“What if you could tilt your perspective, just for a moment? What might you see differently? How might that difference change everything?”

That’s the question posed by TILT Curiosity Labs, a laboratory for playful exploration and experimentation created by HCMA Architecture + Design in order to better understand the human condition and make connections with the people and communities in which they operate. Through public events and a vibrant artist-in-residency program, TILT reminds us to create space to connect with each other intentionally, explore our curiosities and question everything.

We’re definitely kindred spirits.

This Thursday, August 29, HCMA hosts its second TILT event through Hoovie, screening the documentary BURDEN, which explores the dangerous life and stomach-churning performances of artist Chris Burden. After the film, writer, artist and curator Kate Armstrong will join for a facilitated discussion on the themes and lessons in the film, including the use of “spectacle” in art.

Hoovie co-founder Hilary Henegar texted TILT Director Mark Busse to ask how Hoovie’s pop-up cinema model supports TILT’s mandate.

Mark: “Hoovie affords us another opportunity to convene the communities we serve, learn about and consider topics that relate to our role as designers, and create opportunities to ask sometimes awkward questions and engage in dialogue that makes us more informed and better people.

“Also, we’re simply fans of documentary films and love learning.”

Hilary: “’Awkward questions’ – I love that! What can you do as a host to create a space where strangers can be vulnerable enough to ask and answer those awkward questions?”

Mark Busse, Director of TILT Curiosity Labs

Mark: “Exposing our team to opportunities to explore the intersection of curiosity and compassion means creating (with intention) uncomfortable situations so that we might learn to use it as a catalyst for humility to guide us forward.

“To host a safe space often means declaring that intention, creating a moment for folks to get grounded and be present, and then invite participation – even if it feels awkward and requires air and space to show up. If your energy matches your intention (i.e. you model the behavior you expect), then people generally know what to do and will join you.

“Also… empathy can be parochial—even tribal—which can backfire, despite best intentions. So gatherings and dialogue around uncomfortable topics can help reframe perspectives.

“That’s our theory, anyway. 😉 ”

There are still a few tickets left for HCMA’s TILT-Hoovie event this Thursday: Art as Spectacle: The Risky Life and Art of Chris Burden. Buy your ticket to ask and answer some awkward questions before they’re sold out!

Above and below are some pics by Pierre Gauthier from the last TILT-Hoovie event, screening CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER followed by discussion and playtime on vintage typewriters brought in by the Regional Assembly of Text. Read about that experience from the point of view of the guest in our interview with filmgoer Fiona Henderson.