Ella Fleck and Tabitha Steinberg's new exhibition explores the strange viral phenomenon of online life hacks

20 February 2019

Have you ever found yourself in a loop of Instagram life hacks which maniacally implore you to find “15 ways to wear your turtleneck as a dress”, use dental floss as a cheese-cutter or even (this is real), images of someone glueing a sponge to a power drill to clean your tiles in an effort to pursue the ultimate time-saving cleaning hack? If you have, you’re probably deep into the life-hack subculture corners of the internet.

The trend of dizzying self-improvement online is hardly new, but Instagram’s very specific brand of life hacks is the source of inspiration for a new Berlin show curated by artists Ella Fleck and Tabitha Steinberg, known as 650mAh this month at BQ Berlin simply titled Life Hacks.

Ella is no stranger to the captivating and often misunderstood world of digital subcultures. Last year’s exhibition titled Physarum Borax looked at the tantalising world of slime online, complete with oozing video loops and bulbous sculptures. This time, she is exploring the idea behind our desire to furiously time-save and self-improve through craft. The show features Sung Tieu, Louise Ashcroft, Bruno Zhu, and Kate Mackeson among others, all examining the viral phenomenon of DIY moments.

Talking about the exhibition to It’s Nice That, Ella says: “Life Hacks examines DIY tips and tricks videos circulated online” and that they were fascinated by headlines like “12 genius life hacks everyone must know” and were compelled to respond to them.

Life Hacks takes place at BQ Berlin opening February 22.

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Kieran Yates

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