friend.

OR you can bring in or send us a digital image of a ‘target domain’ / object or animal ie a fishing lure, Houses of Parliament, kangaroo, broken vanity mirror, bucket, flashlight, cat, GCHQ etc.

OR just come along and watch.

If you can’t attend in person, the event will be streaming live from Thursday 15th and Friday 16th of December midday until 6pm. Since the process of ‘metaphor mapping’ can be time-consuming, priority will be given to ideas arising out of discussion with the people visiting the gallery in person.

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