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Re: <nettime> Learning from Prada? [bbrace, rosler, Demers, Evans]
nettime's_designative_dig on Sat, 13 Jul 2002 17:07:36 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Learning from Prada? [bbrace, rosler, Demers, Evans]



   Re: <nettime> Learning from Prada?                                              
     { brad brace } <bbrace {AT} eskimo.com>                                              

   Re: <nettime> Learning from Prada?/                                             
     martha rosler <navva {AT} earthlink.net>                                             

   RE: <nettime> Learning from Prada?                                              
     David Demers <david {AT} paper-klip.com>                                             

   Re: <nettime> Learning from Prada?                                              
     Helen Evans <helen {AT} HEHE.ORG>                                                    



------------------------------

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 19:33:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: { brad brace } <bbrace {AT} eskimo.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Learning from Prada?


Overwhelmed by pop culture, many designers today are but
"cutting-edge shoppers" posturing their trite, vacuous,
corporate-re-engineered, youth-tribe identity-on-the-fly...
an end-run 'round the critical/dialectics -- university
feudal system -- dilemma. At least they get paid.



The 12hr-ISBN-JPEG Project                >>>> since 1994 <<<<

+ + +         serial           ftp://ftp.eskimo.com/u/b/bbrace
+ + +      eccentric          ftp://ftp.idiom.com/users/bbrace
+ + +     continuous         hotline://artlyin.ftr.va.com.au
+ + +    hypermodern      ftp://ftp.rdrop.com/pub/users/bbrace
+ + +        imagery   ftp://ftp.pacifier.com/pub/users/bbrace

News:  alt.binaries.pictures.12hr   alt.binaries.pictures.misc
               alt.binaries.pictures.fine-art.misc    alt.12hr

. 12hr email
subscriptions => http://bbrace.laughingsquid.net/buy-into.html


.  Other  |  Mirror: http://www.eskimo.com/~bbrace/bbrace.html
Projects  |  Reverse Solidus: http://bbrace.laughingsquid.net/
          |                   http://bbrace.net


{ brad brace }   <<<<< bbrace {AT} eskimo.com >>>>  ~finger for pgp




------------------------------

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 22:36:07 -0400
From: martha rosler <navva {AT} earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Learning from Prada?/ 

my response, below, makes no sense, alas, without the post it was
responding to:


From: Helen Evans <helen {AT} HEHE.ORG>
To: nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net
<snip>

>> One of the criticisms that I always hear levelled at contemporary art is
>> that it's really just a neat bit of design in disguise. There's no "art"
> > or soul left in the work.

>> The result is that we're inhabiting an increasingly smooth, glossy and
>> superficial culture. And it's a culture looking for a subject. In Foster's
>> words, design is the "package" that "all but replaces the product".


> haven't we heard enough about design being about "surface" and packaging? As
> any designer worth her salt knows, this is simply BAD design.

> We should be asking, why are people still defending dubious borders between
> art and design?  Don't people in the art world realise that the impact of
> new technologies has impacted on all disciplines: art, design and craft.
> Creative practictioners of all diciplines are collaborating to explore the
> creative potential of these technologies - and in this process are expanding
> and overlapping the traditional demarkations between disciplines.

my hasty reply, was:
for the obvious and to my mind very good reason that there is much, much
more at stake than teasing out "creative potential": the question is
always, potential for what?

 If the aim is to produce visual pleasure alone, stuff that goes down easy
with a ready and increasingly shopping-minded audience, then good (as
attractive) design is not very good. (The 90s typographic turn toward
UNreadability seemed to mark not so much a disruptive argument against
domination as an insistence on the precedence of the formal appearance of
the "page" over any possible moment of meaning.)

As the potential grows for increased communication among people in widely
disparate locations, there is also a grave potential for a vacating of the
public sphere of discussion and dissent from hegemonic cultural as well as
social and political models, reinforcing and perpetuating an
inside/outside of cultural entitlement and decision-making ability. Art
may still be one of the areas in which one can open questions that
normally fall under the purview of philosophy, even if in a somewhat
restricted circle (ie not necessarily the mass audience envisioned all at
once). Too often in the hands of the design practitioners, philosophy
becomes a matter of color and form, and things that are posed as questions
are always and only rhetorical. (The language of design as it is developed
and "spoken" is the language of commodification, alas.)

This is a very very old argument, raised increasingly in the dear old 20th
century as modernism tried to respond to the industrialization of death,
domination and conformity brought toward realization by modernity and
modernization. Postmodernism, whatever it means, need NOT mean a complete
shutting down of imaginative strategizing for another future.
Horizonlessness is a poor motivator for devising such a future. Policing
borders is not at issue, raising new SOCIAL possibilities is. It is hard
to see how design fits the bill.

what say you?
best,
martha rosler
brooklyn, ny

PS among students at my university, by the way, my friends who teach
design tell me that students are consistently angry and annoyed about any
discussions of the implications of design, type face and so on. Techne is
what interests them.The technicalization of every possible aspect of
contemporary life is part of the instrumentalization of all modes of
address and (dare I say it) expression.



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------------------------------

Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 14:05:26 -0400
From: David Demers <david {AT} paper-klip.com>
Subject: RE: <nettime> Learning from Prada?

Thu, 11 Jul 2002 09:44:05 -0700  Curt Hagenlocher

>> Design doesn't need to be the devil's work. It clarifies and clears the
>> cluttered space of so much of our world. The problem is, we're left
>> wanting something more. Something we can't quite reduce to stylistic
>> flourishes.
>
>Design is about much more than stylistic flourishes, especially with
>respect to human interfaces.

how about:

strength of design = strength of form + strength of function - degree to
which one is sacrificed at the expense of the other

?


------------------------------

Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 07:17:17 +0100
From: Helen Evans <helen {AT} HEHE.ORG>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Learning from Prada?

on 11/7/02 17:32, martha rosler at navva {AT} earthlink.net wrote:

> for the obvious and to my mind very good reason that there is much, much
> more at stake than teasing out "creative pontential": the question is
> always, potential for what?

yes, exactly. Why people want to explore new technologies will depend upon
each practictioners background - the way they have been trained to act and
to think - as artists AND as designers -  as well as their own
personal/political/social agendas.
 
> If the aim is to produce visual pleasure alone, stuff that goes down easy
> with a ready and increasingly shopping-minded audience, then good (as
> attractive) design is not very good. (The 90s typographic turn toward
> UNreadability seemed to mark not so much a disruptive argument against
> domination as an insistence on the precedence of the formal appearance of
> the "page" over any possible moment of meaning.)

but this trend of form over content is not exclusive to the world of design!
(gasp!)  worse, this view just reinforces a popular and misleading
preconception of "what is design?"

Perhaps one distiction between art/design lies in the intention. Designers
and engineers respond to needs and precise questions, to which they must
provide adequate solutions. It is not so much an industrial aesthetic which
defines design but an industrial intention.  Art can be defined as the
opposite; it is not the role of art to bring people answers, the purpose of
art is to question or to diffuse the certainties of answers.

However, this neat distinction becomes problematic with the advent of
technology - since whether technology is used by artists, designers or
engineers it is not politically neutral. Technology (and functions it
offers) shapes our behaviour and by extension, the way in which we perceive
and interact with the natural and the social world.  Since art is about
meaning and interpretation, it is entirely appropriate to use art to
question the way technology frames the world around us by challenging the
certainties of most usages of technology. But likewise design has, does and
will continue to offer both teletopian and critical  visions of the future -
from Andrea Branzi to Dunne + Rabey -  and hence design also contributes to
the philosophical debates about how we might live with these new
technologies. 
 
The point of all this is that the boundaries between art, design, new
technologies AND academic debates has been broken down and is reforming so
that a premium is now placed on both theoretical and technical knowledge.
Right now I am sitting in Makrolab, Scotland, a project by artist marko
Peljhan - a  work which functions to provide an independant research space
for living and working. It is both art event and architecture. Yes, it does
look a little like the Mir space station, but its intelligence and its
beauty lies also in the way that it functions. Its position as both art and
architecture are complimentary rather than contradictory. Long live design.
Long live art. Long live Desart



Helen evans
www.HEHE.ORG
temporary home: http://makrolab.ljudmila.org/live.html




------------------------------

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