DE_SIGN
       
     
Frame #89 Nov/Dec 2012 - Frame #95 Nov/Dec 2013
       
     
 In this collaborative work, designer Gabriel A. Maher, designer and social worker  Roberto Perez Gayo  and multidisciplinary artist  Carly Rose Bedford  elaborate on the relationship of feminism to the collective regimes of enunciation that produce it.  How do you orient yourself within this word? How do you orient yourself in a language that precedes you?  If we look from this perspective to the word feminism we understand how, as a word, it can transform its own conditions, function as a disruptive agent and incite analysis of any condition or context it is placed within. Recognising it as a composite term, means to embrace its complexity. It houses a multiplicity of positions, approaches, interpretations, histories and subjectivities. All of these positions are there within the word.  Once I cross into that space,  how do/can/must/may/ought 'I'  move/relate/think/interact/feel?  And how would I describe it?  In order to achieve this, Maher, Perez and Rose speculate on how setting the listening conditions prior to the act of speech can generate new forms of community and collectivity. By approaching the word Feminism as a technology, they look towards how this process can generate self-reflection and invite the word feminism to listen to itself in a queer and intersectional feminist framework.  As much as a physical exhibition, this work exists as a methodology that attempts to reflect and act upon the collectivity that feminism as a word connotes. It contemplates collectivity, the act of listening and knowledge production. This process and outcome reflects dialogues of urgency or irreverence, analysis and reflection that cycled within a collective of people each unified by an investment in feminism.  “___________ ” is an invitation to explore how our individual positions and actions relate to the collective arrangements we belong to through the technology of the word and consequently, through the act of listening.  A network of 26 feminist voices transmit  Installation & performative action(s),  Onomatopee  150.2 / NEST Project 2017, Eindhoven.  production design by  Isabel Mager   Images:  Kyle Tryhorn  &  Daantje Bons
       
     
 Material culture guides and reinforces social order. This exhibition remarks on the material propaganda of the early 19th Century Swedish King - Karl XIV Johan - to consider how the production of images and objects and the control of the media were integrated into the political agenda of early modern states in order to maintain and ensure the benevolence of the people towards a centralised government. We revisit the political activity of this time through the example of King Karl XIV Johan. Propaganda here encompasses the persuasive forces of ‘soft power’, which remain a part of general political activities today.  A French marshal of untitled or civic descent, Karl XIV Johan (1763 - 1844), founds the modern Royal House of Sweden with a unique acquisition to the throne. Karl XIV Johan, unfamiliar with the culture and society of which he had become King, ensured and maintained the favour of the people and nobility, towards his reign, by applying specific political strategies of a propagandistic manner. This manifested within a catalogue of symbolic objects and artefacts and coincided with the expansion of a depoliticised urban middle-class. These material and social correlations supported the conditions to maintain and ensure a certain power through the conscious design of images and objects and their circulation across social classes. We suggest a continuation of these dynamics in a depoliticised characteristics of the current Western and European context cultivated through consumer culture and mass media.
       
     
 An ongoing symbolic and visual research in collaboration with political scientist Daniel Urey and designer  Isabel Mager  into the physical and performative mechanisms of the podium; the formal site upon which a speech act takes place to address ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson, 1983).  By acknowledging the central historical role of podia in the communication and cultivation of ideologies, social principles, and cultural values, we articulate key moments and sites within in the culturalisation of Europe. The research aims to deconstruct systems of meaning embedded in a programming of the podia as an historical and contemporary phenomenon and considers how repeated patterns of design are used to articulate power.  Within this framework, the body is central; itself interpreted as a technology for knowledge production through gesture & posture, orientation & action, voice & the art of rhetoric. Sign & symbol, design & technology, gender & performance are punctuated as spatiotemporal logics and as social orientation devices bound to this site.
       
     
       
     
 Deconstruction and analysis of the EU Commission Application Grant for which the International exhibition  Shared History  was developed - analysis of key premise and word use by both EU Commission and Färgfabrieken as the main applicant
       
     
 Based on fragments from the  Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano  website, Empty Orchestra is an absurd script composed of object lists and object names from Salone product libraries: adjectives, nouns, verbs and chronological word use, with, words, phrases and loaded expressions associated with design. With a backing track of ‘easy listening’ sound used on the Salone website (2016), Empty Orchestra is performed through spoken word, concrete poetry and karaoke, live within the context of the fair.  The offcial Salone del Mobile website hosts all promotional material and facilitative communication for the fair. The website is an archive charting both technical and emotional information relating to the ‘design fair’, including press releases, interactive maps, brand catalogues, product libraries, inspirations, advertisements, interviews as well as exhibition, visitor, exhibitor and media information. Its extensive display of materials mediates a kaleidoscope of consumer goods through design ideologies and “novel concepts for living”. The website demonstrates a dichotomy between design ideologies and its general output as consumer products. Endless scenographies showcase props for living (table, bed, container) surrounded by linguistic value beyond their form, such as “ethical and social commitment,” “design of the future,” “improve people’s quality of life” and “the most meaningful and profound issues of contemporary.”  By using fragmentary and incomplete material clippings the existence of mutually incompatible and antithetical meanings can occur. It creates a skewed, slightly mocking narrative of the Salone’s marketing ideology. A satirical comment on the rhetoric and disinformation of commodity culture and consumption.  Note: This was performed live and in a participatory way with an audience / consumers / journalists etc. This text/soundscape is to be performed live, using the tools of the tools of a DJ, dual vocals and large-scale visuals; a hybrid between performance lecture and DJ set. This work was developed for  Fictional Journal   Propaganda Issue 02 . It specifically relates to the Salone Del Mobile context and mediation.  In collaboration with designer  Isabel Mager
       
     
       
     
 Disegno #15, Gendered Objects collaboration with  Disegno Magazine , with editors Oli Stratford & Kristina Rapacki & Philosopher,  Nina Power , In collaboration with Disegno Magazine  Words: Nina Power |  Montages:  Gabriel Maher   Image maker’s note:  While dissecting the press release images of objects referenced in the text, I was particularly struck by the absence of the body in the photography. These objects were mostly center-aligned, singular, rather lonesome and captured without human interaction. Deconstructing these object images made it possible to locate lines of desire in the fragments. Remixing these fragments, brought them together again in unexpected ways and produced a certain performativity. At the same time, this process skewed and exaggerated their original reading. The new arrangements and object combinations started to present with ‘camp’ sensibilities and elements of personification. This transformation summoned the aesthetic techniques of Montage and Drag and reveled in reproductions of suitably dragged-objects and images. The montage fragments directly reference specific objects and moments described in the text, so the final images are bound to these delicious textual-sexual descriptions – Gabriel .A. Maher  Essay: Gendered Objects pp. 46-56   Writer’s note:  It struck me while writing this piece just how functionally androgynous much design is, and how more could be that way too. I thought a lot about the bicycle’s role in the emancipation of women and the way in which, while we may laugh at objects that are pointlessly gendered, we don’t always think about the hidden gendered qualities of objects. Unless we use a language that genders everything – and even then we might forget – Nina Power  Chamber – chambernyc.com                                                           De Castelli – decastelli.it
       
     
       
     
       
     
 photo  JW Kaldenbach
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
Storehouse 01