Builders Club, Erik Kessels, Mushpit and Kathryn Ferguson talk false realities at Nicer Tuesdays

1 June 2016
Reading Time
4 minute read

If Nicer Tuesdays is a barometer for artistic inspiration (which we obviously think it is) then this month’s muse was definitely the internet, and the false reality it perpetuates. An inventive and witty line-up of speakers comprising Builders Club, Erik Kessels, Mushpit and Kathryn Ferguson, all broached the subject in very different ways, from their own areas of expertise.

Builders Club showed excerpts from its documentary Robert Rushkin – The Artist – which you can view and read more about here, showing fantastical artworks of exploding giant bodies and hybrid creatures by the elusive artist. The founders, Jonas Hegi and Julien Simshauser, then admitted to the crowd: “The truth is, we made it all up. We liked the idea of pretending to be an artist, and seeing how far we could go… if we could trick people into believing in him. It’s about reality and perception, and what that means in the age of the internet.”
The thing is, people did believe them. Google image searches for Robert Rushkin became more and more populated by pictures of the actor Builders Club hired, and his works — all incredible 3D animations made by the studio. People even tweeted their long-standing admiration and disgust for his work. “Eventually, though, people figured it out,” they said.

Erik Kessels, founding partner of KesselsKramer, spoke about his new book Failed It! and his obsession with the beauty in failure. “We live in a time where everything is going towards perfection,” he said. “Our computers make no mistakes, our sat navs take us to exactly the right place, our phones know everything. I think as creators it’s important to make mistakes, to fuck things up and make an idiot of yourself at least once a day.”

He then proceeded to show a hilarious slideshow of images, comprising his own work (for The Standard hotel chain, Women Inc and Diesel) and photos he has taken, where he proved he certainly doesn’t take himself too seriously. He also had some advice for budding creators on the design process. “Work in your back yard,” he said, “of your mind, I mean. Most people stay too long in the front yard, but in the back yard you can walk around half naked and no one cares.”

Mushpit founders Bertie Brandes and Charlotte Roberts took the audience on the journey of how their magazine was created, and how they hope to challenge the unrealistic stereotypes portrayed by typical fashion publishing. They kicked off their talk with two quotes, one good one bad, in reaction to their publication. “We’ve been described as “confident, satirical, silly and also fiercely political in places,” by MagCulture, and “ugly, untidy and cheap” by AIGA,” they laughed. In typically candid style, the pair talked about how to maintain creative freedom without selling their souls, “and who would even buy our souls?”

Last, but absolutely not least, was director Kathryn Ferguson, who showed films she has made as part of her role at Selfridges. Kathryn said she initially left behind the world of fashion film when she felt the industry was “restrictive and aesthetically driven,” but after some time away, returned wanting to make great visuals that “pack a punch with a strong message while I have [people’s] attention.” And the films certainly delivered that. One for A-gender, Selfridges initiative to celebrate fashion without definition, was a beautifully choreographed piece starring transgender actress Hari Nef and a cast of dancers, friends and staff. “I don’t think it’s good enough to ignore the problems with equality in imagery in 2016,” said Kathryn. “As an imagemaker I try to be conscious of the images I put out into the world, and challenge perceptions. It’s lazy not to.”

Event partner: Revue

Revue is a tool that enables you to easily create an email digest that helps you to communicate with your network. The platform provides a sleek landing page where people can subscribe, allowing you to decide where and with whom you share it. With a click of a button, you can compile your tweets, stories, or interesting articles you’ve read that week to share with your subscribers. Attendees at Nicer Tuesdays will are offered a special discount for the service.

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Supported by Park Communications

Nicer Tuesdays is also supported by Park Communications one of London’s eminent, most friendly and approachable printers.

Nicer Tuesdays is a monthly event curated by It’s Nice That held at Protein Studios in London. Tickets for the event sell out quickly, to buy tickets ahead of general sale please sign up to our newsletter.

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on

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