Paul Boshears Exhibits in Swiss Platform at London Design Biennale

Ernest G. Welch Art History Limited Term Lecturer, Paul Boshears, has work on view at the Swiss exhibit at the London Design Biennale at Somerset House. Through the continent.—an editorial collective, which he co-founded and for which he currently serves on the editorial board—he contributed to the print publication and online essays that accompany “BODY OF US” (September 4-23). The exhibition, which is an international, cross-disciplinary collaboration, is part installation, part audio work, park publication, and part website project. According to the site, it strives to be:


“…an exercise in and a reflection on friendly relationships – elective, messy, open-ended and in constant flux, as are the emotions they generate – as potentially emancipatory connections. The project explores forms of togetherness that are able to challenge the broadly accepted norms, binaries and conditions of contemporary working and living environments, and modes of political, institutional and economic governance…

The installation portion of the exhibition uses a large, plexiglass petri dish, placed at the center of the room to talk about space, relationships, bodies, and boundaries. The bacteria within the glass grew over the course of the exhibition, reflecting the make up for the space and the human interactions that happened within it. The full curatorial statement can be found here.


The journal, continent., was invited  to contribute to the exhibition’s publication and website portion of the project. The publication (which is available in the space and on the project’s website) further explores the diversity of friendship and its potential to offer up new ways to live, work, and connect. According to the website’s description, the printed version will contain excerpts not only from commissioned visual contributions, essays, poems and scientific texts, but also from the reader, which the team assembled during their research. The online version allows access to the full commissioned contents, as well as to the reference texts.

Boshears’s writing contribution appears in the Letter from the Editors and in the essay, “What Is This Craft Called “Friendship”?: AN ESSAY ON HOW TO BECOME PARTICULAR,” which uses rich etymological references to examine the cause of friendship, the concept of the mechanical and the fine arts, and truth. The following is an excerpt:


“Though likely a base caricature of the tradition, the kind of relationships that are formed in a State are marked by coercion: at the cost of having to live with people with whom one finds little in common, the mutual support of one another through the mediation of a State is the benefit given to people living in a society. Public life, in this caricature, is marked by the anxiety and alienation of living amongst strangers, of an order of social experience fundamentally different from that of life among friends; both modes of sociality require their particular allegiances.”

continent., the editorial collective Boshears co-edits, was founded in 2010 and “exists as a platform for thinking through media. text, image, video, sound and new forms of publishing online are presented as reflections on and challenges to contemporary conditions in politics, media studies, art, film and philosophical thought.”

For more in formation about the installation, Biennial participation, or two read essays from the publication in their entirety, visit: