Research Group 2019

Participants Research Group 2019

The Research Group 2019 was chaired by Alice Twemlow, head of Design Lectorate

Tutor, BA Graphic Design and MA Non-Linear Narrative

RE-READING ARCHIVAL NARRATIVES

This project builds on two archive-based commissions already conducted by Foundland Collective: Timestack, which used installation pieces to re-narrate specific migration and displacement stories elicited from the largest Arab American archive in the United States (The Alixa Naff Archive, Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC); and Real-time History, which provided a reinterpretation of a selection of disputed video evidence which had been uploaded by citizen journalists on Youtube during one year of the Syrian conflict. Alexander’s current project is centred on a set of interrelated questions: How can design be used as a tool to (re)discover, (re)interpret and (re)distribute narratives related to the archive? How can (re)interpretation or alternative readings of archival material be relevant to deciphering a contemporary context, and amplify previously unheard voices and stories? In what ways can design assist in methods of re-looking and therefore better understanding material, which is potentially valuable or revealing evidence? She aims to publish her findings and reflections, with the goal of identifying and sharing research methods that might allow for a deeper and more nuanced excavation and interpretation of archival material, and more critical awareness of the way dominant narratives are currently constructed and how unheard or under represented stories could be better understood and publicized.

Foundland Collective, Timestack I, Jerusalem, 2018
Foundland Collective, Timestack I, Jerusalem, 2018, glass and photographic installation. Image credits: courtesy of the artists.
Foundland Collective, The New World, 2017
Foundland Collective, The New World, 2017, video and installation work. Image credits: courtesy of the artists
Foundland Collective, Real-time History, 2018
Foundland Collective, Real-time History, 2018, video installation. Image credits: courtesy of the artists.
Foundland Collective, Real-time History, 2018, video still
Foundland Collective, Real-time History, 2018, video still. Image credits: courtesy of the artists.

LAUREN ALEXANDER, designer, researcher and artist, teaches in the BA Graphic Design and the MA Non Linear Narrative. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Alexander studied Graphic Design before moving to the Netherlands to complete a Master in Design at the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam and a Master of Fine Arts at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem. In 2009 Alexander began working with Syrian designer and artist Ghalia Elsrakbi and together they formed Foundland Collective. The duo’s work draws together disciplines of art, new media, graphic design and writing to critically reflect upon what it means to produce politically engaged, decolonial storytelling from their position as non-Western artists working between Europe and the Middle East. Foundland Collective has exhibited and pre­sented work internationally, has been nominated for the Prix de Rome prize (2015) and Dutch Design Awards (2016) and has been awarded Smithsonian Artist Research pro­gramme fellowships (2015-2016). Alexander is also a tutor in socially engaged and research-based design practice in the MA Experience Design (University of the Underground) at the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam.

Tutor, BA Interactive Media Design

360º
360º explores the potential for exchange between the fields of robotics, movement analysis and dance, in order to develop haptic, kinetic objects derived from physical modelling and embodied collaborative data. The project brings together research into small-scale intelligent robotic systems on the one hand, and the dancers’ kinaesthetic perception and knowledge about the conscious and unconscious body on the other. The dance research will be made in collaboration with ICK Amsterdam. The project is inspired in part by experience of medical procedure, which considers medical imaging as a definitive reference to the condition of the living human body. This protocol frames sections of the human body into fixed states and is incapable of capturing the constantly changing biological system, or the factors situated beyond the technological lens. Positioned in between the discrete methods of science and the continuous methods of the performing arts, 360º aims to take a third position that seeks to enable new perspectives on, and experiences of, the body.

Lyndsey Housden, Double Skin Double Mind workshop
Lyndsey Housden, Double Skin Double Mind workshop, part of Fluid Body IST, KABK 2018. Image credits: photograph Lyndsey Housden, pages from the Fluid Body book, collage A. Moschioni.
MRI scan spinal column 2017 L. Housden
MRI scan spinal column 2017 L. Housden. Image credit: courtesy AUMC.

LYNDSEY HOUSDEN is a tutor in the BA Interactive Media Design. She studied at the Interprofessional Studio of the AA School of Architecture in London (UK) and the ArtScience Interfaculty in The Hague. Housden creates interactive installations that intervene between architecture, technology and the human body, seeking the invisible lines and underlying currents that direct and engage people with each other, with their environment and with technology. Housden regards the human body and the social body as energetic systems, which are driven by action and motion. Through her installations, Housden plays with and subverts the intentionality of architecture, to provoke physical interactions and social encounters.

Tutor, BA Graphic Design and MA Non-Linear Narrative

THE SPECTRE OF SPECULATIVE DESIGN

In this project, Ruben Pater investigates the relation between capitalism and design by evaluating the ethical and humanitarian claims of speculative design in relation to their impact in the commercial sphere. Speculative design works will be analysed with particular attention to production, funding, education, surrounding networks, and supporting institutes. This inquiry is placed in the context of ‘cognitive capitalism’ with Silicon Valley as its epicentre, where capital is created through the imagining of future markets and business models. This research project asks whether speculative design actively questions and resists the capitalist logic by inventing alternatives, or whether it rather creates new markets and is perhaps a necessary by-product of the cognitive mode of twenty-first century capitalism.

FRAUD, Finis-terra, 2018
FRAUD, Finis-terra, 2018. Image credit: FRAUD (Francisco Gallardo & Audrey Samson).
Next Nature, ECO Coin, 2015
Next Nature, ECO Coin, 2015. Image credit: Next Nature.
Kei Kreutler, Patternist, 2017
Kei Kreutler, Patternist, 2017. Image credit: Kei Kreutler.

RUBEN PATER is a tutor in the BA Graphic Design and the MA Non Linear Narrative at the KABK. Under the name Untold Stories, Pater creates visual narratives that aim to support solidarity, justice, and equality. His work often starts as a collaboration with other disciplines to create new perspectives on complex social and political issues, which are then disseminated through publications, installations, interactive media and film. His Drone Survival Guide (2013) received worldwide attention as a discussion piece on military drones. In his book The Politics of Design (BIS Publishers, 2016) he looks at the responsibilities of designers in visual culture.

Tutor, BA Graphic Design, Preparatory Year and ACPA Practicum Artium

MOVING MEMBRANES
Moving Membranes addresses the visual rhetorics of Frontex, the governing agency held responsible for the management of border control in the Schengen area. By studying the ‘artistic’ utterances produced through the agency’s annual staff photo-competition – and exploring their relation to the broad range of analytical imageries produced by the agency as a whole – the research project seeks to question whether aesthetic modes of the image play a role in the contemporary performance of (automated) Schengen area border control. Images become analogues to membranes, through which constructs of ‘factual neutrality’ and ‘creative expression’ are on the move. Moving Membranes mediates (artistic) research through a performative exhibition staging a series of lecture performances.

photograph submitted by Piotr Kaxzmarczyk
A reading of a photograph submitted to the Frontex Photo Competition 2013, exhibited during the annual The European Day for Border Guards, by Piotr Kaxzmarczyk. Text by Confusion of Tongues.
photograph submitted by David Michna
A reading of a photograph submitted to the Frontex Photo Competition 2018, exhibited during the annual The European Day for Border Guards, by David Michna. Text by Confusion of Tongues.
photograph submitted by an unknown author
A reading of a photograph submitted to the Frontex Photo Competition 2017, exhibited during the annual The European Day for Border Guards, by an unknown author. Text by Confusion of Tongues.
Confusion of Tongues, Explanatory Figure 1
Confusion of Tongues, Explanatory Figure 1, 2019.
Confusion of Tongues, Explanatory Figure 2
Confusion of Tongues, Explanatory Figure 2, 2019.
FLIR PTZ thermal imaging
FLIR PTZ thermal imaging long range multi sensor pan tilt MWIR camera system. Thermal interpretation palette in Black Hot mode. . Other common interpretation modes are White Hot, Rainbow High Contrast, Ironbow, Sepia, InstAlert and Fusion

MARTHE PRINS is a tutor in Art Philosophy in the Preparatory Year at the KABK and a tutor in Visual Research in the Practicum Artium talent program (Graphic Design) of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, KABK/Leiden University. She collaborates with Benedikt Weishaupt (Berlin, DE) as Confusion of Tongues. Together, they also teach the KABK elective PlayLab at the BA Graphic Design. Confusion of Tongues mediates design-research through performance, exhibition and text. Prins and Weishaupt question the visual rhetorics and image production of western neoliberal protagonists, seeking to shift the course of their validation, in a place where images constitute reality. Their current projects address the rhetorics of privatised border security, of an unearthly linguistic PA singing songs to ‘semio-capital’, of quantified-spiritualised individual labour and of the ‘indexing graphic’ as key figure in the rise of a sophio-fascism.

Tutor, MA Photography & Society

PJU’S AFRICAS – TO BE CONTINUED:

An attempt to move beyond the colonial gaze through engagements with an ambiguous 20th-century collection of photographs

In her doctoral thesis, Andrea Stultiens developed a method built on the idea of the photograph as encounter (formulated by photo-theoretician Ariella Azoulay) that frames the engagements which follow from the encounters she initiates as ‘correspondences’ (as posited by anthropologist Tim Ingold). This leads to a practice, which Stultiens calls ‘collective making’ and which enables a ‘globalectic’ approach to reading complicated historical materials. Globalectics, in the words of author and literary scholar Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, ‘combines the global and the dialectical to describe a mutually affecting dialogue, or multi-logue, [… it] embraces wholeness, interconnectedness, equality of potentiality of parts, tension and motion. It is a way of thinking and relating to the world, particularly in the era of globalism and globalization’. Between 2013 and 2016, Stultiens worked with a collection of photographs and films produced by Dutch chemist and amateur anthropologist Dr. Paul Julien during his travels on the African Continent, undertaken in the years between 1932 and 1960. In the research project ‘PJU’S AFRICAS – TO BE CONTINUED’, she will evaluate previous outcomes of her engagements with the PJU collection through a critical application of insights gained during her doctoral research and work towards new correspondences based on the question: How can an activation of Paul Julien’s legacy through ‘collective making’ contribute to more nuanced understandings of the depiction of ‘others’?

Ms. Louise McMillan Siaway, assistant Minister of Culture, with her favorite Paul Julien on display in the exhibition at the National Museum of Liberia
Ms. Louise McMillan Siaway, assistant Minister of Culture, with her favorite Paul Julien on display in the exhibition at the National Museum of Liberia. The exhibition was curated by Andrea Stultiens and opened by Ms. McMillan Siaway, 2014. Image credit: photograph Isaac Ghunney.
A wall devoted to Liberia at the group exhibition ‘The Mix’ in the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, 2018
A wall devoted to Liberia at the group exhibition ‘The Mix’ in the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, 2018. Image credits: black and white photographs Paul Julien, colour photographs Andrea Stultiens, exhibition documentation F-WORKS.

ANDREA STULTIENS teaches in the MA Photography & Society. Initially trained as a photographer and researcher, she obtained her doctoral degree in 2018 at PhDArts, KABK/Leiden University, with a dissertation titled ‘Ebifananyi, A study of photographs in Uganda in and through an artistic practice’. Stultiens’ artistic practice deals with photographs in relation to understandings of the presentations of histories. Her work, which always develops in collaborations with others, often focuses on the African continent. In recent years, she has extended her artistic practice into the curatorial realm, which has resulted in the initiation of exhibitions and presentations both in Europe and on the African continent. Besides tutoring at the KABK, Stultiens has been a tutor at Minerva Art Academy in Groningen, where she teaches and investigates the use of photography in cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural artistic practices, since 2002.