Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Irene Vonck / From Rhythms of Space series 1995
When material is manipulated to make-believe, touch becomes irrelevant for the experience of tactility, the physical experience of touch is exceeded and the brain is provoked. “From the rhythms of space” touches upon the idea that when contact between bodily surface and the object displayed is censored the viewer perception is (mis)leaded into dissonance with reality. This visual contradiction appears when the associations between the artwork as a whole and the material used in brut is not coherent.
The art piece appears to be made of cloth but instead it is made of airbrushed stoneware. None of this adjectives mentioned prior seems to describe the properties of cooked stoneware; this is because construction of tactility is build upon the pillars of experience and imagination since we cannot come in contact with it. Due to this I believe this work of art belongs to FAUX (in which nothing is as it seems) and AGENCY (in which paint takes the power back). Colour and subtitle sinuosity trick the viewer, the black colour gives the piece a sense of heaviness whilst the red interior an association with felt fabric. Paint definitely becomes an important element; it gives the object a sense of elegance and mystery and of course exhilarates the desire of touch. There will always be something very special and curious in tactility, in objects that seem ambiguous, objects that lure the viewer into doing what it is highly prohibited – TOUCH. When exploring an art gallery/museum/space etc., objects can be quite novel to us and thus, as young children do, we might feel the urge to touch, touch to understand, touch to explore, to grasp on the full experience of wonder. But … when we cannot touch ( and this is what fascinated me this time)it becomes pure mental construction and sense of touch is replaced by sense of sight.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Walking through the design collection of The Stedelijk Museum, this weird pink object in a glass vitrine caught my eye. A lamp designed by the Italian design studio ‘Superstudio’. The lamp was designed in 1967 and went in production under the name of GHERPE. This lamp is one of the examples of the ‘antidesign’ movement. This was a movement against the commercial and functional design of Italy in that time. To get a better idea of this movement, the text by Elena Martinique gives a good view on ‘antidesign’. It made an ironic reference to the mass production. Considering the exhibition ‘Designing the Surface’ at ‘Het Nieuwe Instituut’, you could connect this lamp to the chapter: ‘In which nothing is as it seems’.
Nowadays, and probably back then, the lamp gives a cheap feeling, the feeling that is easily connected to Kitsch, also a feeling ‘Superstudio’ wanted to evoke. A lot of futuristic aesthetics all combined in one object. The aspects of this object are screaming to the audience. The color wants to jump in your face and the material wants to fall down to show that it is not breaking. So the surface of this object is there to raise questions and false assumptions.
The shape fools your mind as well. It wants to tell you I am everything but a functional object. But of course this pink unit has a function. It gives you light in the dark and most of all a subject to talk about when you have nothing to say anymore. ‘I would never say this is a lamp’, is the sentence you hear the most when you show this object. In this case ‘Superstudio’ did a great job in their mission to create antidesign and a reference to kitsch and mass production. You do not know what it is, you do not know if it is cheap or expensive and you do not know if you like it or not, because your eye keeps caught by it, but you certainly have an opinion about it.
You could connect this object to a previous text I wrote for the Supplementary Surface Show [x]. A text with the subject ‘surface that changes‘, it changes by light. This is of course also happening in the case of Gherpe. First, Gherpe is an object without a functional look, but as lamp (light source) it changes to an object with function. In the previous text it is about Albedo 100, a reflective spray. It is completely not functional without light, so impossible to see a function. When it hits light, the function starts in a split second. Two different objects, with a lot of similar characteristics.
Monday, February 13, 2017
Gebr.A.R.& P.van der Burg /wood and marble painting examples in color 1876
Supplementary Surface Show Under Construction
20 students of the Rietveld Academy’s Basic Year visited the exhibition “Designing the Surface” organized at the New Institute Rotterdam (2017).
The intriguing aspect of surface, an issue that is generally avoided in a discussion about the context of content, raised our curiosity.
The exhibition and the accompanying publication was inspiring as were other additional exhibits like ‘Screen Savers’ or various shows in adjoining musea.
/FAUX /PATINA /LUSTRE /TEFLON /AGENCY /SLIM
Curious for our reflections on these subject?
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We assembled this small supplementary research show for you to enjoy.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
How much can a few oddly functioning objects tell us, about the written and unwritten rules and conventions revolving around the world of artifact? The on-the-verge-, in-between-, half-, unhandy-, surprisingly-, weirdly- or not-at-all-functioning objects – or is that even possible?
Through a series of 10 short-stories, the term Shift Spectrum is introduced. An objects journey from fully functioning (as its initial intention) to the broad field of “what else” during which the object behaves as a sort of “social agent”. Where the object speaks back to us and we listen creating a two way dialog which reflects, sometimes in confronting ways, the useful and personal values we imbue objects with. Whether in a dry product description or the object becoming a protagonist, an object narrative power is prominent in the text.
The examples given are both historical and contemporary, ranging from a tent peg, a kitchen chair, a warming pan and a Neapolitan coffee pot to a name a few.
Handing the thesis over to William Jacobson to design it was a way of taking a distance to the text and another dialog, this time between my text and his design was created. His choice of making the cover sealed, puts the reader immediately in a position of questioning the object, even before starting to read.
This thesis became a theoretical foundation for my graduation work, Sauðfjarveikivarnagirðing. A story of a broken down fence in the highland of Iceland. It wasn’t until after writing the thesis that I was able to go back to the material I had gathered a year earlier about the fence and contextualize it.
download this thesis by Halla Einarsdottír
all rights to this thesis are property of the author © 2016