Miss Bugs: Do No Harm

From Thursday, 4th July, mixed-media artistic collective ‘Miss Bugs’ will unveil a 900-strong showcase of vibrant popsicles…

‘Miss Bugs’ originated in 2007 as a group of mixed-media artists heavily influenced by the Pop Art movement, having derived from photography and graphics backgrounds.

Mixed Media artists Miss Bugs are to unveil a new installation entitled Do No Harm at Jealous Gallery from 4th July…

The installation consists of 900 vibrant coloured resin ‘popsicles’ – containing a
range of pharmaceuticals – which critique contemporary society’s obsession and consumption of social media.  Miss Bugs continue to draw on the theme of addiction to digital technology and how over exposure to news reels and digital feeds can act as an anaesthetic and numb the sense of reality.  Algorithms mean one becomes stuck in one’s own ‘echo chamber’, and can only gain access to content that has been externally chosen to be suitable for them.

This dark notion is ‘sugar coated’ in the aesthetics of the popsicles. Each lolly is made up of three layers of different coloured resin, in which a mix of surgical blades, Viagra, syringes and various painkillers are contained. In the gallery the Pop-Art-style lollies will be presented en masse in pharmaceutical orderliness. They will be sold in medical packaging, with instructions for application, how to store and a warning of the side effects.

The installation’s title, Do No Harm, is pulled from the Hippocratic Oath, whereby doctors promise to abstain from any intentional wrong doing to a patient. The irony of the statement is evident in today’s networks and social dialogue where we continuously self-harm and cause harm to others, in an endless loop.

The installation will continue until 21st July at Jealous Gallery (Contemporary Screenprint Studio, Gallery and arts Publisher, Shoreditch) before moving to their Crouch End branch from 4th – 29th September.

Miss Bugs say:-

“The ice lollies represent the churn of the social network; the posed selfies, the frothy coffee top photos and the cute animal videos side of the internet that we all like to binge on, but inside it’s rotten and sick. Digital technology whilst being a sweetener in our lives perpetually distracts us with a constant, addictive stream of information and temptation. The internet becomes a space where reason and logic are trumped by fake news, and people with extremes of opinion can shout each other down. The candy on the outside sugar coats the sickness within.”.

Miss Bugs hand crafted each individual piece, using a time-consuming artistic process with unpredictable results. The process of mixing media and styles has led to the Miss Bugs collective being deemed  ‘Visual DJs’, who – like their influences such as Gary Hume, Hannah Höch and artists from the pop art movement – remix, resource and reimagine pop culture.


[Credits:  Feature image – some of the installation resin ‘popsicles’ (damsonpr.com); #missbugs @miss_bugs; jealousgallery.com]


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