Reading stuff

Racism A History — BBC4

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Drie prikkels om overzee te gaan — Roofstaat

  1. God: geloofsijver. Het woord brengen bij de wilden en zo beschaving brengen.
  2. Goud: grondstoffen, specerijen, slaven,…
  3. Erotiek en exotiek: “juist omdat de ‘wilden’ de remmingen van de beschaving nog niet kenden waren zij tegelijkertijd gevaarlijk en verleidelijk

(Vanvught, 2016, p. 30)


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Hermeneutiek (van den Bersselaar, 2011, p104)

Hermeneutiek onderzoekt de voorwaarden waaronder het verstaan van (de betekenis van) menselijke uitingen mogelijk is.


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Nederlandse kunstinstellingen en etnocentrisme (Metropolis M)

De Nederlandse kunstwereld word gedomineerd door het ‘egocentrisme en het dominante, westerse etnocentrisme’.— Meta Knol in 2006



Encyclopedia of —isms

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Afrofuturism (Black to the future)

Afrofuturism is a “Speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture—and, more generally, African American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prothetically enhanced future”. (Dery, p 180)


Institutional Racism

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Lex Bohlmeijer – in gesprek met Zihni Özdil

“Religie, politiek, kunst en kunst, de wetenschap, […], dat was allemaal een culturele productie bedoelt om ‘de Ander’ als minder te doen laten overkomen. En dat heeft vandaag de dag nog steeds een heel diepe uitwerking.”


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The need for a critical approach to Critical and Speculative Design

…”So answering [designer James] Auger’s pressing question — “What is this obsession with class systems?” —, well: we are obsessed with class systems because we can’t help it. Because, in contrast to most of the practitioners in the field of [Speculative and Critical Design], we do not have the privilege of not thinking about issues of race, class and gender.


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Why design research is important

“In general you could say that research is just an extra tool to produce works of art, another way of being curious about the world. [… ] What the Academy needs is not more theory, but training in how to use theory as practice”
(Jeroen Boomgaard, Gray magazine #3, p5).

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Research Methods – (Cultural) probes

From ‘Cultural probes’ (1999) by Bill Gaver, Tony Dunne and Elena Pacenti

In this text the writers explain how they used the ‘cultural probe’ as a research method for understanding the local culture, so that their designs wouldn’t seem irrelevant or arrogant.

“The cultural probes -these packages of maps, postcards, and other materials- were designed to provoke inspirational responses from elderly people in diverse communities. Like astronomic or surgical probes, we left them behind when we had gone and waited for them to return fragmentary data over time.”

“The probes were part of a strategy of pursuing experimental design in a responsive way. They address a common dilemma in developing projects for unfamiliar groups.”….”We wanted to lead a discussion with the group towards unexpected ideas, but we didn’t want to dominate it.”

Content of the probe

Postcards (8 to 10): images on front, questions on back (e.g. “Tell us a piece of advice or insight that has been important for you”) concerning attitude towards lives, cultural environment and technology of the elders. Medium is an informal, casual and friendly way of communication, pre-addressing and stamping them bridges the gap of returning them to the researchers.

Maps (±7): with an accompanying inquiry exploring the elders’ attitude towards their environment. Global maps (“where have you been in the world?”) to local maps (“Where do you like to daydream?”). Small dot stickers were provided to mark answers.

Camera (disposable) repackaged to integrate with the other probe materials. At the back a list of required pictures, but also with room to shoot other things the elders wanted.

Small booklet: Photo album (“use 6 to 10 pictures to tell your story”) & media diary (“record your television and radio use, call etc”).

2 year project: first year: opening a space of possible designs; second on developing prototypes to be tested in the sites.

Inspiration, not information

Design as research: “Unlike much research, we don’t emphasize precise analysis or carefully controlled methodologies; instead we concentrate on aesthetic control, the cultural implications of our design, and way to open new spaces for design.”

Inspiration, not information; subjective and ‘inspirational data’. A more impressionistic account of their beliefs and desires. Designers are provocateurs and probes are interventions.

Role of Aesthetics

Overcoming distance by tone and aesthetics of the probe material, as visual as possible to cross language barriers. To bridge the generational gap: reject stereotypes (e.g. ‘needy’ and ‘nice’) but opening new opportunities: they represent a lifetime of experiences and knowledge.

Aesthetics are integral part of functionality: appealing, motivating, efficient and usable. Delightful but not condescending.

Elements of collage so that the images open new and provocative spaces, and new perspectives on everyday life. “We decided to present them ourselves to explain our intensions, answer questions, and encourage the elders to take an informal, experimental approach to the materials.

“The cultural probes were successful for us in trying to familiarize ourselves with the sites in a way that would be appropriate for our approach as artist-designers.”… The other half is that the elders learned from the probes. They provoked the group to think about the roles they play and the pleasures they experience…”