A5 copy of FILTH

FILTH is the latest Studio SCUM project, which explores different interpretations of filth, dirtiness and cleanliness. We as bodies are made of filth, dirt and bacteria. Moved from fridges, bins and bodies, filth transforms and enters new forms. Socially, many of our behaviours and identities are cast off as “filthy” or “dirty”, and we are pushed towards occupying false narratives in order to be seen as pure by a supposedly “clean” world. We humans have always existed outside of the purified buildings and spaces built by our own species, and our “dirty” excess is denied the right to flourish. In the words of Divine: “Filth is my politics, filth is my life!”

Becoming aware of how different things are labelled as filthy or dirty allows us to push back. The category of filth has expanded the global pandemic, which made us hyper aware of our own cleanliness, purity and bodies. For the sake of the health of ourselves and others, we washed our hands, isolated in homes and sanitized surfaces whilst dreaming of spitting, fucking and sweating. The mystical boundary between cleanliness and filthiness became intoxicatingly desirable to explore from an artistic perspective.

The projects of Studio SCUM are collaborative and multidisciplinary, as we believe in cultivating a new collective consciousness outside of existing power structures and institutional frameworks. We gave the idea of “filth” as a prompt for artists, musicians, creatives, writers, performers, photographers and filmmakers, and let them produce their own narratives. While live projects have paused and we have become geographically isolated, SCUM and other creatives have found a new freedom online. In FILTH and our other projects over the past year, we used this opportunity to connect with artists across the world, from California, to Paris to Eastern Europe, to use their ideas across borders, different artistic scenes and philosophies.