FAULT LINES: KABK Research Forum 2022
Friday 9 December, KABK auditorium

On 9 December the Design & the Deep Future Research Group hosted a day of exchange centred on our projects-in-progress and collective thinking around art, design and research in relation to climate justice.

Chaired by Alice Twemlow, research professor at KABK, the Group comprises KABK tutors, whose research practices engage with the central theme of the Design Lectorate — making, teaching and researching in the context of climate catastrophe, planetary degradation and the loss of biodiversity. We meet every few weeks in each other’s studios and sites of research, where we engage with the work, read texts, write, and think with each other through the doubts, dilemmas and complexities of our individual projects and the methodological or thematic composite that connects us.

For this event, in the KABK auditorium, we were joined by some of our students and colleagues from KABK, as well as three keynote speakers who we invited to help frame and contextualise our work: Aditi Jaganathan, Fiona Hallinan and Rolando Vázquez.

The presentations were generous, the dialogue was rich, but the real star of the show was the modular table we designed to accommodate and represent a truly round-table discussion!

Many thanks to all involved in making the event such a success, including:

Lennarts & De Bruijn, identity design
Judy Wetters, table construction design
Silvia Ulloa, videography

Student (and staff) participants:
Luna van Schadewijk, BA Graphic Design
Myles Merckel, BA Art Science
Jonathan Looman, tutor
Giulietta Pastorino Verastegui, alum, BA Fine Art
Ritvik Khushu, MA Industrial Design
Rosa te Velde, tutor
Lulu van Dijk, BA Graphic Design

Guest speakers

Aditi Jaganathan at Fault Lines 2022
Aditi Jaganathan at Fault Lines 2022

Dr Aditi Jaganathan is a thinker and creator, writer and dreamer. Having worked at the intersections of law, culture and politics in various capacities, Aditi is motivated by a politics of refusal, living in rupture as rapture; turning away from hegemonic worlds of oppression and tuning into something different, beyond the world we live in and moving to the rhythms of an elsewhere. It is this compulsion which guides her pedagogy in the education work she does. Riffing off education for liberation, she creates spaces of (un)learning as a site of radical praxis, using tools of music, film and visual culture, to unpack the ways in which ideologies of oppression and liberation travel through cultural production. She teaches her own course, Rhythm, Race, Revolution as well as courses at different London-based academic institutions.

With a particular interest in creativity as decolonial praxis, she situates the imagination as a radical site of refusal and resistance. Her research work examines the different ways in which Black and Brown cultural production has activated autonomous modes of meaning-making and self-determination in London, through contesting racialised norms and (re)imagining racialised postcolonial subjectivities. And it is through an ethic of jazz that Aditi curates this work.

Fiona Hallinan at Fault Lines 2022
Fiona Hallinan at Fault Lines 2022

Fiona Hallinan is an artist, researcher and, alongside curator Kate Strain, co-founder of the Department of Ultimology, based between Brussels, Belgium and Cork, Ireland. Her doctoral research at LUCA School of Arts, KU Leuven explores the coming-into-being of Ultimology, the study of that which is dead or dying (death here encompassing both the end of life and the passing into irrelevance, redundancy or extinction of material and immaterial entities), as a tool for transformative discourse.

Based in a practice of oral interview, this project involves instigating gatherings around ‘ruptures’ as case studies; the closure of a canteen, the demolition of a church, the extinction of a plant. This research is informed by gathering knowledge related to rituals of mourning, supported by the monthly reading group ‘On Death’.

Supported by the Irish Arts Council Project Award, she is developing the collaborative project ‘Making Dust’, a film and installation that will be exhibited at VISUAL Carlow, the Irish Architectural Archive and via the aemi platform in 2023. She is interested in themes of hospitality, traces, thresholds, care and critical pedagogy and often works with food as part of her practice, cooking and organising meals.

She has presented work in a number of international contexts, including at IMMA, Kerlin Gallery, the John Nicholas Brown Centre for Public Humanities at Brown University and Grazer Kunstverein.

Rolando Vazquez at Fault Lines 2022
Rolando Vazquez at Fault Lines 2022

Dr. Rolando Vázquez is a teacher and decolonial thinker. He is regularly invited to deliver keynotes on decoloniality at academic and cultural institutions. Vázquez is currently Associate Professor of Sociology and Cluster Chair at the University College Utrecht. Since 2010, he co-directs with Walter Mignolo the annual Maria Lugones Decolonial Summer School, now hosted by the Van Abbemuseum. In 2016, under the direction of Gloria Wekker, he co-authored the report "Let’s do Diversity" of the University of Amsterdam Diversity Commission. He has been named Advisor at the Jan van Eyck Academie for 2021/2022.

Vázquez's work places the question of the possibility of an ethical life at the core of decolonial thought and advocates for the decolonial transformation of cultural and educational institutions. His most recent publication is Vistas of Modernity: Decolonial aesthesis and the End of the Contemporary (Mondriaan Fund 2020).

The Design and the Deep Future Research Group

KABK Design and the Deep Future Research Group

Each year the Royal Academy of Art The Hague (KABK) makes provision for a selected group of its tutors and staff to work on self-defined research projects in the context of a Research Group. The nature of these projects varies, from research driven by and through one’s own artistic or design practice to historical or theoretical research; from material or technological research to academic research in preparation for a PhD-trajectory. In monthly meetings, chaired by Dr. Alice Twemlow, we discuss participants’ progress and questions related to methods for research and analysis, theoretical concepts, and modes of dissemination. Each year the Design Lectorate hosts Fault Lines where participants of the Research Group share their research-in-progress with the KABK community of colleagues and students, as well as invited external speakers/ respondents.