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"Browsing Designblog" Project


A performance in n dimensions


Monday, June 16, 2014

In spring 2014 Designblog was invited by the 26th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno (subtitled Education and Schools) to prepare a presentation for their Open OFF Program.
I decided to involve a group of BasicYear students in a research focussed on browsing the blog. The goal was to look for a personal objective and to visualize the browsing behavior it generated.
In an effort to regain more insight in the position of Designblog, we invited Klaas Kuitenbrouwer to lecture on the position of blogs as part of the wide interwoven internet space. A space that turned out to look much flatter than our imagination could have ascribed it.
The lecture later developed into this text supporting "WORDPLAY", our final presentation at the Biennial. No better place than to publish that text as part of the student research project "Browsing Designblog" on the Designblog itself.

Henk Groenendijk : moderator Designblog

 

 

While the screen of the device you are using shows that Designblog has a relevant two-dimensionality to it, this text will take you along perspectives on Designblog from single dimensions to two-and-a-half, three, four and even the ever flexible n-dimensions in which Designblog simultaneously exists.

 

Address

http://designblog,rietveldacademie.nl
is an address, a pointer to a location. An address refers to a particular spot, a one-dimensional unit that is typically part of a thing with more dimensions.

An address like this has two kinds of capacities:  one is understood and used by machines, and the other is for humans. In its machinic capacity, designblog.rietveldacademie.nl points to a specific series of states of tiny logical gates, that are part of a memory disk in a server owned by some provider. That’s where Designblog resides in what you could call its latent, purely informational state. In this state Designblog is inaccessible for humans.

The human-facing capacity of the address points to a location on the WorldWideWeb. This address holds particular information on what it points to. In terms of content, it suggests its visitors to relate to what is behind the address as a time-stamped list of musings (a weblog) contextualized in the particular world of meanings known as design. But the address also ties the web location to a place on the physical globe, mobilizing some spatial –geographical- reference frame. It shows the blog is affiliated with an art academy: the Rietveld Academie in The Netherlands.

When a human calls upon that address – when it is clicked by you in this text, for instance – a command is sent to copy a section of that series of logical states from the server through fiber optic cables, through a couple of routers to the computer or phone where the click was performed. The browser on that computer (yours, that would be) than has the specific task and ability to allow that series or logical states to inform the screen of its computer to display what we have come to think of as the front page of Designblog.

 

Page

The ‘page’ is home turf for the graphically oriented. A two dimensional surface, that can passively hold various two-dimensional artifacts in a fixed relation to one another. The page was a helpful metaphor to be able to relate to the strangeness of networked information, as it was performed by snippets of code – a rewarding, but also frustrating metaphor for the graphically oriented: neither is there a real surface, nor is there a fixed two-dimensional relation between any artifact and any other. Still, although the page doesn’t exist anywhere but in your lazy perception, it doesn’t really hurt to think of Designblog as a collection of pages.
But there’s more…

The latent, machinic state is now activated. The address opened its front door, and revealed what performs not only as a page, but also like a place. An online, publicly accessible part of the Rietveld Academy, that indeed has some characteristics of a classroom.

 

Place

A place is an appropriated space. A location with layers of stories, traces of events. A place offers corners, furniture, a means to sit down and be there. A place ties to identity, to individual identities, or group identities. At places, relations become entangled. Anything can talk to who- or whatever also happens to be there. A place is somewhere you can be with your experience, somewhere to orient from. This possibility of being there, (which is different from ‘looking at’) this possible sensation of presence, subtly mobilizes a notion of partiality.

Over its years of existence Designblog has become a place with a deep accreted inside, a vast archive of contributions by Rietveld students: worded observations, found media-items, responses to assignments, to each others contributions, linked to each other, to other addresses on the web, clustered and flagged by tags.

Unlike a classroom, the inside of Designblog is at the same time its outside: the stuff inside is crawled and indexed by the bots of Google, that provide the endless amount of entry points for the querying audience. In this sense Designblog is like a Klein Bottle, an object with two-and-a-half dimensions, of which the outside and the inside are one unbroken surface.

Every corner of Designblog either links to some item in the vast non-dimensionality of the web, or is accessible from it. Things inside Designblog are not even closer to one another than to things accessible through other addresses. Everything  on the web exists at more or less the same distance from everything else. If this is a classroom, it is an extremely open classroom.

 

Space

Designblog has a lot of placeness, but clearly also still has endless space. To call it space pulls the attention to its not yet actualized potential. It brings to the front that whatever it is, it could house a great many future developments, without ever loosing that quality of potential. In the sense that any member of the blog can always open up a new empty page (a sub-address) to fill, Designblog performs as space. But this spaceness, because it is part of the web, has no particular kind of dimensionality to it.

 

Nest

Designblog is a collective, open archive, an accessible history of students’ online work. But to say (like you would say of an archive) that informational artifacts are ‘stored’ there would be misleading. The artifacts are not stored in its structure, they are its structure, as well as its decoration.

Like a birds nest is made of twigs, threads, leaves, wires, found things that are sufficiently twinable, Designblog is made of its twines. Also a nest is a place where one can land and fly off from. A nest is a place that holds up who dwell there, but that does not cover them. A nest offers place, but has no real inside. All that seems to hold for Designblog: as a groups’ nest it offers a place to land, to contribute informational twines to, and to fly off from.

 

Body language

When language deals with space and location, it stubbornly uses the body as implicit reference. The language of spatiality is about here or there, behind or in front, up or down and in or out. The web captured the human imagination through the metaphor of cyberspace. This spatial approach offered important and helpful familiarity, and has made the internet inhabitable, so to speak.

Spatial concepts have played and still play a crucial part in helping people to relate to networked computing. But insisting on spatial notions also fixes the relation between people and the online as a spatial one.

 

Time

And it is through the time-perspective – the fourth dimension- that other Designblog realities reveal themselves. Because the most essential aspects of Designblog are processes.

The emergence of Designblog, (as of all blogs) follows a time line, that would be one-dimensional if it didn’t fold in on itself, and looped to earlier contributions. Twining may be an apt practice by which to perceive the development of Designblog: both making and responding to what’s there, simultaneously creative and reactive.

Time is also the room in which learning takes place – the process of one thing informing another thing, the process of information, the raison d’être of a school.

 

Performing

All agents related to Designblog are engaged in some act of distinctly time-based performance. A performance of a for a particular audience – you.  Some of those acts come down to straightforward, unambiguous execution of tasks, others are more elaborate and creative.

Your computer or phone performs its web browser, for you. The web browser in turn performs the latent code of Designblog to make it active and accessible, again to you.

Designblog performs its fuzzily structured content, never showing more than a glimpse of its vastly twined labyrinthine body. It responds to your clicks by turning a differently dressed little facade, by offering a new shadowy inroad, or by suddenly pointing a spotlight in your eyes.

Members perform the mysterious part of author – transforming found things into new source material. They create independent, informative agents of text or (moving) image, that in their turn perform the act of information on your sense organs.

And the members add tags to their agents, to suggest similarities or difference between their agents to you. These tags perform as frames through which to move with your mind, frames that you put on to shape your perception. Every one of those tags performs like one of n dimensions along which the content of Designblog can be morphed, when you travel along it. Although it is not so much you who travels through Designblog, it is more that Designblog travels through your screen – you stay put, Designblog performs the moves.

But you are not undergoing this passively. You are the last performer, performing the score of Designblog, following the by-roads and sideways. By your clicking you act upon your pseudo-conscious choices about what material is allowed to inform your perception. Your clicks and non-clicks manifest your own perspective in the material of Designblog.

 

Klaas Kuitenbrouwer augustus – september 2014

(written for the occasion of "WORDPLAY", the presentation of the online artefact Designblog at the Graphic Design Biennial in Brno, Czech Republic.)

 

Dijon


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DIJON_1100

This post is showing drawings with strange heavy atmosphere. The color 64 Dijon translates that feeling. [x]
When i hear Monday i see Red, Tuesday is Green, Wednesday is Blue and so on and so on. Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense or concept is also perceived with another concept. What if each post could be link with a color?

matter of drawings


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Finding your way in the Designblog, we all do it in a different way. What catches our interests? What do we remember of it and how do we connect it to other links, artists, events, books etc? I was browsing thru the Designblog and ended up in the category ‘Beeld en Taal’ (image and language), went into the illustration part and found this post: Considerations on the matter of drawing.  Luca Carboni is explaining his fascinations for drawing and asks himself if drawing is one of the oldest way in which mankind is expressing itself, is drawing a medium in which the Zeitgeist is always an important part.

In drawing you can see the influence of the time. Luca says: ‘As an expression of time it’s the best medium to communicate something of that moment, every idea, process, image.’

8e90d8fe-ab97-11e2-9637-ae88113b62bc    Luca connects this with the book “The New Yorker Album of Drawings 1925-1975” from the Rietveld library. The book exists out of different cartoons from “New Yorker” magazine in the period 1925 till 1975.  Cartoons made by: Saul Steinberg, William Steig, Richard Taylor, Peter Arno, Charles Barsotti, Geoge Booth, Barney Tobey, James Thurber, Charles Saxon and many more. One of the best known is Saul Steinberg who worked for almost 60 years for the New Yorker. The magazine is a combination of fiction and journalism. The cartoons in the magazine have always played an important role. Above that, until the 1990s they never used photographs but only illustration.

Pantumblr_md4nqoNce51rfltouo1_500

When I read the post for the first time, I immediately made the connection with the artists Brecht Evens (born in 1986). He is a Belgium artists who makes a lot of cartoons, illustrations and strips. I think in his beautiful watercolor drawings  you can see that the time we live is an import aspect, just like in the album of drawings from the New Yorker. Evans worked for the ‘New York times himself. A part from that he published two books. Most recent: “De liefhebbers” [The Making Of] (2011) and before that “Ergens waar je niet wil zijn” [The Wrong Place] (2009).

10411139_747114228683909_110301245057733465_n

In the cartoons of the New Yorker the zeitgeist indeed plays an import part. And it is this what makes those drawings so smart and funny. Is this all that matters?  Was it only the time we lived in, that played an import roll. We still do admire the drawings and cartoons these artists made. The drawings still speak to us.

Brecht EVens2

The same goes for Brecht Evens. There is something mysterious about these drawings that always holds our attention, regardless of the time in which we live.

the orthogonal allegory of browsing


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

 

BrowseMap-sketchIMG_3148-2

 

This is a search that started as a response to the 'Orthogonal Allegory Thesis' I found at the the essays page of Designblog. It shows the dynamic of my browsing, dealing with the facts I bumped into, as well as the associative impulses that coincides with it. I tried to translate my sketched browse history into a text version, to make it more readable ! If you click it, an interactive pdf. version will create that experience for you.

Curves


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Golden_Ratio_4

curved_archtecture_redu

Capture d’écran 2014-06-04 à 14.38.24

 

If I tell you architecture, you’ll tell me SQUARE

If I tell you nature, you’ll tell me ROUND

We obviously link architecture to geometry, structure, squares, etc… and nature to organic features and therefore curves and irregularity.

Therefore what is interesting is the notion of curve in architecture.

We started seing curving architectures at the same time as the introduction of movement in art (cubism, kinetic art, futurism, chrono-photography, mobiles, etc….)

Beyond the fact that it’s aesthetically seducing, and beyond the fact that it is bringing movement, curves are attracting more attention from your brain.

Psychologist Oshin Vartanian made researches on what was going on in people’s brains as they viewed two rooms — one with rounded features, the other more rectangular. First of all, the ones that were confronted to the curvy one were more likely to define it as “beautiful”. They also displayed more activity in a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex that, among other functions, is linked to the brain’s ability to regulate and process emotions.

Curved buildings can point to nature, whereas angular buildings contrast with it. Straight lines and angular shapes are disconnecting a building from nature, and humans natural state. It is reducing everything into a harsh and boxy aspect, which we naturally don’t identify in so much.

I observe (on a very personal level) that in the end my attraction goes to buildings balancing the angle and the curve. The final reconciliation between “organic” and “organized”. People like Frank Gehry, Herzog et de Meuron, Oscar Niemeyer, Zaha Hadid, Rudi Ricciotti and many others are/have been working on it and succeeded quite well so far, to bring new rules and esthetics to modern architecture, inspired from the so called international style and reconciled with more organic references, as well with new materials that are more environmental friendly.

I am starting for this occasion a tumblr “Curves” where I will be developing this idea through posts and references, grasping a lot of elements orbiting around this, and that is starting from this thesis that I invite you to read on Orthogonal Allegory in Architecture by Anton Stuckhardt [graduation essay [x].

 

Memorization


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How does the history of browsing stay in your memory?
How do we perceive the visual experience of websites which are opening up in new windows?
I question myself and try to observe my behavior when I am browsing around Internet webs. How do I chose the website and what makes me choose them? What determines if I like to stay on the page and look properly through it or if I click to the next page?
What is my choice based on? What visual experience do I get? What videos do I chose to click on? Is it exiting enough to look what is next? I think most of my internet browsing is based on visual experience, except particular situations when I am looking for certain subjects, where the context is more important than the visual experience.
Almost every morning, when I am starting my day, like a due during the breakfast I check my mailbox, read the news and brows around interesting blogs . Mostly they are about music, art, fashion,  news, or just whatever captures my eye.
“Capture my eyes” what are they capturing exactly? I think it is the matter of personal choice, what color, forms, shapes you are attracted to.
I find out that my choice of webpage is purely based on visual impression and it does not necessarily have anything to do with content. After I browse trough what stays in my memory and for how long?  What do I keep in my mind and what can easily be forgotten?

 

I choose to open Designblog for the first time, looked at the first page which comes out and then close it in 1 minute. I sketched my first impression immediately, what was there? Few geometrical shapes, and bright attractive colors this was the most catchy and noteworthy things.

browsing-history-1_redu

 

Next step, I simply let myself browse for half an hour, without forcing myself to memorize, reading most interesting things, watching concerning videos or look at images and illustrate my memories. As a result I had same expressive geometrical shapes and specifically recognizable colors, also some words or sentences from the context.
What was my experience? Well even if I illustrate and was attracted by colors, mostly I memorize the context of the posts and the idea what it was about.

30-min-browsing-reading-watching_redu

 

After this I browsed around in 1 page for fifteen minutes

browsing_15 min_3_redu

 

Finaly I watched a video, not paying attention to the surroundings

watching_video_4_redu

Fishing Trip


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

fishintrip_1100

project by Annelotte Lammertse + Anouk Hoogendoorn

Body types


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When I was going through the blog, this tag got my attention. When I see the title I think of different bodies with different shapes, fat, thin, skinny… First I just went through the photos and didnt read the text. I wanted to see how my relation with the post will be just considering photos without the text. The post is actually different from what I thought it would be.

It’s interesting because there are many artists that use their body as an art work or use their bodies to develop their ideas. In this post, there are bodies that are formed to shape like alphabets and numbers. Also activists and protesters that write on their body or for example girls that get naked and go to Vatican to protest against religious laws against them.

There are so many things that you can do with your body. I did a project on using human body to shape like music notes.

 

music_1 music_2

music_3 music_4
 

‘beautiful morning’ ( comment)


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When i saw this tag, i felt i needed one. A beautiful morning.

the text described various things, but the interesting part i got out of it was, live life slow, and you will enjoy it the most. when you get fed up by everything else, you should just focus. focus on what is there, and see what it brings you,

what is really there (?) always that question that is there. is it that, what we feel, what we see, what we touch, maybe even what we miss. a slow beautiful morning, will pass by. what will attract our eyes? dirty dishes, stains on the windows, some old clothes on the floor,  the things you knew that you had to do? the things you thought they would stay away, the things you don’t want to see coming, the crack in the wall, crumbles on the table, the flowers next to it, the people outside, the blue sky that is there, the birds who are nesting in the tree next to your house, your nephews birthday that is coming up, your birthday will be soon to, the sun that is getting up, your breakfast that taste’s much better now, the things you accomplished yesterday which you don’t have to do again, your favorite shirt clean and on again, your music on the background, the realization you will have to go outside to go to school, the sun on your face, the train you manage to get this time, and the school that starts your day again. the people who you missed during holiday, the tea in the morning, fresh baking smell trough the school,

Eventually it is the way you look at it, the way you remember it, will feel it, recognize it again and again.

‘Just look at the bright side of life.’

Storm


Monday, May 5, 2014

STORM_1100

The black and white pictures but also the deconstruction and chaotic idea in typography in this post made me choose the Storm color card. [x]
When i hear Monday i see Red, Tuesday is Green, Wednesday is Blue and so on and so on. Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense or concept is also perceived with another concept. What if each post could be link with a color?

mutating ideas


Monday, May 5, 2014

DSCN3714_redu

IMG_4158_redu

Blue drawing

 

I’m interested in taking forms and colours from the world around me and then making objects and drawings which share a similar form or colour. I was interested in the post “shades of blue” by George Kratochvil. A colour chart by Ignaz Schiffermüller, made in the 18th century, to ‘distinguishing between blue’s in the nature’, was the inspiration for a small sculptural work of blue abstract forms. Schiffermuller began by observing the shades of blue in the nature that he observed as a biologist and made an abstract representation of them in the making of his colour chart, which takes the shades of blue into the form of rectangles in a grid pattern. Kratochvil then observes the colour blue, the shapes in a grid pattern, and transforms it into his work. I now come and look through the design blog and am interested in the colour blue, I search for this keyword, open the post that has been made and comment on it. I also observe the shapes of Kratochvils sculpture and have created a drawing which uses them again with the colour blue. The use of past artworks as inspiration causes ideas to mutate in strange and interesting ways- thus is the use of this blog; to provide a library of ideas and images of which to take and re create things from. The drawing I have posted today is part of a dialogue that was started in the 18th century and now exists in a digital way on a blog where you are reading it and entering that dialogue.

Predictions from an Ancient Egyptian exterior


Monday, May 5, 2014

When i saw the sketch from this article (Prediction from a 18th century interior), it made me think of that Egyptian fresco. In Ancient Egypt, artists were not aiming to copy the nature: they were expected to fix on walls not what they were seeing, but what they knew from reality: the essence of things. This explain why for example each thing is represented under the most understandable angle (face and feet from side, eyes and body from the front)

Screen-shot-2012-05-07-at-2.19.57-PM

2

Here the trees are painted from the the front but the pond is painted as if it was from the top. Also the animals are all represented from the side.

These bas-reliefs may look perpectiveless and clumsy, but we can actually very clearly imagine this garden, just as in the sketch by Leendert Viervant everything is readable and clear in the same way the space is easy to imagine.

 

Shelly Mosman, série « Kid por

 

 

the expanse of designblog


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

 

CB_BrowseImage2_800

 

chaos and order, architecture and linguistics


Monday, April 14, 2014

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order_redu

chaos_redu

I found the blog post “Chaos and Order” when I was looking at different tags on the design blog. I thought the tag and title “Chaos and order” seemed interesting and I started to read the blog-post.
The text is based on the Dutch architect and graphic designer Hendrik Wijdeveld’s exhibition ” To plan the impossible” [x].

Henk Wiljdeveld had a romantic viewpoint with a focus on nature and the universe in his utopian architecture. His project “Chaos and order” [x] was a proposal for an alternative expansion of Amsterdam. He wanted to protect Amsterdam from chaos from Randstad. In his plan Amsterdam as a perfect star shaped city with green surroundings from the city centre to the edge. He was searching for an universal model of urbanisation.

The blog-post “Chaos and order” starts with:

“Chaos and order in its most extreme form can be used as a formula for practically everything. From the beginning of time to the death of universe.”

” Chaos and Order” also refers to the Saussurean constructionist’s who believe that you cannot understand a word until you are aware of its opposite. To understand order you need a understanding of chaos. Saussure is the father of modern structural linguistics and he means that meaning is constructed by the use of the language. It is not fixed. Saussure divides the sign in the categories, the signifier and the signified. The signifier is the actual word or sign while the Signified is our idea of the concept.

A lot of focus in the blog-post is on the Universe and life/death in relation to order and chaos. To grasp this huge questions is not simple and I tried to relate the idea of chaos and order on myself.

If you see “order and chaos” from a personal perspective chaos and order are essential elements of daily life. It is impossible to have order everywhere. Chaos is somehow always present. It is as if you are just able to focus on order for some elements of your life at the same time. When you focus on one part and create an order other parts will be in a state of chaos. A very literal example is an article I read about that it exists two types of people the type who is spending a lot of time on cleaning and therefore can find everything fast and the type that is living in chaos but does spend a lot of time looking for things. Both types are spending the same amount of time but some are creating order and others do search in chaos.

Search Each Word Separately, On The Tags, Bye.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

screen shot-bye

about those…


Sunday, April 13, 2014

uncategorized?

like not black
not white
not even gray
why can’t you define this time?
define define divide define
no category
what about you?
what’s your favorite category anyway?
well, what’s your category anyway?
feel better while categorizing, not this time
no gender, no nationality, no ideology, no what, now what?
no nothing
nothing
nothing
something
some thing
some think
thin thin thin thin thin
line between defined and undefined
they are neutral, they are lost, or just hard to define
that’s it

in the end not such a bad category.

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.
 


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