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"social behavior" Category


Sensors and supervision


Wednesday, November 26, 2014


The exhibition The Future of Fashion Is Now at the museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam features established and upcoming designers questioning and challenging the premises of contemporary fashion. One of the contributing designers is the canadian designer Ying Gao, who in her work Incertitudes used speech- and motion-activated sensors hidden within two white dresses covered with thousands of small needles, reminiscent of porcupine coats. The gestures and noises of a viewer or passerby forces the attached pins to move, transforming the garment as well as the contours of its wearer. In her description of the piece, Gao refers to the constant stress and uncertainty of modern day individuals, always flexible and ready to adapt to new situations.

Gao was participating in the section of the exhibition called Materiality and Experience, which makes perfect sense in consideration of her other works, also making use of innovative technological solutions. Besides Incertitudes, she has also investigated light-reactive electronic components, by creating coats that move depending on the intensity of a light source, such as a flashlight. Involving interactive techniques in fashion could bring a sense of dynamism to the concept of clothing. When permitting participation/interaction with surroundings and spectators, the pieces rapidly distinguish themselves from any garment that is delivered already “done”. Bypassing flatness and immobility, they become equipped with a quality of sensibility and refinement.

 

researchweb2

 1.
• Flexible Pressure Sensors • Incertitudes (close-up) by Ying Gao • Silver nano wire sensors • (Now)here (Now)here (close-up) by Ying Gao • Solar Powered Jacket by Tommy Hilfiger

 

Combining aesthetics with the latest technological developments is not always an uncomplicated process. Successful and sophisticated design of hi-tech clothing is still limited to a small number of fortunate tries. We slowly move away from the “ugliness” that usually haunt technical innovations in their early years. The industry could be seen as going through a process of normalization, where the feeling of the relatively unnecessary “tech gadget” is left behind.

Designers experimenting with the new possibilities are however operating in an unexplored grey area somewhere between usefulness, beauty and supervision. When letting technology become autonomous and enabling it to take its own decisions, the designer releases control over the outcome. Reducing his or her position by introducing chance and fate will inevitably lead to new opportunities and new situations.

Although the integration of data-collecting sensors in fabric has a natural relevance for the innovative clothing designers, the use of such equipment will most likely not be restricted to the fashion industry only. This could mean infinite possibilities – the risk of abuse on civil liberties should be taken into consideration. What if the occurrence of intelligent fabrics was as widespread (but also overlooked) as surveillance cameras in public spaces? If biometric textile was put on the seats of public transport? Or misused, as if put on animals or plants? How would our experience of daily life change if speech- and motion reacting sensors were installed in supermarkets, shopping centers, cafés? If objects/garments changed with the impact of our mere presence?

 

research 2web2

 2.
• Infrared motion sensor burglar alarm • Digital persona Fingerprint reader • AR. 2.0 Parrot Model drone • System Azure Security Ornamentation by Jill Magid • Facial Weaponization Suit by Zach Blas

 

It is nowadays clear that smart wristbands (as well as watches, jewelry and other attachable items) tracking, measuring and analyzing the bearers every movement is a constantly growing industry. The technique of smart fabrics and integrated sensors in clothing is evolving equally rapid, thereby soon making the act of strapping on an external device unnecessary. By inserting sensors capable of tracking very precise information already in the fabrics, data on motion, size, location, force, weight or shape could easily be collected.

Technological monitoring of human movement is however nothing new. The first closed-circuit TV cameras (CCTV) came into use already in 1942 during the observation of a rocket launch in Peenemünde, Germany. Surveillance camera systems performing continuous video recording has been a common practice almost ever since. Among more recent developments are biometric recognition (face, fingerprints etc), aerial surveillance (helicopters, drones etc.) and naturally everything related to internet and social media. Could the integration of intelligent fabrics be a suitable addition to this process?

 

research 3web2

3.
• Google Glasses • Ritot smart wristband • Flexible Skin Temperature Sensor • Necklace Projector • Smartphone

 

New wearable technology are in some aspects already being used as a means of self-control and self-reflection, as a way of eliminating chance and the unforeseen at any cost. The behavior could be linked to the ongoing obsession with observing and measuring the own body. Health, sport and the perfecting of ones physical appearance has gotten a new trendy twist with smart apparel, fitting quite well into the all-encompassing life project certain enthusiastic users are living by. Are we moving from an attitude of authoritarian respect from earlier times and into a slavery of self discipline and personal surveillance? From the all-seeing, omnipresent monitor to the individual supervising itself?

The existence of hidden, interactive sensors and reactive fabrics is undeniably a relevant topic – the potential is striking. Anyone curious in new means of communication could possibly avoid the advancement of smart textile in modern daily life, reaching us all within a very near future.

On a personal level, I ask myself if there could be some sort of spirituality to be found in this technology of supervision? Is there an empty space to be filled in secular societies, leading up to this voluntary self-surveillance through different types of apparel and other devices? The subject is fascinating both from an artistic point of view as well as a philosophical/ethical one. 

 

research 4web2

4.

• Conan O'Brien tries Dream Weaver (video) • Chakra Balancing application • Deepak Chopras Dream Weaver • iPhone surveillance

 

How do we as individuals deal with the concept of spirituality, truth and privacy in the age of technology? The adaption to new conditions is unavoidable, but becomes more and more a matter of privileges.

The revelations on to what extent state supervision is currently practiced (Edward Snowden, NSA, Wikileaks) chocked a whole world and deepened the conflict with the established, monotheistic religions believing in the One and only God to monitor and judge all human action. Surveillance relates to different aspects of privacy, such as privacy of property, of space, of personality and of thought. Worthy of note is that not everyone has the economical means to question authoritarian demands on personal information, with the consequence of privacy possibly turning into a valuable property that only a select few can access.

New forms of spiritual practice and/or self-monitoring take shape with the aid of technological devices. Smartphone applications connected to health, higher power, meditation, zen etc. are immensely popular, offering a re-charging of the soul similar to the charging of batteries. When spiritual leaders such as Deepak Chopra releases biosensorical glasses promising relaxation and inner peace the merging of spirituality and technology is indisputably a fact. Are they all yet another expression of an egocentric, self-obsessed Western society or a useful tool to actually reconnect lost searchers of truth?

In any case, a space has opened up for an intimate, personal form of spirituality disconnected from the dogmas of organized religions whilst also distancing itself from sovereign state control. The idea of scientific knowledge as the superior way of accessing truth is once again questioned – and is it necessarily in opposition to all spiritual methods? To conclude: it is visible how technology/the visible and spirituality/the invisible intertwine and affect each other more and more in modern societies. This provides interesting opportunities for artists to question and investigate further, and I am certain that projects such as Ying Gaos is only a preview of what the future will hold.  

 

The invisible fashion


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I am not really into fashion so I didn’t know what to expect during the exhibition and even by looking at the website of The Future of Fashion is Now I had no clue whether I am gonna appreciate this kind of art or not. My fondness for Adele Varcoe started when I visited the exhibition. It was divided into 3 parts and it was the last one which seemed to me totally unclear and thereby intriguing. Ironically it was precisely this part –New Values and New Stories– in which I found this  amazing artist who is taking fashion into a higher level, looking at it not only as an outfit but more as a factor indicating our behavior.

Adele Varcoe is an Australian artist. She is not strictly a fashion designer but her works are directly lined with fashion. She is creating experiences which are suppose to show the social effects on clothing. Adele is mostly constructing group performances in which she brings people together in order to explore the elusive nature of fashion. She wants to outline the sense of self which is heightened through the clothes.

Imagine Chanel

While making her performances she likes to mix the participants, working with artists, models but whats mostly important with the public. She is interested in revealing how fashion influences the interactions and relations between people. Adele often uses the quote “perception of dress” which in her opinion is the subconscious behavior of the society depending on what we wear and in what situation we are.

The performance which I saw in the Boijmans exhibit and which invited me to learn more about Adele Varcoe was the salon fashion show Imagine Chanel. It was in 2012 when she came up with the idea of presenting fashion experience through language. She used the descriptions of garments from 1920s till 1960s Chanel archive at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Powerhouse Museum as material to reveal the role which our imagination plays in looking at fashion. The main goal of this performance was to highlight that fashion is not something that exists as dress only. The fashion show is led by a woman reading the descriptions of Chanel outfits while nude women circle between the audience acting as they were wearing all the precious, described cloths. This situation gives the audience a broad field where by using their imagination they can design their own clothes worn by the models.

Imagine Chanel

Adele’s concept is based on the professional opinion of a sociologist Yaniya Kawamura [x] who claims that : “Fashion does provide extra added values to clothing, but the additional elements exist only in peoples imagination and beliefs. Fashion is not visual clothing but is the invisible elements included in clothing”.

Here comes the link between her work and the name of the third section of the exhibition: New Values and New Stories. I am really fascinated by her way of thinking. It looks like if she is taking a broad working space which is fashion and approaching it from a totally unconventional side. I think the point of conceptual art is to influence the audience and show them something which is not obvious. Working with subconscious behavior and reactions upon “invisible fashion”, Varcoe is putting new values to clothing which is actually our second skin changing our behavior and social interactions.

Each of her works is often closely connected to the broad area of fashion sociology. It is claimed that in fact, fashion is not about clothing but more about the basic process that propels modern life, and it is the outfit which structures the psycho-social development of a modern person.

A similar  concept was to be seen in Varcoe’s other exhibit in the Boijmans Museum called ” Feeling of undress”. This movie was even less about fashion itself but more about the social behaviour and human interactions.

Some other sociologist like Georg Simmel states; ..” that fashion refers to a general phenomenon, in which it becomes a type of social horizon point where the individual interest and taste comes across the collective”. He once wrote “Fashion represents nothing more than one of the many forms of life by the aid of which we seek to combine . . . the tendency toward social equality with the desire for individual differentiation and change”.

I think after experiencing her art or being part of it, we start to realize some behaviors and actions which are natural for us but we can never see them consciously. Varcole gives us an opportunity to set aside our subconscious actions and observe how the natural behavior is chaining depending on what situation we are in.

I think the most interesting part of being an artist is to use your creativity and open minded thinking to show the audience something new, in this case something totally normal but not realized in everyday live. I think its also interesting how she links the scientific knowledge in the area of sociology to play with the human mind and gives people the opportunity to experience and then realize the way of human behaviors by taking part in her art performances.

Thoughts on Lucy + Jorge Orta


Friday, November 21, 2014

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Nexus Architecture

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The Human Centipede (2)

 

At the Boijmans Van Beuningen’s The Future of Fashion is Now (Fashion, Activism, Community and Politics), Lucy + Jorge Orta showed their work Nexus Architecture x 25 – Nexus Type Opera.tion. In Nexus Architecture (2001) they zip together the clothes of a group of volunteers. The idea is to depict the loss of individuality in a cluster of social relationships. We are all connected; “Each individual keeps an eye on, and protects, the other. One individual’s life depends on the life of the other. The warmth of one gives warmth to the other. The physical link weaves a social link.” I refer Nexus Architecture to the horror film The Human Centipede by Tom Six. ‘’A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a group of people in order to reassemble them into a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others’ rectums.’’ The victims basically have to wear each other to survive, of course an extreme version of “Each individual keeps an eye on, and protects, the other. One individual’s life depends on the life of the other. The warmth of one gives warmth to the other. The physical link weaves a social link’’.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 20.43.57Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 20.46.44Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 20.44.17Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 20.44.30

 

Nexus (which means link or tie) Architecture is a symbolic work which I find to be a shame as there are examples of functioning clothes which actually do realize bond and equality, for example school uniforms. I wore a school uniform as a child and my experience was that wearing a uniform built team spirit and unified. Also prevented the pressure of having to have status symbols such as branded clothes and thereby made the economical differences less visible in school. However I did feel a lack of freedom to express myself. Other areas where uniforms are used is for example in the military, prison, finance and sports. The idea is that if you are wearing the same uniform you are friends and you help each other. But even if we wear the same fabric and colors we are not always friends and we do not always help each other. To tell how the world works Orta metaphorically connected the uniforms physically (what happens to me will happen to you) which automatically also becomes literal. The work is executed in a bold and direct way which I do admire. The doubts I have about the work not being applied to people in a direct (functioning) way may depend on the way it is presented…

 

At Boijmans Van Beuningen’s Nexus Architecture was presented as an installation. But during performances, Orta gives the participants commands, setting the whole group in motion, ‘’emphasizing the loss of humanity within the collective’’. Depending on the participants engagement in following the task it can either be or not be a working organism. I believe that Orta is not making a political statement but rather questioning the political ideology of today and the future. Maybe the importance of both communism and capitalism, the group and the individual.

 

In general I was fascinated by the room of Activism, Community and Politics in the The Future of Fashion is Now exhibition because I respect artists like Orta who try to break down and deal with these large and relevant questions. I have to make 10 designs on the subject Ebola for design class which is a subject far from my control, and to me it is a motivation to see how Orta can manage similar matters. Orta has an optimistic approach in both content and aesthetic. But I can not help but question if the work of Orta maybe is too playful? I feel slightly split about the fact that world issues are ”anesthetized” when artists take them on. As the beauty overshadows the message but at the same time maybe this is necessary when wanting to communicate to the western world. It is a paradox. In any case I think that it is couregous to deal with such serious matters. Later on one can argue if a work is successful or not, if the artist does harm or good. I may be cynical but it is hard for me to understand the motive of why Orta has cared for the complex of global problems such as the ecological environment/global warming, sexism, refuge and immigration policy, the hostility towards the Romani people, the biomedical ethics of organ donation and homelessness as these subjects differ so much from each other. But then again it is arguable that a team of two artists do not share the same mind and therefore bring different issues to the table. Anyway Orta has surely succeeded in raising some of  the spectators awareness or opinion as I have just written a text about this.

PROVO | Amsterdam’s Anarchist Revolt


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Provo | Amsterdam's Anarchist Revolt

designer: Josh MacPhee

 

The title of the book strongly indicates that it is of political context. Being myself concerned with politics, especially in a period of great upheaval (globalization/economical crisis) like the one we are in now, and coming from a country where politics itself plays a significant role in its history ever since the ancient times, this book instantly attracted my attention.

It is recognized that art is part of a practical activity that can change the world. In many cases it comes into existence in response to certain definite problems. Leon Trotsky has written that art can play a dual role within society: That of the mirror and that of the hammer. In other words, what he means by that, is that art has the ability of reflecting the movement of society while also forging consciousnesses inside it. Provo is representative of such case.

Provo is based on a political struggle in the mid 60′s, that focused on provoking violent responses from authorities using non-violent bait. It is an Amsterdam-based anarchist, political, social and art movement. Its interventions where staged into the symbolic and everyday spaces of Holland. What is interesting to look at, is that the activists involved with this movement, where really creating their own distinctive posters, graphics and other forms of art, such as political spectacles and street theater, illustrating their beliefs and intentions.

Walls and words, silk-screen posters and hand printed flyers where the revolutionary media passed out in public. The Provo radicals would carry out total black or even totally blank banners, purposely provoking the police in a ‘ludic’ attitude. They would relate themselves to Dada, constructivist movements, Bauhaus and other Russian ways.

wit

They took existing rules and decided to play within them, to see how far they could push the limits of those rules.
They were not allowed to use actual slogans, so they decided to use unwritten banners. They made use of the ambiguous nature of play: They were protesting, but at the same time not protesting. There were no forbidden slogans on their banners, but at the same time, the slogans were ever so present throughout their absence.

 

pro0102-provo-artists-book-god-nederland-oranje  Anarchy

 

http://www.experimentaljetset.nl/provo/

http://www.experimentaljetset.nl/archive/interview-graphic-no-24

 

It is a simple, black & white book. Its design is intentionally simple, in this way successfully highlighting the content of the book, erasing any type of decorative matter. Looking at it’s outline, it is clearly characterized within the Provo attitude. It is not modern or in any way trying to draw attention through some kind of unusual graphic design. The pages are matte and the text produced with a bold, black typeface. The only evident, decorative detail are some thick black lines and squares either on the sides and bottoms of each page or in the beginning of a new chapter. The ink on the paper seems quite thick, giving the impression that if you rub the pages in the book you are almost able to scent, as well as feel it.

Consequently, it successfully carries out a very strong depiction, that the book itself, could be an original Provo pamphlet or poster. The do-it-yourself feeling is well portrayed through its design. The cover of the book itself is also represented by a successfully eye-catching Provo poster, illustrating a pair of gigantic feet ready to be chopped off by a tiny white figure.

 

Photographic documentation from the book:

ANP01_13385083_X
AdamCanon_45

 

The designers background totally reflects upon the the books context and therefore explains his design. Josh MacPhee is a Brooklyn based artist, activist and archivist. He is also a print-maker and a self-taught historian of 21st century left politics. He established a distribution system called ‘Justseeds’, a decentralized, worker-owned cooperative of twenty-five other artists. Justseeds relates to social and environmental movements and issues in order to get more radical art projects out to the public. Their work illustrates an extraordinary aesthetic range of radical movements during the past 50 years and explores the rise of powerful countercultures that evolve beyond traditional politics, creating distinct forms of art, lifestyles and social organizations. MacPhee’s simple aim is to use art, such as visual and graphic work, to inject protest politics into public discourse.

Besides Justseeds, MacPhee also organizes  the ‘Celebrate Peoples History Poster Project’, an ongoing poster series in which  different artists create posters to document and remember moments in radical history. He himself, has a big collection on political posters. For instance, he collects Cuban political posters as, while according to him, they are some of the “most aesthetically diverse, experimental and impactful in the history of political posters.”

http://www.justseeds.org/subjects/anarchism/

 

We cannot delude ourselves. No art has ever only served itself. We ought to support and defend the art born within resistance, the art which fights and contributes to equality and fairness.

 

04pcnofence_400043Steps1_400

Josh MacPhee :
No Fence Uncut /offset printed postcard • Three Steps /3 color screenprint 

Rietveld library catalog no : 947.6 kem 1

A Photograph Revolution


Sunday, October 19, 2014

 

Among all of the recent books in the Rietveld Academie library, Boy Politics particularly appealed to me for its very peculiar aspect and design. It is a bit damaged and looks very breakable which gives it a feeling of preciousness, emphasized by the fact that it is a unique copy. At first I had decided to go see what it looked like because the title was very evocative to me and seemed like a topic I would want to read about. I am interested in the theme of gender and particularly male domination in different cultures and have often questioned it in my work last year in my art school in France. The boy figure, what is expected from a boy and how deeply these expectations and behaviors are attached to a culture and collective unconsciousness.

This book was my first glimpse of the tip of the iceberg that are Marc Roig Blesa and Rogier Delfos’ collaborative projects.

 

BoyPolitics_h900

Boy Politics, Marc Roig Blesa and Rogier Delfos

 

Marc Roig Blesa and Rogier Delfos are two former students of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Both graduated in 2009 ; Blesa from VAV and Delfos from graphic design. They have been working together ever since between Barcelona and Amsterdam. From 14/05/13 to 07/06/13 they held an exhibition at Rietveld library where they exposed a selection of Blesa’s secondhand books in a window display, opened at a certain page. It was a mute and powerful visual essay of the figure of the boy throughout images from the 1920′s to the 1990′s. Later on, two other former students of the Academie (Anton Stuckhard and Andrea Sergio) designed Boy Politics, a book that archives this exhibition in a very efficient manner that, to my opinion, is really coherent to the way Blesa and Delfos work. Without any fuss, they encapsulated the spirit of what was the starting point of a larger project that Blesa and Delfos have been working on ever since : « Werker ».

 

Boypolitics1

 

Werker magazine is a long term project and concept that asks many questions and got more and more complex over time. There are 8 different werker projects but usually more than one edition by project.

The artists define them as « contextual publications about photography and labor that inquire into the possibility of formulating a contemporary representation of work » They are all mute analysis of a situation that they try to depict in a most objective manner as possible. They are often the following or addition to an event (exhibition, lecture…) like for Boy Politics. Werker 2, for example, was realized for the exhibition « 1979, A Monument to Radical Instants » in the Virrena Centre de la Imatge of Barcelona (2011), dealing with the issues of daily life in crisis of working class young men. Knowing that photography is the medium that communicates best the essence of a situation, Blesa and Delfos have realized a very accurate observation of several situations.

 

werker2_h1000

 

An example of that accuracy is the « Cinema Diary » edition of Werker 6 (that you can find in San Serriffe book store, along with other Werker issues. It is « a collection of photo diaries that reflect on the current working conditions of the youth through self-representation and amateur photography. » It is the summary of a young artist’s (Matthijs Diederiks) side job at a Pathé cinema. In this small book (x) from which the cover is handwritten by Diederiks, you can find an extract of his working contract and meaningfulness in the lost time of a very boring job.

 

Werker is the story of how graphic design and art meet through photography (amateur photography, secondhand books images, internet pictures…) aiming to deliver a message : Images have power and that power is into the wrong hands, the people must take it back. Blesa and Delfos are indeed strongly politically engaged with revolutionary ambitions.
Let’s focus on « Werker 7 : the language of revolution ». This exhibition followed by an edition of newspaper (once with and once without image) was inspired by the words of Ariella Azoulay in a lecture she gave at the museu d’art contemporani de Barcelona in 2011 in which she did an analysis of Egypt’s revolution through images from the internet (you can find her lecture here : x). Werker 7 questions the revolutionary image, the revolutionary language, the role of mass-media in all this and the function carried out by photography in construction of a global revolutionary language. All the images chosen for that project were found on the internet.

 

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Werker7_index_zoom1_w1500

 

Werker takes its name from the « Worker Photography Movement » :  a group of amateur photographers that appeared in Germany in the 1920’s, following the steps of the first socialist photography experiences in the USSR which extended into the rest of Europe, the USA and Japan. The first group of amateur photographers to use the camera as a tool to fight class-struggle. When I found out about this origin, the work of Blesa and Delfos came clear to me to its full extent. Werker 3 is a « political kitchen calendar » developed within the « grand domestic revolution – user’s manual », a long term living research initiated by casco office for art, design and theory in Utrecht. it is a call for students, artists, domestic workers (and so on) to contribute to the collective gathering of materials. A call for amateur photography as an observation of domestic space. The assignment was « Think politically of your domestic space and contribute to Werker 3 ».

 

Werker-3_h900

 

Finally, I found in the « Cinema Diary » an extract from the book Der Arbeiter-Fotograf from Willi Münzenberg (1931) that I thought was very relevant to Delfos and Blesa’s approach, aims and tasks.

« Photography has become an indispensable and outstanding means of propaganda in the revolutionary class struggle. (…) For an illustrated book is easier to read (…) than the lead article of a political daily. Photography works on the human eye (…) the bourgeoisie caters for the mental laziness of the masses and also makes a lot of money. (…) Much more important is the political effect (…) a skillful editor can falsify every photograph into its opposite and can influence the politically naive reader. (…) The revolutionary workers of all countries have to realize these facts very clearly. They have to fight the class enemy with all means. Just as the workers of the Soviet Union have learned to make their own machine-tools (…) the proletarian amateur photographers have to learn to master the camera and to use it correctly in the international class struggle. »

Delfos and Blesa’s aim and ambition : an anti-propaganda revolution guided by photography.

Rietveld library catalog no : roi 1

Is the pursuit of happiness just an illusion?


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

 

What is happiness to you? How does it smell, taste and feel?

A smile for you

Jeppe Hein is a Danish artist based in Copenhagen and Berlin. His work attempts to be inclusive and tactile, whilst at the same provides a stimulus for contemplation.

The book tries to depict the artist’s representations of three dimensional work within the context of a two dimensional medium.
First of course I was attracted to the front cover. My eyes followed the confusion of coloured dots, like spatter from an ink-jet printer. Until they found the centre; a blister free of colour where the title nestled and seemed to lift, like the title suggested: “A Smile For You”. And then, off-centre; top left following the curve, the artist’s name. Tinier, but somehow less intimate. Different font. Lighter in colour, perhaps, but a statement nonetheless. Ownership.
I browsed through the book and saw that these elements were replicated throughout; the lack of margins, the differing fonts and point sizes, sometimes with serif, sometimes without as if each page was a different room of the exhibition. I became a visitor among the others. And there are many others. I am one of those looking at them, trying to look within.
I realised that the depiction of the artwork was an attempt to reflect the conceit of happiness. The expression of such is difficult; emotions are subjective; happiness is maybe the hardest one to express in a creative medium. I therefore found it interesting how you could try to express happiness in design and in the content of a book.
Books are neither happy nor sad. It is what is contained within and the ability of the author, the designer, and the illustrator; the bookbinder and most importantly the consumer who decides that.

I feel like I have an intimate relationship with this book, it’s precious nevertheless I’m not afraid to use it, look at it, smell it, crease it, read it and ignore it. As long as it’s on the bookshelf it will always be there. A small happiness in my head.

 

The book was designed by All the Way to Paris a Danish-Swedish graphic design studio based in Copenhagen. Founded in 2004 by Tanja Vibe and Petra Olsson Gendt. ATWTP and Jeppe Hein have a personal relationship together. They have been working as a team for the past six years. In 2008, the designers produce the graphic identity for “Karriere” a restaurant ran by Jeppe Hein and his sister. Also, in 2009/2010, they created a logo for “Circus Hein,” a circus show held in Orléans, France. The designers touch can easily be recognized. The colours and typeface are echoed throughout their work.

Circus Hein posters

The catalogue’s design is a close collaboration between Jeppe Hein, his studio and the graphic designer. The artist decided on the selection of images and came up with the idea to include the postcards, engaging the reader to participate by sharing his thoughts on happiness.
The photographs of the artist’s installations and drawings are inviting; the reader can easily travel through them. The choice of mat photo paper is important. The depiction of these works attempts to be as truthful as possible. Many of the photographs enable the reader to see the audience’s reactions to the installations and how by using everyday materials Jeppe Hein tries to reflect the serenity of introspection through voyeuristic engagement.
The designers were able to incorporate a collection of intriguing dividers into the catalogue. Each introduced by an element on the previous page that relates to it somehow. Their content is different from the rest, they’re special. Every divider consists of a short reflection on happiness. These small and grainy pages are significant. They allow rhythm within the book.

At the end, you can find the index of the work featured in the catalogue. The information is printed in landscape format, more convenient to gain space, but also to radically separate the exhibition content and the index. Though I find it uncomfortable to read a hefty book in this way.

 

What is happiness to you?

 

I thought I could use this research for personal reasons in addition to the design aspect. Expressing and understanding what makes me (feel) happy is complex. I can identify when I am intensively happy or deeply sad. But never what’s in between?

 

And I still can’t.

Rietveld library catalog no : Hein 1

 

Weaving Designblog


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

weaving1_1100
 

Through my browsing on the designblog I stumbled upon different tags/keywords. Each played a vital part in leading to my final destination: http://designblog.rietveldacademie.nl/?p=25122.[x] In this final state of my browsing I found a structure of several dimensions and connections, where each point leads to the other. I let this be symbol of my browsing by visualizing each tag as part of this structure. As the result I create the diagram of my browsing.
 

Weaving through the paradoxes and dilemmas in protesting


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

After clicking around this Designblog, I came across the post about Caroline Lindo’s thesis work ”The Surface of Protest”. The post is called ”Creating Destruction” which i find quite an intriguing contradiction. In her thesis project Caroline Lindo is investigating the meaning of protesting, different ways of doing so and which meaning they each imply. She essentially aims at answering the question: ”What is the most efficient – yet morally just – way of protesting?”

I would indeed like to know the answer to this question.

Lindo is directly relating the rules and structures of society and economics to the craft of weaving which apparently is also quit a rigid system (written in the attached PDF). Lindo tells us of have the warp (the amount of lengthwise yarns, that are held in tension within a frame, for threads to go under and over), within the art of weaving, has symbolized the basic structure of living which humans have to accept. The weft (the thread or yarn pulled through the warp) represents all the choices and decisions humans make for themselves in life.

 

Skærmbillede 2014-04-09 kl. 10.45.10

 

I find this symbolism quite moving.

To me it seems that with this as the background, Lindo is reconsidering which weft to take, instead of using the one given to her by society. Can you even make a protest using the ”weft” given to you by society or do you have to cut all of these threads and come up with new ones yourself? Will anything constructive aspire from this? Is it hypocrisy to use the tread – the means, structure, environment given by society – in making protest? Or is it not? These are all questions she is investigating  throughout her thesis.

As a research field she attended Occupy Amsterdam, which went worldwide in 2008 as a reaction on the financial crisis. She is studying the way of protesting through the tent-cities, which occurred during the same events. I always find it quite striking whenever someone manages to making such an abstract theme tangible, as Lindo does.

 

Cyberflânerie


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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.

Physiologie_du_flaneur
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.

live-rmb-city-1
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?

text by Olya Troitskaya [graduate student department of Graphic Design 2013] : more www.olyatroitskaya.com

 

Pdf-icon Download this thesis ”Virtual Walking“

 

OH LA LA I WANT YOU


Monday, May 13, 2013

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

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


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

and we were invincible

anyway, araki. i still really hate that guy.

Rietveld Library cat.nr: arak 2

 

What if the content DIDN’T matter


Thursday, April 11, 2013

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.

Rietveld Library cat.nr: 757.3

Storytelling as a craft


Thursday, March 28, 2013

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.

Stedelijk catalogue

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.

 

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Moses Harris, The Natural System of Colors


Thursday, November 29, 2012

 



 

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

PRIMITIVES:
Red – Vermilion – Wild poppy
Yellow – Kings Yellow – Butter flower
Blue – Ultramarine – Corn flower

MEDIATES:
Orange – Red orpiment – garden Marigold
Green – Sap green – Leaves of the lime-Tree
Purple – Hairy sheep scabius – flower if the common Judas tree

COLOURS CIRCLES

PRISMATIC:
Red, orange-red, red-orange, yellow-orange, orange-yellow, yellow, green-yellow , yellow-green green, blue-green, blue-green-blue, purple-blue, blue-purple-purple, red-purple, purple-red

COMPOUND
Orange, olave-orange, orange-olave-olave,gren-olave, olave-green-green, slate-green, green-slate-slate, purple-slate, slate-purple-purple, brown-purple, purple-brown-Brown, orange-brown,brown-orange

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 ) .

 

 

 

 

blue- purple   / purple-red  /  orange-yellow  /  yellow    / yellow-green

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 : a.d.radzimirska@gmail.com
I am pretty sure that together we can fill in every segment of the whole circle of Moses Harris.

 

The Green Apple


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

 

IMG_0451mirte_redu IMG_0513mirte_redu
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’.

spread_page31-32
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.

Minolta DSC big model2_redu
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.

 

Pdf-icon Download this thesis: The Green Apple [dutch language]

Creating destruction


Thursday, October 18, 2012

[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)

My experiment


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

“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:

 

Amstelveen

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”)

Amstelveen

It came out good-people were smiling .

 

second part: I changed my expression of mood after their reaction on my “look broadly” act.

Amstelveen

 

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”? ……

Amstelveen

 

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.

KEEP IT EXPERIMENTING !
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Quality over Quantity?


Monday, February 27, 2012

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

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SlowLab, thinking and creative activism


Sunday, January 29, 2012

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.

Reflecting Design Practise


Sunday, January 29, 2012

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

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Technology in Nature


Saturday, January 28, 2012

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?

 "Fragile Future"

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"

Without chaos no creativity


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


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.

Path


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

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.

scrapbook sayings


Friday, September 16, 2011

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.

Enschedese School; a fire still burning


Monday, May 30, 2011

GroetenUitEnschede

'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]

from basics

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.”

For more examples of early poster designs

[by Agnieszka Zimolag]

The secrets of the Basic Year

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)

Enschedese School

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
B. Intermedia

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.]

Conclusion is:

it was no movement + it did had characteristic qualities of other movements = a statement without belonging to something.

(by Petros Orfanos)

Personal Strength

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.

Besides “Van Agt Casanova” it is difficult to find any music by Enschedesche School’s 1000 Idioten label online. However here’s the chords of one of their releases so you can play it yourself!

[by Senne Hartland]

maybe I’m in time!

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.


Drawing a tree, by Bruno Munari

the Third Paradise, by Michelangelo Pistoletto

[by Sara Cattin]

MAD = BAD = BETTER

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.

[by Casper Braat]

Old sailors do not whistle!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Old school sailors

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.


Anne Bonny & Mary Read [x]

[by Olga Nordwall]

s-objectivity


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

“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

http://gnovisjournal.org

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?

Laid Off – Natalie Bookchin from natalieb on Vimeo.

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.

Shield and Shelter


Thursday, July 15, 2010

 

enclosureflevoparkbath-etching

intuitive fear spaces

 

Architectorial anxiety.
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.

Kristin_Mauer1

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.

kristin_slide8

kristin_slide7kristin_slide16
IMG_4897

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 Kristin_Mauer3

ICE-etching

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]

 

Pdf-icon Download thesis: Architectural anxiety. the perfect safe zone
 

a small conversation between a Man and a Woman, starting from the workshop “Rules” by Ayumi Higuchi; rules in nature vs. rules in human beings


Saturday, June 5, 2010




To get to this conversation, I asked people around me to question something about the other gender, something the person questions the most (and if they didn’t know, just sOmething)

My grandmother and her weave


Friday, May 28, 2010

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.

A patchwork carpet my grandmother made

(more…)

Ants at Mars


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ant robotics

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.

U-bot, one of the ant robots of Melhuish

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.


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