How might design, philosophy, science and mythology inform each other, while producing fresh and imaginative multi-species responses to address the genesis and future of ecological devastation? Join the panel discussion on 11 July 2019 at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
“But in the real world it is more important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true.” - Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, 259
This panel takes as its point of departure these words uttered by Alfred North Whitehead in his seminal lecture published as Process and Reality in 1929. Fast-forward nine decades and it has become clear that the Earth’s sixth mass extinction (which we are currently living through) is in no small part due to the modern West’s stubborn commitment to a regime of scientific truth and mastery that disavows modes of knowing that do not conform to its own. This has left the human species in a deeply ambivalent relation to its own pasts and futures, with perhaps only this certainty: that human history itself will soon be history. As a consequence, Whitehead’s words seem less of provocation today than they do a bitter necessity: we are in dire need of propositions that are more interesting and daring than they are true. This panel reflects on how artists and designers are uniquely positioned to experiment with propositional frameworks that do not rigidly adhere to modern “truth telling,” and that are capable of opening up vistas for living and dwelling in the twenty-first century that are all the more real because they are untrue.
Conny Groenewegen is a fashion designer, artist and material researcher. She has shown her work during Amsterdam, Paris, and Tokyo Fashion Weeks, and has had exhibitions in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leiden, Dordrecht, Eindhoven (design week), Paris, Milan, Florence, Rome, Buenos Aires and at Beijing & Istanbul Design Biennale. Groenewegen is the winner of the Mercedes Benz Dutch Fashion Awards and Best Costume Design for Global short Film Award in Cannes. She is also a former teacher in Fashion Design at ArtEZ and HKU Art University, masterclass knitting at IED Florence and Rome, lectured at Arizona State University (Phoenix USA). Groenewegen’s current ongoing projects include: Fashion Machine, ELECTRIC CO (couture label), collaborations with Saxion University, Texperium textile recycling lab, TextielLab Tilburg, Synthetic Times and EeStairs. Groenewegen was curator of 'Fashion Machine' part of Temporary Fashion Museum.
Stacey Moran is Associate Director of the Center for Philosophical Technologies and is faculty in the School of Arts, Media + Engineering and English at Arizona State University. Stacey works at the intersections of feminist theory and technoscience, design research, and critical pedagogy. Her scholarship views gender politics as not simply being about men and women, but focuses precisely on how to understand agency, body, rationality, and the boundaries between theory/practice and thinking/making. Stacey worked in the fashion industry for twenty years, and enlists this expertise to engage new forms of speculative and critical design research. Her current research investigates how methods in the physical sciences provide a new foothold for thinking about the materiality of knowledge production in feminine writing practices.
Maurizio Montalti’s work is strongly characterised by a creative trans-disciplinary approach and rooted in a collaborative, research-based and experimental practice, Montalti’s work explores and questions cultural stigmas as well as the design discipline itself, investigating and reflecting upon contemporary (material) culture, thereby creating new opportunities and advanced visions for the (creative) industry and for the broader social spectrum. Through his work, he actively engages in co-creative process, to reach thought-provoking design outcomes spanning across various media, priorly investigating themes related to biotechnology, anthropology, bio-diversity, the ecosystem and the human impact on it, recent production technologies, and the importance of a symbiotic entanglement between human and non-human agents. Within such context, Maurizio’s practice - Officina Corpuscoli (OC) - seeks to reveal unorthodox relationships among existing paradigms. By distilling research and analysis and tangibly materialising relevant facts, the studio’s goal is to create projects and conditions that allow for a resonant critical experience, by the synthesis of ideas through design. Montalti his work was part of Dissident Gardens.
Adam Nocek is an assistant professor in the philosophy of technology and science and technology studies in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at Arizona State University. Nocek is the founding director of the Center for Philosophical Technologies and has published widely on the philosophy of media and science; speculative philosophy (especially Whitehead); design philosophy, history, and practice; and critical and speculative theories of computational media. In his creative practice, Nocek draws on social and speculative design and the material arts and sciences to design techniques for activating collective critique and imagination. Nocek is the co-editor of The Lure of Whitehead and has just completed a book manuscript titled, Molecular Capture: Biology, Animation, and the Design of Governance. Nocek is currently working on two book projects: the first project addresses computational governance and the emergence of new regimes of design expertise, and the second project reimagines the role of mythology within speculative design philosophy.
Alice Twemlow’s research addresses design’s complex interrelations with time and the environment and manifests in writing, exhibitions, conferences, and education. She is Research Professor at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK) where she leads the “Design and the Deep Future” readership, and an Associate Professor at Leiden University, in the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts, where she supervises design-related PhDArts candidates. Her book, Shifting The Trash: A History of Design Criticism, was published by MIT Press in 2017. Previously, Alice was head of the Design Curating & Writing Master at Design Academy Eindhoven, and before that she lived in New York where, in 2008, she co-founded and directed the MFA in Design Criticism (D-Crit) and then the MA in Design Research, Writing & Criticism, at the School of Visual Arts. She writes for publications such as Disegno, Eye, Dirty Furniture, and Frieze, and has recently contributed essays to Night Fever: Designing Club Culture, 1960-Today and Victor Papanek: The Politics of Design (Vitra Design Museum, 2018).
Karin de Jong
Karin de Jong is the initiator of PrintRoom, a project space for independent publishing in Rotterdam. PrintRoom started in 2003 as a travelling and growing collection of artists’ publications. Since 2010 the initiative operates from a location in the centre of Rotterdam, with a shop, a Riso-stencil workshop and space for public events. PrintRoom has become a vibrant hub for producing, disseminating and promoting publications by artists, designers, and small publishers from all over the globe. The PrintRoom collection comprises various material: from lusciously designed, full colour publications to small flipbooks, and photocopied zines. The space hosts talks, presentations, book launches, and workshops that explore artistic strategies of independent publishing.