Arif Kornweitz, 2019

Bright Objects

Class developed for students of DesignLAB (BA), Gerrit Rietveld Academie

This class addressed problems springing from dualist notions in design and offered diffraction as an alternative, non-dualist approach. The visual metaphor of diffraction, in contrast to reflection, allows analysing a field of differences. Rather than designing a solution to a clear-cut problem, a bright object that represents progress and innovation, how devices lay bare how differences come into being?

Students were asked to think  about the function of devices, their multiple histories and effects. Rather than describing technological objects as entities through mutually exclusive notions such as invisible/visible or bright/dark, technological objects were approached as dynamic phenomena with constantly moving boundaries, that include social and political factors. Rather than designing for the world, how do we design within and as part of the world?

The class consisted of seminars and field trips. It resulted in a presentation at the Rietveld Uncut exhibition in Stedelijk Museum. Readings included excerpts about diffraction from Karen Barad’s Meeting the Universe Halfway. Field Trips included a workshop with art collective Rybn about derivé & tax evasion locations hidden in plain sight in the city.

The students' exhibition was titled “ATM inside”, a time-released group show fully developed and realised by the DesignLab students. Their official exhibition text:

“A time-released group show, for the moment, at the moment. Throughout the day an ongoing performance overexposes individual works. Inside a collectively cared-for space, solo pieces are highlighted. The outside is continuously and patiently making the inside remake the outside. Moving boundaries may be frozen momentarily, but windows for change exist and the future is radically open at every moment.”


(Installation view Marthe Wille)


(Installation view with works by Karelle Letrange & Malin Ryberg)

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