The thesis of Olya Troitskaya “Virtual walking” studies a gesture of strolling in physical and cyberspace.
It looks into the history of a “deliberate walk”, starting from the concept of the flâneur developed by Charles Baudlaire, its degradation by capitalism into the figure of the shopper, its later radical political update coming with the concept of the “dérive”, its development through a notion of “Psychogeography” with Guy Debord and Situationist International and its popularity later in 1990s in artistic and academic circles, building up psychogeographical praxis in various ways.
Louis Adrien Huart / Physiologie du flâneur
Further the thesis draws a parallel between these historical processes happening in the real space to the ones taking place in the cyberspace.
With the development of capitalism flânerie becomes increasingly restricted. Is it possible that Cyberspace, that can be looked at as an update of a personal, bodily and architectural space, would become a more popular place for flânerie?
If in the 1990s “cyberflânerie” is associated with a free “strolling through information space, taking in the virtual architecture and remaining anonymous”(1), then in 2000s it doesn’t seemed such an intriguing activity as in the early days of the Web.
The processes happening to the internet in 2000s can be considered similar to ones happening in 19th century Paris, lead to the change of its original, playful identity.
Cao Fei / China Tracy, 'Live in RMB City'(2009) Video : Courtesy of Artist and Vitamin Creative Space
Various artistic practices are being developed around a cyber stroll. Will they react to the changes happening to the figure of cyberflâneur and challenge its appropriation by capitalism, similar to Debor’s challenging capitalism’s hold over the city? (x) http://www.ceramicstoday.com/articles/051998.htm, last accessed: 06.09.2013
What is the future of the cyberflâneur? Is it possible to learn from Situationist’s example? Where to look for the “dérive” in cyberspace?
this time i dont have time for pretty small talk my eyes are hurting i slept i dont know 2 hours been at school drawing and making stuff all day even though im still sick and should be in bed but i cant cause assessments are coming soon. besides i read my last text and even though it was also written over one night i still kind of got ashamed cause it felt so pretentious and i hated this side of me that always pops up (stomp on it!!). so i just wanna find something quick to get this shit done, so what do i write about fine ill write about japan, i like japan, japan is interesting japan is fine. but i forgot to borrow the book of course so i have to make some shit up i guess? or what do i do or wait i can go into the library online from my laptop at home while laying in bed in my pyjamas eating icecream awesome. japanjapanjapn what do i find i want something crazy something wild to prove that i’m not boring or pretentious or just to have fun and not think too much while writing i guess now i find this book about araki and i guess that could be something cause i really hate that guy. sexist disgusting fuck. i remember when me and sara did our art coup in gamleby and he was one of our main targets. here’s what happened: we snuck out early in the morning, completely overexcited and got into the school before everyone else. then we put up the speakers with the music blasting loud, and all the pictures of the most disgusting slimy sexist art ever made rolling in the worst slideshow made in history, BAM on a big screen in the entrance hall. (not that it actually was the worst slideshow made in history, i think rather that it was one of the best slideshow ever produced by humankind. only the pictures were the sleaziest).
it was araki micke berg araki araki anders zorn all these sexist artists (araki) portraying naked passive women as muses, all rolling around in our awesome slideshow to the sound of the most sleaziest sexist singer of them all: ULF LUNDELL. the song was OH LA LA JAG VILL HA DIG /
OH LA LA I WANT YOU
YES THAT’S RIGHT when the first students entered the school early in the morning they could hear the music and see the flashing lights from faraway. it was like a bomb
Already as a young girl I had this specific love for libraries, though I’m scared they don’t love me back that much because I always seem to forget to get the books back on time… But anyway, being in a library felt like an adventurous gateway to all this different worlds and lives.
As a kid you make a decision on whether you like the cover or not, or on the amount of nice pictures in a book. When you grow older, the content starts to matter more and more, until it is the only thing that counts.
So last week I went to a library as if I was six years old again. Not thinking about a topic, just looking around and seeing which book catches my eye. And after some sniffing around, I found it: the book I didn’t know I wanted. On the uttermost left corner of a bottom shelf of the graphic design section, it was hiding. It had a small cover made out of a black fabric, like a luxurious pocket size notebook. But when I grabbed it, it didn’t seem to stop! Thinking it was a small notebook; it appeared twice as long as I thought it would be. Completely black, even the letters on the cover were black. It said: ‘Vladimir Navokov’. Given the fact that I found this booklet in the graphic design section, I would say, it is a rather odd place for a book of this old Russian writer.
The explanation would soon follow, because when I opened the book, it appeared to be filled with beautiful descriptions of fantasy’s Nabokov had when he thought of a specific letter. Each description came along with an illustration of the described letter. It seemed to be a new dimension of learning how to read.
This whole booklet breathes a sense of care and love for detail, a feature I can relay to a lot when I think of my own work. Even the smell is part of it. Exploring a publication on every detail you can find in the cover and layout, but without really knowing the content. And when I was studying this book, on the ground of the graphic design section of the library, I felt like I was six years old again.
Grayson Perry is an English artist and his work is really broad. He makes vases, videos, documentaries, graphic novels and curator. He made Claire – his alter-ego – into an icon. Together with fashion students he designed incredible creations for Claire.
At the exhibition I saw this work: Strangely Familiar, which is a vase with pornographic images within the background images of the suburbs. Not something you immediately connect with pottery, that’s what makes it so interesting to look at. The vases itself tells a story, the vase serves as a stage, Although they have this fragile look they tell radical stories.
In England it produced strong reactions. Many critics didn’t take his work serious, it is primarily the form he choose that was shocking. Ceramics and decorations have a reverential status in England. Associated with good taste, educated public. What Grayson Perry tells us with his vases is the opposite of what we like to see as civilized or good taste. We would like to see ourselves as civilized people in Western society, but he shows us that we in essential aren’t civilized people at all.
I really don’t understand that they make such a problem about the images on the vases. You have to see it in the context. I think it just makes it stronger. It seem they only focus on the vases, they threat it very narrow minded if you ask me.
Moses Harris [entemologist engraver 1730 – 1788] examined the work of Isaac Newton, and tried to discover all the variety of colours that can be determined from principal colours : red, blue and yellow
Harris presumed that these colours, when are mixed with each other can form all the colours and tints (660) in the nature.
Nature was his guide and assistant , as the arrangement of the principal colours is systematized according to those reflected by the prism, where we find the orange colour lays between the red and yellow, green between yellow and blue and purple between blue and red.
These colours coming in continues succession gave him the first idea that they should be placed in a circle. He thought that this order agreed with what seems to be demanded by nature.
The nature of the thing divided the the whole into two parts: prismatic and compound
He noticed that
PRIMITIVES – red yellow and blue are most common especially in wild nature
MEDIATES – orange green and purple are the colours that mother nature decorated most of the flowers
To show all the variety of colours Moses Harris created segmented circle and its identification system.
He applied water colours in layers what allowed the subtle transition between colours and shades.
According to Harris explanation, the primitive prismatic colours each use the use three parts of a single color (red, yellow, or blue) while the mediate prismatic colors are two-to-one combinations of the primaries, determined by their position on the circle.reference. From this information, we can assume that each compartment received at least three washes or layers of color and perhaps as many as twenty, the number of shades or tones Harris designates within his circle. It is unlikely that Harris used as many as twenty color layers to create the deeper tones in these plates, however: It simply was not necessary. The narrowing size of each arc gives the perception of color darkening, and Harris may have taken advantage of that effect, just as he relied on the white paper surface to aid representation of the lighter shades. It is likely that Harris used some smaller number of color washes—three or six, perhaps—for each of the eighteen colors in each of the two circles.
He linked colours with some pigment, fruit or flower
Red – Vermilion – Wild poppy
Yellow – Kings Yellow – Butter flower
Blue – Ultramarine – Corn flower
Orange – Red orpiment – garden Marigold
Green – Sap green – Leaves of the lime-Tree
Purple – Hairy sheep scabius – flower if the common Judas tree
equal amounts of red + blue + yellow = black
equal amounts of purple + green + orange = black
white is seen as the lack of colour
Contrasting colours lay on the opposite sides of the circle
According to Harris his colour system has both practical and philosophical uses. He mentioned an experiment in which blue arises from the orange of the candle flame. These are the contrasting colours that lay in the circle opposite to each other
There is nothing known of the contemporary use of these color circles.
MY research OF THE MOSES HARRIS COLOUR SYSTEM
Moses Harris presumed that these colours, when are mixed with each other, can form all the 660 colours and tints in the nature.
The ones that he himself actually found in the nature were just 6 of them (red yellow blue green orange purple).
Where this small amount of examples comes from? Moses Harris lived in the XVIII century, when there were not many ways of transport and traveling was not easy and common. He was most probably, just looking around in his surrounding.
Nowadays, we live in the globalized world and traveling is an everyday thing. We have planes, cheap flights and we can reach any place of the world.
Moreover we can also travel in the cyber-space through the internet. Internet is an enormous source, all the world is there. Its a very big source of information. Most of the people use it daily, to search for different kind of info, to check our email and also for the social networks among which the most popular is Facebook.
Facebook is a huge personal (but not only) information area. Members post
photos from their journeys. Next to the photos of people and architecture one of the most popular are photos of nature.
I find this modern world and digital media a very interesting topic, that is why I decided to search in the photos of nature taken by my Facebook friends posted during their whole existence on Facebook
I found many photos of nature in a bunch of different tints, but still many are missing.
I was thinking what would be a great way to present them and decided to make collages that take a way a bit the realistic look of plants. make them more abstract ( each 10 tints ) .
I am still in the process of creation. At the moment there are many parts of the Moses Harris circle to be filled in. It leaves the open space for other people. If any of you is interested to search for the nature photos of their friends, please do that and send it to me : firstname.lastname@example.org I am pretty sure that together we can fill in every segment of the whole circle of Moses Harris.
How would a park of the future look like, knowing that our cities will keep on growing and keep on getting denser? I tried to answer that question, with the need to experience greenery in busy cities. [Images from graduation show presentation]
In my thesis I try to find an answer to the underlying question: How can green improve an urban living environment? For which in this research I specifically take a look at New York, a metropolis with high density that will keep on growing rapidly over the coming years. NYC plays a leading role in the field of green development. My main question reads: which lessons can be drawn from the innovative green projects in New York City.
To be able to answer my main question, I first took a step back. I did research about what a city actually means, how the process of urbanization took place, which problems it produced and why these issues are considered problems. After this the young trend Landscape Urbanism is studied. These ideas focus on new ways of shaping an urban design, according ‘horizontal landscapes’ instead of ‘vertical building’.
De High Line, "Miracle above Manhattan" New Yorkers float over busy streets in an innovative park, Paul Goldberger voor National Geographic.
De High Line is bedacht door Joshua David en Robert Hammond. Twee buurtbewoners met een hart voor de verlaten spoorlijn die in 1999 de non-profit organisatie ?Friends of the High Line' opzetten, en zo het initiatief namen tot de ontwikkeling van de oude treinrails..page 31/32 of thesis
My research consists out of three parts. First the problems of urbanization are analyzed, making use of the created historical context. The pioneers of greener cities will be discussed. Next to this the subject infrastructure, livability on street level and food supply are discussed.
The second chapter shows a series of solutions how green is used to regain peace and space in the city. Also is described how this added greenery could improve the urban ecology at the same time.
The last part focuses on case studies in New York. The research method is based on fieldwork and interviews with related people at the spot. I looked into what kind of influence the projects had on the city and its inhabitants and what examples other cities adopt.
I made research models out of ceramics. Like in the final design concept, living plants form the structure in this earlier intuitive models. After keeping them inside over the wintertime the young trees started growing. This experiment shows in smaller scale how growth takes over, allowed to complete the design.
“not the excess of people but the lack of green is what threatens the mental health of townspeople“.
With this knowledge the people of New York commit themselves, supported by a strong governmental policy, to make their city greener and more livable. This is what makes the trend that helped the ‘Big Apple’ change into a ‘Green Apple’ so interesting and relevant: The approach both top-down and bottom-up at the same time. This is an innovatory model that fits well within the current economical recession, because the city is not only developed on governmental initiatives and financing but there is also searched for other possibilities and money sources.
Download this thesis:The Green Apple [dutch language]
[publication of graduation essay by Caroline Lindo 2012
I wrote this thesis “Surface of Revolution” for anyone who – openly or secretly – wants radical change in our current financial and political system and I hope my words can inspire them to find out how they want to position themselves within this time of change.
A Surface of Revolution is a three dimensional surface, shaped by rotation around its axis. I chose this title because it relates to the current uproar across the world in which people are also trying to turn things upside down, and because I will use the protest tent cities and its actual surfaces as the
parameters for my concept. I recognized the fact that there is a class problem in the world and that that problem needs to be dealt with. In this thesis I will study Occupy and the tent and I’ll try to define my way of protesting. I’ll describe the many different kinds of protest I encountered during Occupy and how I am finding my own place within activism. In the end, I hope to find out what my own ethical truth is in respects to changing this class problem in society and find out if there is a way to do it that can apply to bringing down any given system. Violently, non violently, creative or destructive or a
combination of those together. In my work I am searching for this balance too, I am physically acting out the dilemmas and choices I have to make in order to find my own way of protesting.
The main question I am asking myself here is: What is the most effective and still ethically just way for me to attempt to collapse a system? My thesis is about the dilemma’s I faced in regards to protesting. There is the option to destroy, the option to create and all the shades in between. Do I have to choose, and if I feel that I do: how can I make a well weighed decision?
To make this choice I started visualizing creation and destruction, after that I made game rules to play out the different options. In this thesis I draw parallels between the inside and outside of the (“Occupy”) protest tent cities, the tent frame and the structure of the fabric. With thesis ingredients I created my own surface of revolution. A reflection of the protests around the world and my own journey through all the dilemmas I encountered there.
Download thesis by Caroline Lindo:Surface of Revolution
[images of Caroline Lindo's graduation show
link to website: http://carolindo.tk and http://carolindo.tumblr.com (same one)
“What is art?” would be a long discussion subject. So there is no discussions about it, I claim my own hypothesis on this question -art is an experiment of telling your personal motion /thought /opinion via any form of communication . Let’s stick to the word experiment.
What is experiment? Wikipedia says An experiment is a methodical trial and error procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, falsifying, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. I think everything you are giving to show to other person becomes an experiment based decision because you can predict but you’ll never know for sure how she or he will respond . So every story/ movement/ your daily life processes when viewer involved becomes experiment/art …if you ever had doubts who you are –my congratulations you are an artist!
Let’s go deep in to the first steps of this kind hypothesis ART creating , the part that is before the “showing out on public” experiment. Richard Niessen(graphic design artist) gave me some background to start from with answering “What is your opinion on experiments ?”
-“Well, it’s not that I like to do experimental work because I want to experiment. It’s just that I need to do these experiments to find solutions that do not yet exist. I always believed in work that is very outspoken, but I do not want to lean only on style. So the experiment comes from the search to make something appropriate for the subject, in a radical way. The experiments are always design-driven.”
and “Do you prepare yourself for experiments or sometimes they just happens during the working process ?”
-”Sometimes there is little experimentation necessary, sometimes it takes a very long time and a lot of try outs before I come to the right solution. And talking about experiments: there is always this element of risk, like in scientific experiments, you never know if it really is going to work. In the case of printed matter, I only know this when the poster or the book is in the street or in the store. I have the ‘feeling’ that it will work, that’s the hypothesis.”
So process of making art piece is experiment based cooperation of doing and thinking.
One day on my back way home from academy I stopped with this thought:
Usually materials I am using are like viewers -they act, sometimes predictable sometimes not and my decision is based on the particular stage of creating art /so i become viewer for my own experiment/art. In this moment you can increase your idea to keep it going where it goes or change the way it goes to keep your idea.
So I could use more speakable materials like people to find out flexibility of my thoughts and acts in unusually open way in usual environment .
I decided that the simplest moment of our everyday life where we see other people is road (way home or to your job or somewhere, whatever you go) . You “meet” people on the road and you seeing them act somehow/for example you think about them – that’s already an act ,especially if you make serious face during this thinking process ><. The idea is that people can choose reaction or make it up to tell more /show more not just keeping on automate their reactions. I mean If we are an artists…than we are not really good ones. This moment of 3 seconds ,when you look in to the stranger eyes walking by you is used uncreative, it doesn’t go farther than a smile or “hy” I mean that’s great(!), but how much does it says about your mood, day and personality? I do believe you can even start conversation from that , but that’s not colourful on the level of act/standard experiment .But if you have new language involved that was made up on the spot that’s freedom of expression what allows to play with this moment as much as you can…as artists in museums playing with their art pieces viewers. Making them wander/questioning/screaming “HELL YEAH” or “NO WAY” !
Playing around with/conclusion of this hypothesis:
like I wrote before: I want to try change idea by starting acting and change the way I am acting to keep the idea .
first part: I was pretty tired this morning and i started from showing my mood of willpower to stay awake (“look broadly”)
It came out good-people were smiling .
second part: I changed my expression of mood after their reaction on my “look broadly” act.
Second part was more communicable, although people where running on their job and I didn’t interact with anyone longer than few seconds . So I didn’t wait for something more than a smile ,on which I reacted with my expression of happiness.
i approved my own hypothesis with getting light motion like after visiting a museum ….and exhibiting the same time as well . Bit sad that people didn’t go wild in their own expressions.By reations of some people i did saw that there is difference between museum and everyday life –it’s criterion of insanity.
But if art (as an experiment) process is the same like life process why should we behave in boarders “to look sane”? ……
p.s. For me personally I have a feeling that people I met that experimental day will remember this day how they meet my art like a day when they should shown their own.
In the fashion industry the topic of sustainability and eco-friendliness has not been on the top of the priority list one might say. Trends change every season, and to stay in style you are expected to renew your wardrobe at least twice per year. High-end designers are now launching even more than two collections a year, you have the so-called pre-fall and resort collections as well as the biannual summer and winter. Chain stores are introducing new collections as often as every six weeks. At the same time as this is happening, fashion is getting cheaper and cheaper. The high-street brands keep pushing prices lower by producing their clothes in countries that are known for using child labor and having extremely poor working conditions. The materials used are usually of very bad quality, which is probably also produced in an unethical way. So with facts like these you don’t have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to see that this is not a very sustainable approach
To summarize the context I first must mention- with the freedom of a resident of here and today – the presence of pressure and calling out resent for (this interpretation of) passive living. With that, a near apocalyptic sort of set creation takes place. It receives emphatic caricatures, tragic responsibilities, gets greatly busy scenery’s to play on, and personally – I have a dislike for tricks in most cases. Not that I don’t care for the drama, it is the very reciprocal end, of paying respect to voices in letting them be exactly what they are.
In theory, slow design agrees with my thought. Carolyn F Strauss saw faults in the growing movements of green design, and overproduction of recycled/recyclable designs with wonky purposes – “We should be calling into question the need for the product in the first place.”. The economical success of key wording pollution, organic and related terminology grew and hasn’t reclined much since, the very idea of reducing production overproduced, and did so quickly.
What the slow movement suggested is a reduction with increased effort. The time needed for the process of manufacturing most things shortens exponentially to the cost – spiraling in recent event, time is money they say, slow designs agree differently. A pair of trousers whose material has circled the Earth several times even before being sewn together, has then been sent on a series of to a majority unknown routes before finally reaching y/our unimpressed hands – is replaced by a dazzling piece of phantom experience and craft, culture and tradition are now personal choices and flavors. As long as our story is near geographically, associatively or else, and beaded with time, it is what slow tells about in it’s forms.
In this sense, daily designs gain back their emotional and such weight in style and charm of a hand-made product, we make slow but noteworthy changes in ways of everyday consumption, directing the trend rightfully. So I see visions of Strauss, who founded SlowLab in 2003, as a vent for ideas of applied activism, designs and debates on this slow framework within a worldwide web of selected individuals, based in New York, US. Through series of lectures and projects we get an insight to a philosophy with few examples of artists making (todays) drastic choices in technicalities of work methods and building new or bringing back old manufacturing principles, such as Judith van den Boom who’s taken the knowledgeable Chinese porcelain worker out of the factory into a small and personal area for working, learning and collaborative design. Focus frequently falls on ideas, and magnify a personalization – in form a sustainability factor – of objects, an illusion of a caring presence is cast to put the viewer into romanticized relationships with his toys. We wait for your mail accordingly through a programmed lens of another rational design, listen to amplified cooking sounds while reaping scents of it’s making, in a sort of disposable but pleasant and seedful event. Reflective research fruits a wearable face of inevitable and looked-over slow processes, not the first of SlowLab’s collaboration with former or present Rietveld students . It peeks a little outside the umbrella of the boldly tagged holistic promise, and resorts often to mid-flight concepts in elaborate captions, with it’s patterning accents on context and sacrificial imagery of more or less extreme discomfort as a crime against nature.
I have a hard time agreeing on sets of carved rules, and think one should be as careful and discrete with evoking guilt in other beings as can be. Moral justification does not make (good) artistic experience good, neither does over politeness. But we can make a lot of solid exceptions for this in design, and the power of suggestion in a possible event differs from an artists dense sensation to be experienced attentively, also not to be overlooked is the responsibility of a designer of largely produced goods, and creator of appliances to be sent randomly into living and often outlive it’s maker. What I miss is a striking moment, like the gasp for air after having or witnessing a brilliant idea, otherwise I feel I might be convinced, perhaps this is the way of having framework. A sharp, clear thought, strong visual motor, an undirected balance that leads to somewhere like this. Maybe it is too ideological to expect of pieces a mapped idea with limited or no description, this sort of modulation seems crucial though, and a set of produces that need not much or any sugarcoating. I think the slow designers, and all artists concerned with environmental damage a cruelly run contemporary life allows, should take the green trend as a mean to challenge their own work, and distinct themselves in opportunist waters by finding strong subtleties for use in triggering thoughts rather than speaking them into a bore. We see the blueprint in our every day life already, respond to it most strongly when the message comes on it’s own, and we all have many factors afloat – a suggestive shooter like this is surrounded by comfy amounts of room for exploring abstraction and rock and roll, yet it stays easy. What I try to say is – we should be raising awareness by raising awareness levels, and sway to an old fashioned need to please and show (off) our very best, even if it means falling outside the fixed frame of your politically correct ideology – at least, we will be left with a loud work to discuss, debate, come back to and so forth.
Carolyn F Strauss with SlowLab sends out promising goals and messages, and should have space enough to branch and develop a captivating and elegant design, which sends us to a slow but sweet relationship with the inanimate, and gradually teaches importance of lively touch.
One of the first things I noticed when I saw the work of Sophie Krier for the first time is that there was definitely a lot more going on than just a simple design. She directly got my intention by a deep video about her grandfather @ Face value [x]. It was really based on reality, honesty, and with so many deep hidden emotions. I thought it was really interesting to see how she doesn’t directly throws it in your face. She is experiencing her work and daily life not only as a designer but also as a human, and a young women with a vision ‘designing is researching’.
Sophie Krier, video still from “Kabouter Revolutie”, 2009
These days there seem to be an ongoing battle; a destructive, and in many ways ignorant battle, between nature and technology.
Nature, as in our whole planet, with the various organisms living in it; the stars, the sky and so forth.Why does the technological world try to conquer what is, in fact, our source of life, and an ancient, mysterious and beautiful force of the unknown?
Maybe that is why –in today’s society– we don’t like to be left in the dark. We don’t like not to know, unexplainable things. There are, indeed factors to nature that we can neither explain nor understand at this moment.
I, myself, find that to be extremely comforting, and beautiful. I find myself constantly surprised by various factors in nature, and its mystical ways. To be assured of the fact that we actually don’t really know anything, do we?
There are these two designers in our midst today: Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta. Both graduated from the Design Academy of Eindhoven.
Lonneke Gordijn, a passionate beliver in the strength of nature, found the love of her life, and business partner, in the technological Ralph Nauta ; Together, they founded “Studio Drift”.
Studio Drift has a futuristic vision, which is truly beautiful, but nevertheless an ideal to strive for. This vision has peace and love written all over it, and is so idealistic that I felt like the world was all nice, and pink, and soft again after reading about it.
They believe in something most people have shoved under the carpet a long time ago, or haven’t even thought about at all.
They are curious about a future where the new technologies are constantly changing different aspects of our daily life, and also curiosity about how the evolutionary developments in nature and human culture will proceed.
Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn says that they are striving to find the perfect combination of knowledge and intuition, science fiction and nature, fantasy and interactivity. Their goal is to create a dialogue between the viewer and the objects created, embodied in tangible objects that refer to realities that are often impenetrable and difficult to understand.
Combining their two minds and fascinations, both their work and their minds ended up complementing each other, merging two good sides into an even greater unit. A great example of this is their design “Fragile Future” where you can question whether or not the nature is, in fact, THE technology?
Creating with their vision ahead in the horizon somewhere, the vision of letting nature and technology complement each other instead of being in this restless, useless battle. Seeing how two people with quite opposite fascinations become a better one, than two separate poles gives me hope that they are in fact going to be able to open minds all over the globe; open eyes to see that war is not the answer to anything, no matter how innocent the war might seem.
My own opinion of the relations between nature and technology, is that these two are more closely linked than one might realize. If you look more closely, nature is in fact nothing more, and nothing less than highly advanced technology. All the organisms, the stars, the sky and so on, (as mentioned earlier,) are indeed a product of nature itself. For example, if you look at the snowflakes, fingerprints or the iris in the eye, you will find that these three creations of nature’s technology is an endless stream of astonishing, unique compositions far beyond what we have ever created with our technology!
As the technology of nature has gone on for millions of years, and goes beyond the human ability to comprehend, a spiteful urge to compete appeared; human made technology appeared.
To some extent, we have “tamed” and defeated nature, to fulfill our own selfish needs for luxury
Although this development is increasingly polluting nature, we keep wanting more, craving even more of something unnatural. Human made.
Nature might seem to be in danger, and constantly being harmed by the footprints made by the human race, but this is only partly true!
Today we are so cocky and confident that we allow ourselves to think we have the ability to eventually destroy nature, which is a thought that scares us all, but is it true? – I believe not!
Nature is, has been, and always will be a sustainable, reincarnating force that is too robust for us to destroy. We might be able to change the planets environment, but nature is still evolving in its own way, despite of the destructiveness forced upon it. It is truly highly adaptable, and might eventually show us that “survival of the fittest” will be, not only a saying, but also a fact. If we don’t take care, if we don’t stop the narrow mindedness, the selfishness and the urge to be God,
we might end up being the ones terminated by nature while trying to change the path into what we think is right.
An excellent author dealing with these thoughts and issues, Gert Nygårdshaug, has written a few books that are worth reading, like “Mengele Zoo”, and “The pool of Aphrodite”.
Why not take a step back, breathe, show a little humility to “the elders”[x]; our source of life?
The human kind is not essential for this planet, and certainly not our technology. At some point this has to be realized, and changes has to be made. Letting go of the great ego for something even greater. Life itself.
Now; I am not naive nor the biggest believer in the human mankind. Of course I don’t see us taking a break from developing new technology in order to stop and “smell the flowers”, but with designers like Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn I feel hope.
Hope that they might be able to spread a little more awareness amongst us, and start this thinking process in people that haven’t been thinking in this way before. Hope that more people will feel inspired to nurture the bond between the two [x], rather than the separation of them.
It’s amazing how far you can get, just by setting a simple seed in the ground; a simple thought in one’s mind. It might grow into a whole new forest.
Interested in more contributions on the subject of nature in technologie or vice versa check the project "Beauty in Science"
There is a great contrast between the work of Wim Crouwel and his own notes, as seen in the logbook of Total Design.
His handwriting looks chaotic, at least to an outsider, while in his work he strives for clear and honest communication, in a clean tight way.
At the start of perfect order, there is chaos, or more exactly: apparent chaos. True chaos is a myth, when you look more closely, you can see patterns, rhythm, structures and ideas, waiting to be discovered.
Creativity seeks order in seemingly randomness, extracts it and places it in a new context, space or system.
In a way the attempt of Wim Crouwel, to make communication universal understandable, is an attempt to make the world less exciting.
Creative opportunities disappear, being inventive is more difficult and there is nothing left to the imagination.
There is an understandable need for order.
Chaos can be poignant, one might be ashamed by his or her own disorderliness, but flawless order is a dull and static state.
Without chaos no creativity.
The poster is red and have an eye in the middle, with two staggered lines curving over it, forming a bended piece of something flat.
The sclera is black/greyish (fear/the unknown) and the iris is red (danger/aggression), the lines going over the eye is foming a sort of path.
Some of the ’’path’’ is grey and some is white, the lines fade in and out as it goes over the eye.
I liked the image/poster because of the story its telling.
The expression in the eye and the lines going over it is giving the feeling of the things it has experienced in its life time, the colours in the two lines i would think to be the events its seen, going from white – innocent/purity to grey – sadness/fear.
The Expression of the eye somehow gives the feeling that its not good things it has seen/is seeing , the red colour emphasize that it could be something dangerous, yet its aware of the of the danger, its not scared of whats happening, as though it would have experienced it before.
Maybe its the one making it dangerous, doing hurtful things.
Sadly many people are under the impression that scrapbooks are only a twelve year old girls way of documenting her summer trip, using stickers and sparkling pens. This is a misunderstanding. Scrapbooks are a clever method of keeping track of memories, photographs and a certain way of thinking. By observing how a scrapbook is set up, what paper is used, what typography, and what kind of organizing system it is easy to see how a scrapbook obviously reflects upon ones personality. Wim Crouwel’s photography scrapbook was the first thing that caught my eye at the Stedelijk Museum, and after going through the entire exhibition my initial thoughts of the connection between a scrapbook and a personality were proven correct.
Crouwel’s clear passion for organization in his work can be seen by the way each page has a theme in the photographs. Whether it is a small photographic series of windows, store shelves, store boxes or still-lives all the photos belong together on the scrapbook page. Each and every photograph is the exact same size glued on the paper, 3 in a horizontal way and 4 in a vertical way. Nothing is written in Crouwel’s scrapbook, with the exception of a number he gave to every photo. The way the scrapbook was set up in the museum definitely played a part in why it appealed to me. Nine pages in a row, covered by glass, truly gave an idea of the repetition, seeing how each page looked the same, until you really started looking at the photographs.
'Municipal Inferno', uitgave nº 6 van De Enschedese School.
The freedom of control.
What really fascinated me about our talk with Frans Oosterhof, was his way of talking about the freedom of control. When everything is made by hand, you lose control. Every item gets unique.
I think that is the reason, when I go down in the basement at school, I feel like going to heaven. When I enter the basement, I lose all control and works from a great passion in silkscreen and letterpress. I let stuff happen.
I love the physicality and the diversity in every work. You may have one starting point, one stencil, but end up with 10 individual works.
I am a control freak but love the freedom of control.
[by Kristine Andersen]
This “primitive” design when no computers were in use took me to the beginnings of poster design that plays such a huge role in modern world . As to understand what is happening now it is good to have a look in the past. I took myself to the very beginning of polish poster design as this country is very famous for.
I picked one of the most known poster designer Tadeusz Gronowski that reminded me of the words said by Frans Oosterhof that skills play large part of self development and can lead you to the unexpected results. It is also a way to explore new fields of creating that may affect your work later on.So, i chose him as an example to show that innovation , new skills and experimenting resulted in posters with new light and fresh background for innovative design.
“Instead of merely adapting his painterly style to the poster format, he sees in it the opportunity to create something new, indeed a new form of artistic expression. He is one of the first artists to consciously integrate the typography with the illustration and instead of choosing the obvious he offers the viewer a different look into the subject, often displaying a disposition for the light and the humorous which endeared him to the viewers.”
Frans Oosterhof is not only the key figure behind the Enschedese school, but also behind us: the basic year. So what are the secrets of the fist year study of Rietveld?
The year is there to tease us, to turn things upside down, so that at one point, after being troubled, we notice that actually it works, we can do it! We have confidence and means!
Also the January project is already a tradition to shake the dust of the christmas holidays back home from our shoulders. I was amazed by the stories of knocking down all the walls of the third floor and people from one class flying naked in the sealing of the school.
The groups are made with intuition, but carefully thought. First thing, to get the biggest possible mix of age, gender and nationality together. We also heard they look at our pictures, what attitude the face signals, how do the names sound together. It’s all part of the big plan!
Group-B Basic year 2010/11
How did we all get together? It is not a coincidence!
(by Katja Hannula)
ft Renaldo and The Loaf
Enschedese School could be considered as a movement that’s similar to Fluxus, Dada, and the Nul-beweging, but according to Frans Oosterhof it’s not considerable as something that we should describe as a recognizable style.
According to the music that Frans Oosterhof played, and the things that he did reminded me of a band called: Renaldo and The Loaf. The band made lyrics that we could describe as: disorientating, hilarious, ungraspable, and ´it´ does not mock certain things and is also not considered as anarchistic, but maybe more nihilistic by denying that:
A. There is no style connected to them
B. Playing around creates a fundamental or essential work
C. Experimental, and considerable as avantgarde
Most strong connection to this non-movement [Enschedese School] is Fluxus:
A. It is not a movement or a style
George brecht considered it as ‘the smallest unit of a situation’ and i could also conclude that some fluxus-art-works could be overlooked as a art work [Duchamp's Fountain, Manzoni's feces etc.]
it was no movement + it did had characteristic qualities of other movements = a statement without belonging to something.
(by Petros Orfanos)
On Thursday we met Frans Oosterf, a retired teacher of Rietveld Academie and a former founder of the Enschedese School. Within a couple of hours he explained to us how the movement emerged in the late 1970’s in the small town of Enschedese where some art students denied to specialize and decided to make a second foundation year to experiment more with their creative ideas using a variety of media that they chose for themselves. It wasn’t until the next year where the same people decided to move all together in a communal studio space, working in a collective way with their teachers and publishing magazines and vinyl’s of their songs and artworks. The Enschedese school lasted for several years as an independent art movement using reproducing techniques managed to send their Art by post to their subscriber within using comical elements and repetitive patterns.
Personally I admire truly their revolutionary spirit and I wish that I would one day find myself in the position of doing something similar.
(by Claire Bamplekou)
Is it possible to be ‘style less’
Frans Oosterhof said that he once promised to be and remain style less.
Don’t get me wrong I was amazed and very much inspired by this man, but still I wonder if it is possible to avoid a certain style.
I do understand that he meant that he and the other members of the Enschedese School didn’t choose one medium to reveal their thoughts, but still it made me think of how and if it is possible, to escape from any style at all. When I looked at the work of the Enschedese School I still detected a certain overall style, I do not already want to say that that’s a bad thing. If we see for example the song ‘van Agt Casanova‘ and the ‘fake stamps‘ and the strip of ‘de Doka van Hercules’ but also in the painted crockery I sense the same kind of spirit, the same kind of style. Al these works mock certain settled persons or phenomenons in society.
Actually now that I’m thinking about it more and more, I do not think that an artist should be style less at all. Of course he or she should try a lot of different media and should not be bound to certain usages. But every time an artist expresses his or her ‘obsession*’ derived from the outside world and every time it is an obsession of the same person (or group), that is creating an overall ‘style’. Besides this (visual)artists have a strong visual intuition, I don’t think we (maybe this sounds arrogant) are able to escape from that! Of course we can make it as wide as possible, but making it to wide would also implicate a kind of indifference, a complete commonplace for an artist. What I mean by an obsession is a kind of affection or unease about something in the outside world that inspires to make a work of art. The way such an obsession comes to us, how we interpret them or express them is I think quite personal (groups only arise from sympathizers, by whom this personal process works quite a bit the same, it’s not likely that you’ll find yourself in a group with people whose thinking process you don’t understand at all.)
(by Liza Prins)
Loving it to Death
On the cover of an EP a girl stands in front of a piano. She is wearing a t-shirt with piano keys on it. Standing on the piano is a tiny piano. On the back cover there is a little biography explaining in a very joyless and matter-of-fact way that this girl likes playing piano and makes songs. There’s a certain insanity subtly presented here that’s hard to grasp and easy to miss. Even though the creations done by Frans Oosterhof and the rest of the Enschedesche School were too sharp-witted to simply call them parodies, they certainly expose the apparent clumsiness of popular media in the Netherlands of the seventies. The media and objects created by the Enschedesche School seem to, in a subdued kind of way, reflect the madness of the world that surrounded them. I believe the Enschedesche School were cynically honouring these stupid media by loving it’s form to death.Personally, the meeting with Frans Oosterhof reminded me of the joy and excitement of creating things/media/objects/situations/ART according to one’s own vision and of the significance of Doing It Yourself.
Without being pretentious, last Friday gave me the impression to understand a bit of my contemporary time. Frans Oosterhof told about his studies in art academy and his years in the Enschedese School movement in the 70s/80s’. The Gerrit Rietveld Academie follows the same way of thinking, revolutionary at the time and strongly contemporary nowadays. Frans also reorganized the Rietveld’s Basic Year, which he did several times going against the idea of taking a specific direction in a department. To hear the foundations of the Foundation was revealing and encouraging: the Enschedese School is just one of the influences that stays at the bottom of a contemporary way of teaching and learning. Frans says that in others academies “art” is not possible to explain, they teach every technique, but not how to be an artist because they don’t know what is the magic potion for that. He believes that art or not we should understand nothing around us, without right and wrong and stupid school critics, we need to surprise ourselves. We don’t need to choose a direction because we should say what we want, how we want and again swimming in millions of possibility. No prejudices about media and contents ,of course, and feel the education as moment of tryout and living together.
I felt part of something bigger, also if I’m not supposed to understand and only living making art accidentally etc… I had the real intuition to be part of a cultural machine working to produce a precise thought. I know we will write the history of today in the future, but I felt perfectly in time to perceive by intuition the reason to stay exactly where I am.
Taking part of some of the treasures of the Enschedese School’s vast production; I started thinking about MAD. I always loved the magazine when I was a kid, and my parents had some really old ones at home. When I saw all the printed media and witty designs in combination with mind-bending but tempting objects, it felt like the MAD Magazine had entered another sphere and all of Harvey Kurtzman’s old drawings and perverted fantasies came to life, walking and talking just as lifelike as Oosterhof in front of me. At one point I got really attached to the little brush-bird (the one made with pencils and grey wings), and I was sure I’d seen it before as a sketch. Searching my mind and especially old MAD archives, I couldn’t find the original source I was looking for. But it was satisfying enough, because playing around with it confirmed to me that if you put your mind to it, visions/dreams/unhealthy fantasies can come true. Even if it doesn’t make any sense at all to yourself or your audience. (If you print this and wear it at school I’ll give you an ice cream.)
[by Olga Nordwall]
De kopjes van Frans Oosterhof
Frans Oosterhof heeft tijdens zijn verblijf aan de Enschedese-school een groot project gehad met al bestaand ziekenhuis kopjes. deze vijfhonderd kopjes en schotels verfde hij subtiel met kleine verf spatjes en druipers.
Wat ik kon zien bij de kopjes die hij mee had genomen, leek het vaak op de kring, die je krijgt als je koffie morst, maar dan gekleurd. Dit was zo subtiel gedaan dat de schoonmaakster van Frans een paar jaar geleden een deel van deze kopjes die hij nog bezat heeft weggegooid. de schoonmaakster dacht namelijk dat het mengbekertjes waren die niet meer schoon te krijgen waren. Zelf zag ik ook eerst niet wat er zo bijzonder was aan deze kopjes, maar juist omdat het zo subtiel gedaan is, zijn de kop en schotel het project van Frans Oosterhof dat mij het meest bij gebleven is.
My class-mate Olga makes beautiful old school tattoos with markers and colorful felt-pens. Maybe for her graphic hand or maybe because she was for a year on a sailing ship, the Falcon.
Roses, sacred hearts, daggers and anchors are her favorite subjects, exactly like the Old School style tells. Black lines draw easy and round figures that have to be filled with solid colors. Thanks to the sailors coming from exotic places (like the Philippines where Olga’s family come from) during the XVIII and XIX centuries who had contact with different tattoo arts and cultures. For sailors tattoos were a sign to remember adventures and reason to tell stories. In the beginning of ’900 the tattoo practice started to arrive in the western important ports with the same sailors were opening small tattoos studios. Sailor Jerry (1911-1973) is the initiator of the style in Honolulu in a notoriously neighborhood, frequented by the best names in prostitution and crime and, as always, by the well sailors. What shock me most of the Old Style is the elastic feature in design that from aggressive and poetic can become sensual and delicate. In the western society it easily changes attitude being used also from elegant women in visible and provocative places, maybe trying to imitate the sensual free body language of the same sex over ocean.
picture of William Vander Weyde, (1871-1929)
From my researches one of the first country that adopted tattoos was England, from the sailing in Polynesia, in the middle 18th Captain Samuel Wallis, French explorer, was one of the first to write about tattoos: “universal custom among men and women to get their buttocks and the back of their thighs painted with thin black lines representing different figures”. The polynesian women were having their first tattoo at the age of 12. From that point tattoos were defining roles, position in society and head also religious meaning. The design of Polynesian tattoos was a Tribal style: geometric forms and stylization from natural element. It was really different from what we know about the Old School style of the sailors. I didn’t understand exactly what was the western approach to the indigenous culture in the case of tattoos and what european people kept from it. I think they were really fascinated by the act, painful and beautiful at the same
time. Looking at pictures of european and american women full of tattoos at the beginning of the 1900, i was thinking about their role in society, how was possible at the time of the “belle époque” to look like a polynesian? I didn’t find a lot, but in one of the most famous example there’s Nora, daughter of Martin Hildebrandt who in 1846 opens the first U.S. tattoo shop in New York City, servicing from both sides of the Civil War. Nora, rises to fame in the 1890s when she tours with the Barnum and Bailey Circus as the Tattooed Lady.
[by Sara Cattin]
Never on a Friday
Not a gem of the Amsterdamse School, the HMS Falken nevertheless originates in Dutch craftsmanship as a ‘Schoener’ first set afloat in 1947 and still sails the Seven Seas. The term or idea of the Seven Seas was coined as early as 2300 BC, but as many myths and legends at sea, the stories change. However, they do survive. Some might not think that brave and adventurous men at sea waste their time and occupy their minds with silly stories and folklore but more so than anything else – that’s exactly what they do. Sailors are without doubt the most superstitious people I’ve ever met. Among loads of quirky habits and traditions, these are a few does and don’ts you should consider when embarking a ship:
Don’t put your left foot down first when going aboard.
Sail out on a Sunday when leaving the port, never on a Friday.
If you meet a priest, a redhead or women without shoes on your way to the ship – stay at home for the rest of the day, don’t leave the port.
Keep a black cat on board for good luck; all other black items are banned.
Don’t kill any birds if you run out of food at sea. Especially not an albatross. Birds will bring you to land, but most important; albatrosses carries the souls of dead sailors.
Do keep your eyes open for nude women; it’s good luck. That’s also why the figurehead in the bow of the ship often is a female (with one breast bare in good taste).
Wear earrings, they will enhance your eyesight. Sailors ought to wear a golden earring in case they’ll drown and get found ashore because it will finance their funeral.
Don’t light a cigarette or pipe on a candle, if the candle blows out you’re doomed.
Don’t whistle. Whistling resembles the wind in the sails and will for sure call upon the storm.
Keep this in mind and you’ll likely go along with the skipper.
“The YouTube slogan is “Broadcast Yourself”, an encouraging motto that calls up associations of a democratic Internet commons where all voices can speak and be heard. Here, it says, is a space for all individuals to create and control a channel of their own, transmitted to the world.”
Elizabeth Clark - What Good is the ‘You’ in YouTube? Cyberspectacle and Subjectivity
What is objectivity? Is it what we learn in school, the universal truths, that are right and won’t change no matter what context? Water will always frozen under 0 degree Celsius. Fair enough, objective truth. But what happens when objective facts are translated in subjective ways? Where is the neutral space there? What becomes of the neutrality of objectivity? We live in a world of exposure, of the self exploting, where the more you show the more you become. So where is the objectivity in all this? Where does it places itself within this world of subjective googles?
If we take the work of Natalie Bookchin – Laid Off, she shows an objective fact, to be fired, through the light of a lot of different experiences, all of those told by the person fired, in the first person, as if they were talking to a friend, but in fact made for youtube. Here she uses the personal diary of millions of people, put at disposal by them through a videoplateform, to talk about a fact, being fired. There is no maybe in that action, you don’t get “maybe” fired. You are either fired or you are not. But the way this fact it’s told by all these people, expresses more of the sensation of being fired, the feelings, the human side of the objective fact. Though I might question the means of communication that these people felt the urge to use, this self entertainment, I do nevertheless agree that objectivity is useful, but nothing without subjectivity. As one thing can’t exist without it’s opposite. So objectivity has it’s place in this neverending “me” world, it’s neutrality might be hidden under all these personal experiences, but it is the base of any reaction, it gives the impulse of reality that you need in order to jump (or not) into your own truth.
Can I design a space that uses my experience of fear to design the perfect safe zone? How can I shape a space which gives one freedom and privacy but which is not enclosed?
Shields and Shelter is a design for the grounds of the public bath – Flevoparkbad [link] – in Amsterdam. For the Rietveld graduation exhibition 2010, I realized a 1:1 detail of my design on the lawn behind the Rietveld Academy.
above : a 1:1 detail of my Flevoparkbad design on the lawn behind the Rietveld Academy.
In Shields and Shelter I applied step by step the guidelines that I have developed to achieve safe and comfortable zones using my own fear experiences. These guidelines involve architectural concepts like shielding and view, shadow and light, flexibility versus rigidity. The perfect safe zone to me is a flexible space which gives one freedom and privacy but which is not enclosed. As basis for the design drawings I used an aerial photo from Google Earth of Flevoparkbad. From each towel, I constructed lines of sight from 120° angle views. Through shading these 120° triangles a map emerges with different degrees of surveillance. The darker the area, the more views. At the darkest areas the view must be blocked. Therefore I developed shields, which can be slided along rails that follow the lines of sight. This allows the bathers to adjust their exposure to others according to their own wishes.
tracing the 'feel' zones and the emotion lines and reproducing them in a real situation.
From the jury rapport : Kristin Maurer’s installation outside is a whole new interpretation of space. Space can be created by shadows as well as materials. This is what struck our jury-members. Next to this the technical realization of the work is stunning and therefore our members of the jury wanted to celebrate this piece of work.
etchings at graduation show
The etchings in the thesis, presented as part of the graduation show, are ground plans of remembered fear spaces. A scheme of lines of sight in train, Kristin Maurer, 2009 [etching]
Download thesis:Architectural anxiety. the perfect safe zone
I want to tell you about my grandmother and needlework.
My grandmother had a big house and in one of the rooms she had a weave. On the weave she made tablecloths and carpets out of old sheets and fabrics. She ripped the fabric in to long thin strings and weaved them in to carpets. Some of the carpets she made where for her own house, some for the summerhouse and others to give away to family and friends.
My grandmother had an education as a nurse but after she married my grandfather she became a housewife. No busy work life for her but instead she had time to do different kinds of needlework an of course be a wife and mother. After her children moved out of the house she also developed new interest such as hunting to spend more time with my grandfather who was a keen hunter. But enough about her life story so far because this text is about the needlework she made and her as an example for a generation of woman and design.
The carpets she made are called kludetæpper in Danish, which directly translated means rag carpets in English. A better word for it in English would properly be patchwork carpets. The technique is that you ripe a bunch of old fabrics such as sheets or bed linen into long thin shreds about one centimetre wide. You then weave the shreds together again into rectangular carpets. The results is colour full thick carpets. When weaving you can also make patterns or motifs in the carpets by selecting the specific colours and then applying them in a pattern. The more traditional look of the carpets is a wide blend of colours without a specific pattern or motif.
During our first talk of a guest teacher, in the last design-period, I got interested in the way one could reach something really complicated by following some simple rules. We made tree-kind of forms according to a few rules, and however these rules where really simple we created quite complicated structures. I was questioning myself if this way of reaching complicated goals was also being used by non-artists, scientists, researchers, architects and maybe in nature as well. This is how I started my investigation and got to a website of a scientist named Chris Melhuish. He has got a lab at the university of Oxford, where he’s investigating ants ad robot’s together with ant-researcher Ana Sendova-Franks.
From a distance an anthill seems to be a lot of chaos. All the ants are just running around without a clear common goal and without noticing each other. If one would look more closely, his opinion won’t change that much. One ant is carrying some food or a larva to a nice looking place and another ant will just as easy bring it back to the beginning point. They just care about finishing there own tasks, and don’t care about what the other ants are doing.
An Ant has no sense of a higher purpose, and doesn’t know for what reason he is actually working. Therefore the organization of an ant colony is far too complicated. Nobody has got the survey and there is no unified management. Even the queen hasn’t. Some scientists are looking at ant colonies as being one organism, which exists out of a lot of smaller animals.
And so does Chris Melhuish, however some ants aren’t working that effective, as a whole, an ant colony seems who work quite well. After all they are living on planet earth for millions of years now. This antsystem has a lot of advantages for robots as well. Using a lot of small stupid robots solves for example lots of miscommunication if all the robots are just deciding themselves what they are doing, because mistaken tasks of a higher power won’t exist anymore. They are also more vulnerable when a higher power is deciding everything. If this higher power would pass away or something, they won’t know what to do any longer. Another big advantage of using a lot of small stupid robots is that it won’t cost lots of money to build them.
Scientists are now thinking about the use of these robots at another planet or for the use of nanobots. In the case of nanobots, which are really small robots, it would be very useful to use simple robots that don’t need complicated soft- or hardware, because you just don’t have the space for it. You could for example use these nanobots in paint for bridges or buildings to discover small cracks in the paint or even to find weak spots in the iron. When using Robots on the moon or another planet it would be a really big benefit to use a big amount of cheap and simple robots. It won’t matter if one or two robots wouldn’t work or would get destroyed by landing at this planet.
Besides the technological use of these robots I think there are also great possibilities to use them in art. For example interactive art, because you can easily instruct these robots to complete certain tasks, while they will never complete this task in the same way. There will always be a certain randomness in the way they will complete their task. A second benefit to use these robots in interactive art is that it doesn’t matter in which kind of environment you will place them, they can work in any kind of environment because they react on the things that are happening around them.
The beauty of this system for me is that you don’t have to be effective to create an effective system while a lot of futuristic city-systems like Aurovile, discussed earlier at this blog, are based on pure effectiveness. One ant can carry some food or a larva to a nice looking place and another ant can just as easy bring it back to the beginning point, however at the end they will reach there final goal. Actually it’s a kind of anarchy, there is no higher power to check or instruct them, they have got all the information they need since their creation.
Detail of the Bayeux Tapestry,c.1066. People eat, sleep, breed and create.
In this post I will quickly address to a specific example and a specific theory that goes into this subject. Even though we do not see art as a necessity to life, as long as we life there tends to be creativity. Apparently they go together, they feed each other. How are they linked? Besides sleeping, eating and breeding, do we need culture? If it does not contribute to surviving, why is it there? Man has been carving in caves, painting in sand and weaving threads to tell stories that will survive us. You could say this is a pattern in human existence. If storytelling or archiving in either books or objects is a pattern, is creation equal to basic need? Researching this subject I found the Bayeux Tapestry to be a nice study case. Tapestry’s made at the time of the Bayeux Tapestry are often described as folk art. Folk art, a concept that is very well explained by Jean Dubuffet, typically embodies traditional forms and social values. It originally suggested crafts and decorative skills associated with peasant communities in Europe – though presumably it could equally apply to any indigenous culture. It has broadened to include any product of practical craftsmanship and decorative skill. Folk art has also a utilitarian characteristic to it. Utilitarian because it displays the life events of a collective, rather than an individual experience. This social or collective aspect of it makes it interesting to research in association to social behavior. When looking at cultural history there are bluntly put two ways to look at the history: through folklore culture and through ‘elite’ art culture.
Art in the 14th century was a male dominated field. Artists worked a lot for commissions, and painting can be seen as the biggest medium. It represents an elite culture because the elite financed most paintings. On the opposite the folklore culture deals with a great collective history. Woman, left on the shores while their man went out for wars or exploration, stood together and shared their lives in many ways. It is no wonder then, that most of the folklore art, made by these women in particularly, is usually subject to a specific event in their lives. The documentation we know nowadays, is the same as the folk art way of storytelling of these long last centuries.
Greec Vase 570 BC, Trajan Column Rome, Captain America vs the Axis of Evil, a message from the Minestry of Homeland Security.
Although you could argue that the Bayeux Tapestry is not an example of folk art, I would say it is. It is true that the tapestry was made as a commission and the ‘team’ of people who made it where highly classified workers who were selected to work for the state of England. But think about it. It is not about who made it that much, it is about the specific choice for this medium. Each medium talks and feeds our minds differently, not only visually. So the English King and Queen wanted to document this period of Great War. They could also have chosen any other medium besides tapestry. They could get a painter to make a huge war scene; they could pick a hero from the battlefield and give him a statue. But they chose for the medium of textiles. And there is a reason for this choice. The Bayeux Tapestry is made in this form so that the people could relate to it. It is made as a form of propaganda to underline connections between the English crown and the bishop at the time in England. Also there are small references to the Normandy regime, undermining their power and choosing a more heroic English version of the battlefield. The Bayeux Tapestry, or actually the real technique is embroidery, is like a modern propaganda youTube movie. Looking at it shows no difference to ‘real’ amature paste-up movies. In this case there is surely a strategy behind it. I do not want to go into this too much, or make it a conspiracy story, but it seems not more than logical to me that a mass medium is not always just directing the masses of the people. It can also be used to address the elite, because it appeals so much to the mass. Susan Sontag already wrote it in on photography. Amateur pictures and art photography are different. They talk different. But this difference is a strength you can use.
So from which desire does folk art come? In researching the essence of why we create the basic question first is what is there to create from? Philosophers have written many theories about how we perceive the world. Choosing one of the many, I focus on the theory of Lacan. It describes three ways in which the world is ordered. It is interesting because it suggests that the way we life, think, and create are prior to eating, sleeping and breading. This all comes from Lacan’s theory on the three world orders, being the real, the symbolic and the imaginary.
Lacan’s order of the Real finds a lot of similarities with the well known philosophical term ‘die welt an sich’. The real order is the objective outside world, known as a whole, without any conceptual boundaries set by language. This order always remains invisible for the subject, never to grasp. The symbolic order is the world the way we experience it through language, image, story, and so on. Every conceptual possibility in words is used to give form to the imaginary order. That imaginary order is the world of desire and fantasy. It is not only desire and fantasy as we know it in de Freudian way.
In Lacan’s theory the imaginary refers to every single subjective experience through the real. In the three orders it is clear that the imaginary order is something that is fundamental to our being. We think, or at least we would like to believe so. Every thought, desire, fantasy or whatever you experience non-materialistically fits into this order. But it did not come there by a gift of god. Like I said above, the three orders feed each other. Our experience comes from the real world, but what we notice of this is depending on the symbolic order. In a way the symbolic order determines what we explore of this real order. Then again, the imaginary takes all these concepts deriving from the symbolic order into consideration and is able to give some output.
This output needs a concept, definition, or even materialization to be noticed and to be justified. And this is the point were culture comes in. From this I understand that culture is like a snowball. It takes along things that stick, it leaves out things that don’t. It starts small but picks up along the way and grows and grows and grows. When accepting this theory it is very logically that creation is a fundamental part of our existence, because we need concepts and objects to think. Without thinking we cannot react.
What for example the Bayeux Tapestry is showing us, is in a way nothing new to what we already know: we shape and create our own existence. This does not come after the first basic surviving needs of eating sleeping breading etc; it goes parallel next to it.
All over the world idealistic ideas about ecological, peaceful communities and city’s rise up with the intention to create a new world and to design a new society and mentality that would chance the world. Nature supporting architecture, religious like rituals, education, economic and social structures are developed to amplify the realization of this new and “better” world. In every such project that was developed until now, cultures come together in a fusion of art, education, rituals and tradition. It is clear that a lot of people have the desire of a new structured, new spiritual and in every aspect more organic and ecological world. One that gives us the peace of mind that we will not use up our energy sources, that we will not exterminate our nature and therefor importantly to most humans ourselves! Every kind of media is trying to inform us to be aware for the need of change throughout the hole world. To raise the question of awareness, in what way do we go on manipulating the world, in what way can we change our living conditions. It is even a big inspiration for the art world, television series that create science fiction out of it, writhers, designers, architects etc…
Some reactions to all of this have bin the design and building of Utopia’s. Still up until today non of these “Utopia” projects seem to really succeed. It is an interesting question to why these projects fail time after time and still why so many projects are rising up. It is a question that I will give my own perspective on. I will take two cities as an example for the experiment for the improvement of a better quality of live.
“Auroville wants to be a universal township where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity”. In there philosophy they try to wave cultures and societies together with traditional and modern lifestyles. In that way Auroville has become a playground in many area’s such as architecture. Not only does Auroville have an interesting architecture it has it’s own economical structure, a research area for renewable energy and recyclable energy and elements, it’s own social structures and developed education.
The sketch of Auroville ‘1965’ begun with Mirra Alfassa (who was collectively called “The Mother”) she laid down the basic concept for the town. Here first sketches are called “The Galaxy” in witch she tries to lay down all the important activity areas that would fulfill the vision of making it a universal township. It was to be a city that would totally intergrade and be submissive to nature. Then in 1970 Mirra Alfassa asked Roger Anger to begin with the design of the center “Matrimandir” the hart of Auroville. This is the most and very important building of Auroville. It is called the “soul of the city” and is situated in a large open space much like an arena called “Peace”. Inside the building there are 4 pedestals that all belong to a wind-region North-East-South-West and symbolize characters. And also a mediation hall, this contains the largest glass globe in the world. Above it is a hole in the roof so that the sunlight shine’s s straight line into the globe by daylight. Witch gives it a extraordinary glow and light spectacle.
Every building has a symbolic meaning. The city exists out of 4 zones (cultural, international, industrial, residential) and a green belt. The movement of the city became to be intergraded in the nature it was build in. Around it other communities came into existence. Thus a kind of double city gradually developed. Auroville starts weaving into a structure of it’s evolution and become one pattern. The city has relied on the possibilities that nature trees and plants gave room for to build, and because of that a very natural shape became to be, almost tornado like, if it was made and shaped by nature itself.
This all came to be in the order of a charter of rules that where developed to the being of the City. Some of the architectural rules:
Not to Harm nature or its existing habitants in the build of the city
Eco Friendly Architecture
Climate responsive architecture
Architecture integration with natural surroundings
The following link is to the architectural aspect of Auroville: http://www.auroville.org/thecity/architecture.htm
Here I want to make a bridge to Chandrigarh another city that was build in India. This city came to existence because in 1947 Punjab was divided into a Pakistani and Indian part the new Indian state therefor needed a new capital city. The architect is Le Cobustier who also created the Modular formula and his own charter’s of rules for architectural constructions.
Some of Le Cobusier values:
Architecture that has a moving relation with light, shadow and space.
Provide of cheap and high quality buildings
To contribute to a more comfortable and easy lifestyle
To connect people by the use of elements and natural senses
These formula’s had everything to do with the natural elements.Le Corbusier had an aversion for industrial like cities, he thought it led to crowing, dirtiness and lack of moral landscape. He tried to intergrade a way of architecture that suggest and encourage people to have a certain lifestyle. He was also very concerned with the human body responding to its architecture. Also the feel and touch of materials and shapes, color, space, sounds, light where all even as important. The city Chandigarh pronounces itself as a city where modernization coexists with nature’s preservation. Tree and plants are as much a part of the construction plans as the buildings an the roads. And he city is surrounded by a green belt.
The most important and symbolic monument is an metal 85 feet hight open hand that rotates in the direction of the wind and carries out the message of peace and unity “open to give and open to receive”. Much like the symbolic meaning of the centre building “Matrimandir” in Auroville. Also Chandrigarh is divided into different area’s witch are self-sufficient neighborhoods, that are linked to each other by roads and path networks. The zones are numbered from 1 to 47, with the exception of 13 (since it is considered unlucky). The shape of the city is much like a patchwork blanked. It is clear that the city, roads and networks are organized and designed for practical use and comfort.
Failure and Succes
Both cities show in some way’s a lot of resemblance to each other but are also very opposite to each other in a lot of way’s. Both city are divided in sectors that have there own function, witch is also very important to both city’s is the richness of nature. In both city’s the architecture is build with a very friendly approach to the human body and environment. And both cities contain symbolic elements. But where Auroville wants to be a total new economic, ecological and self sufficient city and break loos of commercial and mass production companies, Chandigarh has companies like Mc Donalds etc… The mentality and philosophy differs in a economical, spiritual and educational way. Auroville tries to contribute to a solution for our problems of pollution of our environment, our energy sources and the quality of our mental and physical health. Chandrigarh tries to have a quality of living environment but does not in the hole try to change the use of economical and commercial consumers with the outcome of a more nurturing use of our environment. Still Auroville has not provide a solution and is now surviving on neighbor-villages. If you look at the world as a symbiotic organism it is clear that one can not survive without the other, everything is linked to each other. Even within the smallest organic cels and atoms there is linkage to everything around us. We humans have designed and created a world full of problems that are totally linked and symbiotic to each other. If we take one of them away the survival of function as we created it is in danger. In order for a concept like Auroville to work there has to be a chain reaction throughout the hole world to maintain that symbiotic relationship that we have with the world in order to survive.
It is very clear now in the scientific world, the spiritual world, the business and economic world, that a change and chain reaction like that is very necessary for our survival. Money became digital and lost its value and creditability. Banks are falling, oil one of our biggest sources of energy is running out. There is a big hole in the ozone-lear that damages our bio culturals. We have to find a way to make a solution possible. And finding this way is very inspirational for designers all over the world!
For the first time in fifteen years an overview exhibition on the work of the French artist Sophie Calle is organize in The Netherlands. Central work in this exhibit is “Prenez soin de vous” (Take care of yourself), in which Calle invites 107 women from a ballerina to a lawyer to use their professional skills to interpret an email in which her partner breaks up with her.
Sophie Calle is part of the April 1st BasicYear Design Trip look for more on Sophie Calle newspaper article NRC 9/5/2008 (dutch) pdf
50 years after Willem Sandberg defined his vision on curating by inviting the audience to look inside the museum through the windows of his “New Wing”, the SM is in a state of comatose transition towards becoming the future’s best tourist attraction. The old adage “time flies, space stays” does not count anymore. Space moves too and a new generation of digital natives moves with it. About time to think up new directions.
The Graphic Design Museum takes the lead again with the symposium “me and you and everybody we know is a curator” about quality in an age of visual overload, after an idea by Sophie Krier and Mieke Gerritzen. How do we present and preserve quality to this new generation of “digital natives”. Sophie Krier presented this tentative diagram (above) about the main question behind the symposium ”me you…”, namely “what is quality online? – The diagram represents culture as a flock of migrating birds, always on the move, and the connected dots as our mutlifaceted attempts to make sense of that dynamic whole. In her presentation she compares it with the well know “designproces scheme” by Charles Eames in which he presents the believe of the Eames office in working from genuine interest only- in this diagram, he maps the partly overlapping interest zones of society as a whole, of the client and of his office.
The program consisted out of two stimulating culture-philosophical lectures by Bruce Sterling and Andrew Keen illustrated with case studies presented by researchers, artists, designers, critics and of course curators. Among these quality speakers the opinion surfaced that a transformation of space from physical to digital will lead to a revival of the physical quality. I would call it a reassessment of deja-vu in which the internet replaces the subconsciousness.
Designblog provides the links to a summary of the symposium by Liselotte Doeswijk (source designhistoryNL), but like to emphasize the provocative introduction speech of Bruce Sterling (Cyberpunker and blogger for Wired) “Gothic Hightech in the Future Favela”. download a full transcription by Morgan Currie
My second search in the library, this time with a whole list of tag-words in the back of my head. I try not to search for something precise, but rather let it come to me. I pick up a lot of books, not knowing what feels right. Then I see a book with an interesting structure on the cover. It looks like a computer-drawn structure, like a cheap 80’s wallpaper. On the first page I read that this publication is part of a numbered series, from 1-1000. While making this book, by using different techniques, 1000 different books were made. Each unique book has its own number, this one is numbered 756. I expected this book to be about production techniques, but instead it’s about human behaviour and how we perceive things. More human than the cover. More human, less machines.
Why do people, both men and women, cover their hair or head for religious purposes?
Do they all have the same reason? Why are the rules different for men and women and what does it mean that we all want to cover this part of our body that is in first appearance not the most intimate one?
And finally what do have the differences between religions, but even the differences within one religion, to do this?
The Netherlands is well known for its liberal thoughts and its sense of the ability of living a free life. I would like to go back to a period in time where I believe that this feeling of freedom started. Well, at least for me it started in this period. And after having seen in the Zuiderzeemuseum some memories came back to me.
In the beginning of the 90s a new form of dancing and partying was developing worldwide: ‘The House scene’. The Netherlands, and especially Amsterdam, was an important spill in this scene. Clubs like ‘The Roxy’ and ‘The It’ were internationally well known and formed the basis of experimenting within all boundaries of partying. In these clubs it felt as if all things were possible and all different types of people were accepted. This also attracted many homosexuals from all over the world to come to Amsterdam. Which led to an extravagant gay scene that gave these dance parties a free and exceptional character.
(house scene back in the early 90’s filmed in The Roxy)
Until today many people try to redevelop the feeling we experienced back in the 90s by organising the same types of parties. Dressing up, drugs, gays, extravagant shows, and all other sorts of things are organised in order to recreate that great sense of freedom. In my opinion: ‘Dutch folklore that developed into a worldwide dance scene’.