WHAT? | design concept
HOW? | design process
“All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.” (Debord, G., 1967)
With these words Guy Debord described the phenomenon of the spectacle, which embodied post-war society’s increasing tendency to translate expression through objects. As such the objectification of the Spectacle was a critique against this late Fordist society. A society, which had a certain tendency to generalize, whether in abstract terms of standardization, or in the pragmatic conditions of mass production, resulting in a blunt consumer culture fueled by commodity fetishism induced by the rise of mass media. Debord and his Situationist movement, as well as other post-Marxist anti-Fordist thinkers such as Henry Lefebvre stated that this process of homogenized fixation on the object, eventually led to a degradation of knowledge, a loss of perception, a lack of emotion, invoked dysfunctional social relationships and eventually led to an overall impoverished quality of life.
As society developed through the late twentieth century, post-fordism theoretically claimed to loosen and enrich the homogenous mass into a mode of customization and diversity. As a whole we exponentially explored the potential of this newfound individuality, by for example soft social networks, interactive embedded systems and mass customization. Within this process, society adopted new hybrid modes of operation and communication, in which the nature of expression method of diversification is shifting, under the influence of the homogenizing workings of globalization and information society. Moreover, information technology continuously seeks to comply perception and expression into predefined meaning structures.
Perhaps we can conclude that post-fordism, just as fordism, struggles with the pragmatic execution of its own theory. It finds itself in an emotive identity conflict between the individual and the collective, between freedom and structure, and between diversity and protocol, as the systems and networks that allow individual expression, in a paradoxical manner, also limit their manifested diversity. This notion on post-Fordism is ironically similar to the Post-Marxist critique on its predecessor that instigated it. As they resented Fordism with: “A social relationship between people that is mediated by images.” (Debord, G., 1967) Perhaps we can state to stand against: “A social relationship mediated by standardized protocols and interfaces.” As general, but pragmatic, problem statement we therefor identify:
“Information society is increasingly minimizing the expressive vocabulary of bodily communication.“
APPLIED 01 | (Re)cognition of a Collective Memory
Why? “Once lived the unique and raw memories of user experiences are only carried by the self and lost from the collective where they were initially derived from. As of now the remaining collective image often only represents a flattened version of past interactions, denying the diversity in personality that is critical to the true collective.”
How? “Embody the collectively lived accumulation of emotions, experienced during the exhibition by its visitors, in all its diversity, by envisioning and visualizing a distributed ‘spectacle’, that preserves a semiotic translation of the raw emotive resonance of the individual.”
What? “A collective visual bodily language between agents (users and systems), which combines moment-based interactions of which the individual resonance is captured into a raw visual archive of emotive experiences and cultural memories. Pragmatized by a temporal distributed system, implemented in the various spaces of the current exhibition, as well as a central permanent objectified and interconnected ‘memory’ in previous venues ”
APPLIED 02 | Make individuals aware of their power and capability to solve problems as a collective.
Why? “An individual is less motivated to fight a global scale problem, because such a problem is too far away or too big to make an impact on, on his own”
How? “Create metaphor for a problem in a room which only can be solved with the combined effort of a self-created collective. A single body’s data has a relative small impact to the combined collected data of a collective of people. Recorded physical response of the participants to a stimulus, collectively generates a unique solution to the presented problem”
What? “Interactive system of modules that embrace diversity of participants to create a community that empowers the individual voice in finding a solution to a threatening situation."
“Individually we can make a difference, together can have an impact.”
The truth about the world is too terrible to want to know. Individual powerlessness of citizens is too big to make a change.
METHODOLOGY | Why > How > What experimental process
We embrace the shared intentions of the Hyperbody and Metabody collaboration, and as such engage with in a context of hybrid prerequisites. While the Hyperbody design studio will provide a general project structure in the form of a timeline, methodology and deliverables, the explicit combination with Metabody gives us an opportunity and handle to move away from the standard notion of architecture, providing our collective of tech savvy artists with a certain theoretical viewpoint, stance and direction. We therefor decided upon an initial approach and project definition within the broader Metabody context. A general problem statement will result in the formulation of a central abstract problem statement. Which will be the basis for the definition of multiple research questions. Through a general contextual research and it’s subsequent criteria this multitude of development options will be delimited and narrowed down to single research question. This single research question will put us on second concave quest for further information, which eventually will be used to enable us to work towards single solution.