Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.
IN / Search RE / Search - Imagining Scenarios Through Art and Design
IN / Search RE / Search offers a unique look at the different faces of intersection art, design and research. The book is organized in twelve substantive chapters: The Anthropocene Epoch; The Climate Crisis; The Coexerced Existence, The Limitations of Language; Facts and Fictions; The Fragile Human; The Instrumentalised Identity; Gender and Violence; The Question of Race; Politics of Public Space; Naked Capitalism; The Morality of a Cyborg, which are analyzed through art and design projects. The projects are embedded in journalistic explorations and academic reflections.Bringing together diverse practices (artistry, design and writing practices and academic research) provides insight into how an artistic research process is shaped and developed. The kaleidoscopic convergence of these approaches is causing an exciting shift in thinking about how knowledge within the arts is created, feeds daily practice and vice versa.This publication thus provides insight into the way of thinking and working in which a new generation of artists / designers / researchers is shaping scenarios for the near future.Various art and design projects by students of the Rietveld Academy and the Sandberg Institute form the core of this publication. Many of these projects confuse, obscure and confront what has traditionally been relevant in research practices. These examples of young artists show what happens when ideas that seem to be miles apart within the traditional domain of research can suddenly touch and influence each other.IN / Search RE / Search is aimed at anyone who, from a professional practice, is engaged in creative, artistic and academic research and all hybrid forms in between. IN / Search RE / Search is also aimed at anyone who, in the capacity of policymaker, teacher, journalist, curator, student (and from many other practices), is involved in the way our future is shaped and represented: those who want to participate in a nuanced conversation about how we want to shape the future.
IN / Search RE / Search is curated by Gabrielle Kennedy, an Amsterdam-based journalist in the field of design. She is currently editor-in-chief of DAMN ° Magazine and has contributed to many publications on design and education.
Witte Anjer Award 2020
As a designer my passion goes for creating meaningful objects. Witte Anjer Award is a special one, it represents not just the community but the commitment that someone has chosen to serve the country and contribute to our society. Designing an award comes with the responsibility to incorporate a value that represents a larger meaning and visualise it in a form that communicates its context. An award serves as an appreciation and as a motivation to continue the work. The objective to design the award was to create a proud object, show the strength of the winner in the material and show the community they stand for.
Human hair as material
Higashi Hongan-ji’s original temple complex was burned down a number of times. Its main temple in Kyoto was last rebuilt in 1895. The temple complex of today is one of the world’s largest wooden structures. The construction of the temple’s two main halls required the hoisting and moving massive wooden beams, but unfortunately, obtaining rope strong enough for the job was nearly impossible at the time. The female devotees of the temple got together to help out. Cutting off their long hair, they took the long locks and braided them together to make a strong, thick, gross rope that was able to hoist the heavy beams.
Object-Oriented Identity is a journey through objects and identities. It is a research based on my own curiosity and personal interest to discover the unforeseeable directions in our product-oriented society, where one is no longer the sum of their actions, but the sum of their own objects. OOI is a catalog constructed as a result of my personal fascination with understanding the nature of our consumption. It investigates the odd connections between objects and history and their cultural relevance in our individual and collective identities. Everyday objects are presented through a new lens, for one to show another side of these familiar items, and for another to question how much these objects can transform or manipulate one’s identity. The order and the choice of the objects in the catalog reflect my association with our contemporary culture and my artistic approach to understanding the desire, hate, disgust or pure neglect of those objects that can mean an entire world to someone. OOI shows an extensive research on our product culture, but it is more than that. It is a language, a tool to understand our culture, to change and be aware of our consumer habits.
Killing you softly
Killing you softly is a reflection on our consumer culture. On a culture, which while comforting our needs, softly destroys us. Hyper-consumerism has spread globally, and its tactics of persuasion have established a material culture where the hardcore whirlwind of information and the dense wilderness of materials have engaged a large part of most societies and cultures. Products of the capitalist system are more commonly represented than ordinary objects. They are the extensions of the self.
We ought to question the objects we own and surround ourselves with. To what extent do they represent our identities? Did we make these objects or have these objects created us? If so then consumption is a part of the way we live, and consumer goods are who we are. The desire behind the false promises we shop for will never go out of fashion. The power of products is undeniable and their effects are unavoidable. In effect, globalism and consumerism have succeeded in banishing moderation and sanctifying greed, thereby liberating Homo economicus from any moral or ethical constraints on consumption.
Human hair as material
When woman reach a certain age - say, forty or fifty years, almost all the ladies in Paris use artificial hair, particularly those who wear their hair in twists, or who affect the archaic style. The peasant women roundabout had their hair cut off periodically and sold to the merchants who went shearing from village to village. Brittany furnishes almost one-fourth of the entire hair consumption in the capital. Breton women wear as head-covering a closefitting linen cap, which entirely hides the hair with the exception of two flat bands which pass over the forehead and down to the ears. Now suppose for a moment that these Breton caps were replaced by ordinary hats or bonnets. Well, if this innovation took place, the traffic in human hair would simply become an impossibility, as the deficiency in hair would be apparent to every passer-by. Thanks also to the prevalence of the cap, the Auvergne and some districts of Normandy likewise furnish a considerable supply of human hair. The peasant women seem to have reasoned the matter out something in this way: "As our large heads of hair are not seen, and as they have a certain commercial value, why should we over weight our brains with them, especially when honest merchants come along to buy our hair on such advantageous terms?" And, goodness knows, cash is scarce enough among the Breton peasants. (Originally published in The Wide World Magazine. February 1900)
Brittany eventually forbade public haircutting in a bid to discourage the practice from becoming a public amusement, forcing local "coupeurs" to erect tents at fairs instead. Once peasant girls in Europe started travelling to towns and cities, finding employment as housemaids or in other jobs, they became attracted to bourgeois fashions and started wanting to wear hats that required loose hair. Some resolved the issue by selling or bartering only a small section of hair, cut from the under-portion at the back of the head. That way they could satisfy both themselves and their husbands that they had retained long hair while at the same time gaining access to fancy trinkets that were offered in exchange. This technique of “thinning” hair was once common amongst factory girls in Britain and continues to be practiced by poor women in some Asian countries today.