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Idle Institute (Sonia Bernac)

MA work

The Itches: A Gym for Public Embarassments


  • MA Degree


    School of Arts & Humanities


    MA Contemporary Art Practice, 2018



  • The Idle Institute (est. 2017) is a storytelling lab: a collective of writers, filmmakers, sound-artists and engineers founded by Eliot Allison and Sonia Bernac. 

    Combining theories of the public sphere with quantum physics, we are investigating the potentialities of the story—seen as virtual matter and a precise political tool. This emerges from the presumption of an unstable narrative field, in which we examine unexpected couplings and clashes between narrative particles. Our projects build from narrative experiments: poetic traps in urban space, phone pranks, impersonation games and sci-fi installations. We are currently developing a theory of the narratology of the public sphere, exploring narrative entanglement, machine(s) of writing and technologies of storytelling.

  • Degrees

  • BFA Fine Art, Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, 2015
  • Experience

  • Studio assistant and translator of Corin Sworn, Glasgow, 2016; Install assistant, Andy Holden’s show at the Glasgow International festival, Glasgow, 2016; Internship at MOCAK: Museum of Contemporary Art, Cracow, Poland, 2014; Internship at M – Museum Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 2014
  • Exhibitions

  • States of Public. FACT Gallery, Liverpool, 2018; Red Mansion Art Prize Exhibition, Battery Horizons, Hockney Gallery, London, 2018; Catch The Flag, Micro Hutong, Beijing, 2017; The Trials of Mosquitoes, Open Studios, Shangri-La compound, Fei Jia Cun, Beijing, 2017
  • Awards

  • Winner, Red Mansion Art Prize, residency in Beijing, China, 2017; University of Oxford academic scholarship, 2013 - 2015; Winner, John Farthing Prize for Human Anatomy, 2013