What began as a photographic field study of millennials living off-grid after the economic collapse has evolved into a discursive body of work about the emergence of remote maker spaces and living laboratories for life after the fall.
In 2014, Ruth Dusseault began a work of slow-form journalism called ECOTOPIA, traversing North America to record communal life after the interent. Locations include California, Oregon, New Mexico, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Georgia, North Carolina and Missouri.
THE CREATIVES is one output from this broader storytelling project, which includes 3 short films, a podcast and a publication. THE CREATIVES includes some familiar photographs, exhibited for the first time, and a new 2-channel video installation.
Voluntary primitivism in the 21st century is a quest for authentic life under the dome of a digital superstructure. We find a new generation of comprehensive designers, like those described by Fred Turner in his 2006 book From Counterculture to Cyberculture and examples of temporary autonomous zones as described by scholars Hakim Bey and Felicity Scott.
Hand-made homes and machines surround rich characters who have taken the long view and the global perspective into their personal lives. In THE CREATIVES, we see survivalists, preppers, libertarians and neo-liberals express their utopian visions through divined rituals and DIY networks. They take on the spiritual project of environmental and social collapse. Equally sourcing pre-industrial and digital technologies, they invent new models for stepping down into a smaller life.