Earlier this year I attended a Lunch Bytes conference at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. (HKW generally puts on fantastic conferences at reasonable costs, and as such, is worth checking out). Also at the conference were vis-com-des people Sophie Dyer and Solveig Suess. The conference was a summary of other various symposia that have taken place under the Lunch Bytes banner (an initiative of the Goethe Institute) on the topic of Post-Internet Art. This is a highly contested term, and rather than try to write up what everyone said, (you can see the videos of the presentations here), I asked if Sophie and Solveig would be interested in exchanging questions and answers from the conference. They generously agreed, and that exchange can be read below.
In the spirit of inter-institutional caring and sharing:
Preview: Thursday 27th March 7pm
Exhibition Open: Friday 28th March 12 – 4pm, Saturday 29th March 12 – 4pm
The White Room project space, Tin Roof Studios. 38-40 Bellfield Street
Dundee DD1 5JD
Presenting an exhibition of work created by 3rd year Illustration Students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.
Come along to our show! It consists of hand printed posters and set designs for a series of imagined theatrical adaptations of plays exploring climate change, sustainability, urban planning and related social and political issues.
Exploring subjects such as:
Hydro Fracking, Gentrification, Micro-topias, Climate Activism, Nuclear waste disposal, Nuclear War, Social Housing, The melting ice caps, Surveillance, Community Gardening.
Ivan Illich is a very interesting thinker. I fully realise that starting blog posts with these kind of sentences is glib to say the least, but it’s very difficult, (in blog form and time-limit), to outline why. He’s a perceptive critic of institutions and of many of the givens of contemporary society and contemporary design. Possibly best to defer to giving a flavour of his work;this is from a text he gave at John Thackara’s Doors of Perception conference in 1996, the full link is at the bottom;
“…Here I speak to a very special kind of shaman — not teachers or physicians, not prison officials or transportation engineers, but designers. They do not conduct, rather, they design liturgy. They do not govern the enclaves, but act as advisers to those who construct them. They are not the progeny of shoemakers or masons, but the descendants of a Renaissance brain child, the disegno. They are experts in the intentional and reflected integration of sundry artefacts; sources of a new weave that distinguishes the Baroque from the Gothic.
However, designers not only provide the shape of integration, they inevitably spread guiding assumptions about the principles to which the elements of a whole ought to be subservient. Both the cockpit of the car and the humble door handle sell ergonomics; they tickle and attract your seat and your hand. For half a century ergonomics — things designed to fit the body — has been an assumption spread by designers. But the new given you want to put on the agenda, speed, has the power to disembody. It disembodies one’s perception of the falcon no less than of the Beethoven sonata. That is what my friends Trapp and Rieger have just tried to explain, and that is also my main point.
For decades, design has peddled speed, most of the time surreptitiously and uncritically. Faster seemed better. Now you want to open a new epoch with the claim that slow speed can be beautiful, and appropriate speed optimum. You want to open an era of intense speed awareness, and promote it by means of design. You want design that hails the postmodern slobbies: slower but better working people who punctiliously protect their appropriate pace.”
I have some issues with Dr Aleks Krotoski’s BBC Radio 4 programme – Last Bus to Serendip, (but yes, we all have issues don’t we, hmmm, critical designers, hmmmmmm, sitting round, having issues with things). Anyway, despite these ‘issues’, there are a couple of good interviews in there – the best with James Burke, presenter of Connections, an episode of which you can see above.
this is a fantastic resource that has a wealth of information on topics relevant to modern society and globalised culture.
“There’s already a lot of information on the Internet, so our goal is to cut through the noise and garbage, to present valuable information in a clear way, so it’s accessible, useful and easily digested. This still may not be an easy undertaking though, and we can understand that — especially considering the complexity and interconnectedness of the topics, as well as the crossing over of sources; but also for the fact that the information here can be incomplete, sometimes contradictory or even controversial. But this is the point. It’s all part of what we’re trying to do: provoke critical thinking, questioning… and doing.
We’ve fundamentally built this resource to inform and inspire action — and no, we’re not talking about clicking the stupid ‘Like’ button on Facebook, signing online petitions or letter writing — we mean informing and inspiring real-world action; taking this information away from the computer to rejuvenate the strong networks with the people around you in the real world, to discuss, plan, act. This is not a symbolic action or clicktivism website, nor is it a simple collection of popular content, like the other websites available. It’s a resource that aims to inform, inspire and provoke action; to generate a multitude of responses and reactions. This is just some of what is needed to break paradigms, subservience, acquiescence, and to cultivate inspiration to continue work on the plethora of puzzles and problems addressed in the information published here.”
“And thus the critical force of history was separated into various specialisations and absorbed back into business as usual within the spectacle. Having renounced the criticism of the world, the world – in the form of journalism, art and the academy – can safely ignore it. The margins outside the spectacular world that once harboured a glimmer of negation have been all but foreclosed. What remains is professionalised anaesthesia, mourning communities, discourse clubs, legacy fetishists. Some ages betray a deep respect for their critical thinkers. To Socrates, they offered hemlock; to Jesus, the cross. These days it’s Zoloft, a column – or tenure.” — McKenzie Wark, 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International.
Thanks to Nick, Lizzie, Floris and Malcolm (pictured, as drone) for a fantastic series of talks last night, and a great workshop – If you have research material you gathered, please do upload it to the tumblr.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the emergent architectural forms of Google Dominion, you can read one of Momus’s blog posts about it here. I can also recommend reading up on Heterofascist Park if you want to know which young Scottish architects are going to be forging a new nation in the event of Independence happening.
Thanks too, to Seb and Sophie for the lovely new Feral Studio website.
This is advance warning of a trip for graphics 3/4 to the CCA on tuesday morning to meet and talk with Stuart Bailey. Dexter Sinister’s ‘Identity’ project is currently on display at Tramway, and they’re also involved in this film event at Tramway that you may want to go to. You might also want to download this companion piece to the identity project.
In this RSA Animate talk, Manuel Lima, author of ‘Visual Complexity‘, talks about a shift, over the last century, from trees to networks as a way of understanding the world. This is significant if we’re starting to talk about ourselves as a ‘distributed academy’ (for which we could read, or at least reflect on, the ‘distributed network’).
Undercurrents is a collection of current 4th years dissertations, edited and compiled by Christopher MacInnes with layout and cover design by Seb Howell (vis-com-des person). All profits go back into future productions.
The arrow and the frame on Click Opera manages to touch on a whole range of topics relevant to current projects; Banking, currency, wild knowledge, art archive, not to mention an interesting reflection on Google adwords. And not only does it contain some very interesting thoughts in the continued thread of good and useful arguments against ternary or binary thinking, but it is also awash with great hyperlinks.
While on the topic, big thanks to Anja and Chris for their currency workshop earlier in the week. There are some pictures below, and a link to Anja and Chris’s bookmarks on the topic here.