Preppers are a subculture of people that prepare for the collapse of society. They collect specialised survival products, skills, and knowledge. Prepping is both a hobby and a world view. It has its own aesthetics, vocabulary, and consumer objects, and also its own values and fantasies, centered around the moment of collapse and its aftermath, or, in prepper terms “when shit hits the fan (SHTF)”.
In our emerging geopolitical era uncertainty is widespread. Prepping is the spirit of our times. For preppers, economic, environmental, technological, and military disaster is inevitable. Its menacing “tactical” survival skills and specialised outdoor gear reveal an apocalyptic individualism focused on preserving the self. The slick commodi(fi)cation of existential collapse re ect an absurd predicament, where preparing for total breakdown of a society seems more desirable than improving it. Preppers are betting against the house: they are emotionally, (fi)nancial, and socially invested in apocalypse.
The artists have come together to create SHTF based on a mutual fascination and investment in the prepping lifestyle. At Firstdraft, they will present sculptural, digital and wall- mounted works examining this subculture. Dan will exhibit a large wall mounted sculpture imitating tactical survival aesthetics. Guy will produce a custom interactive video game investigating the menacing psychology of the prepper subculture. Loren will produce an installation that weaponizes the existing gallery infrastructure. SHTF is the second in a series of related exhibitions exploring this theme.