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[Nettime-nl] JvE: Design negation -- Design, political engagement and po
Geert Lovink on Wed, 23 Jan 2008 15:36:18 +0100 (CET)


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[Nettime-nl] JvE: Design negation -- Design, political engagement and populist politics


JvE: Design negation -- Design, political engagement and populist politics

New research project: Design negation
Daniël van der Velden, advising researcher in the Design department, initiated


A new research project: Design negation. Design, political engagement and populist politics. This project is about finding new vocabularies and aesthetic possibilities for design to formulate a political negation. It aims to respond to the current wave of populist public opinion and politics in the Netherlands.

Currently, most design gestures fulfill, even if they are ‘dressed in dissent’, an affirmative role in relation to their social and political surroundings. The potentially critical stance in design has increasingly become a matter of armchair debates among experts. Design has withdrawn its political potential from everyday reality – that requires not only judgments but also decisions – in order to concentrate on abstract goals associated with ‘the good’, i.e. universal ethics and human rights. It turns out that many of these abstract goals are now served by the principles of marketing and advertising, and as such fail to grasp the particularities of situations.

Design negation will consist of creative, intellectual and practical research and production that look for possibilities to set up a design regime of negation. The project will further design for a number of organisations in the Netherlands and abroad whose social and political objectives would benefit from dedicated artistic research.

The project will formulate and execute a series of media campaigns in response to the curious breed of rightist politicians that has come into being in the Netherlands in the post-Fortuyn years. These politicians claim that they have simple and effective answers to the social, political and cultural implications of immigration.
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