On Saturday 12 October, prior to the opening of the exhibition, I See That I See What You Don’t See, the What You Don’t See symposium takes place. Artists, designers, researchers and theorists reflect on the influence and potential of darkness. The speakers view darkness not so much as an absence of light, but as a quality in itself to be considered in relation to technology, health, landscape and culture.
One of the consequences of our 24/7 economy, which is centred around production, efficiency and growth, is that we live in a permanent state of illumination and connectivity. This has major consequences for the lives and well-being of people, animals, landscapes and other living beings.
What You Don’t See argues that we must first learn to see these consequences before we can act. And that this requires new knowledge, specific instruments and different points of view. Het Nieuwe Instituut has invited a variety of speakers that let us see through their eyes.
Using aspects of light and darkness as the informers of time, Helga Schmid choreographed What You Don’t See as an ongoing conversation between perspectives, ideas, researches and speculations. The afternoon is moderated by Marina Otero Verzier, director of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Architect and urban theorist
Positioning slavery as the ghost in the machine of logistics, Dele Adeyemo explores how circulations established in transatlantic slavery, at the foundation of modernity, live on in the contemporary production of space. For his presentation he collaborates with performer Hermes Iyele.
Dele Adeyemo is an architect and urban theorist conducting a Chase/AHRC-funded PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research intersects black studies with urban studies to question how the rise of logistics is driving processes of urbanisation. Positioning slavery as the ghost in the machine of logistics, Dele explores how circulations established in transatlantic slavery, at the foundation of modernity, live on in the contemporary production of space. His work mobilises a black aesthetics through writing, film, and attention to movement and aural sensation in order to unsettle the machinic fantasies of logistics to reveal its fleshy underpinnings. Adeyemo is currently a fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Philosopher and researcher
Ramon Amaro presents darkness as an afterimage, or an image that returns to our vision after the original stimulus.
Most importantly represented as optical illusions, afterimages suggest that what we see in the present is not actual reality, but fragments from the past that have made their way into our current view of reality as misleading and inaccurate representations, which Amaro also relates to blackness.
Ramon Amaro is a lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and a researcher in machine learning, the philosophy of mathematics, black ontologies, and philosophies of being. Amaro completed his PhD in Philosophy at Goldsmiths and holds an MA in Sociological Research from the University of Essex and a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Ramon Amaro is a former research fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut, and visiting lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in the Netherlands.
Geologist, with a background in Earth Sciences, Geosciences and Environmental Geology
What remains hidden, and therefore what we do and do not see, relates not only to our ability to look, but also to political choices and cultural prejudices.
Geologist Andrei Bocin-Dumitriu shows that what we see through satellites is the result of specific choices made when translating the digital input of the satellite into visuals.
Andrei Bocin-Dumitriu studied Earth Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and University of Bucharest and has a PhD and MA in Geosciences and Environmental Geology. He was Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Bucharest, and since 2010 has been working in global and regional science-based policy, remote sensing, and geographical information projects in the Netherlands. In 2018 he joined Space4Good, a start-up that uses space technology for social and environmental impact. Bocin-Dumitriu is involved in several projects focusing on sustainable cities and communities, affordable and clean energy, climate action, and 'life on land and below water'. He leads the development of digital infrastructure for the Zoöp project's remote sensing and monitoring services.
Bert van der Horst
Professor Chronobiology & Health at the Department of Molecular Genetics, Erasmus MC.
Bert van der Horst shows the serious consequences of artificial light and night work on our metabolisms, behaviour and physical well-being.
Bert van der Horst received his PhD in Cell Biology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Molecular Genetics at Erasmus Medical Centre, where he is now professor of Chronobiology & Health. By applying state of the art technology, he aims to obtain fundamental knowledge on the biological/medical impact of the circadian system, which drives near 24-hour rhythms in behaviour, physiology and metabolism. To synchronise with the day-night cycle, this circadian clock is reset daily by light. As such, excessive use of artificial light in modern society (or light pollution) has a huge impact on our body clock. Added to this, our 24/7 economy requires many people to work at 'non-standard' times, which could lead to a chronic disturbance of our body clock, associated with a variety of diseases.
In her film Reclaiming Vision (made in collaboration with Toril Johannesen), artist Marjolijn Dijkman shows an existing reality that is invisible to human eyes and therefore 'does not exist' – a world of microbes without which the earth would be uninhabitable.
Marjolijn Dijkman is an artist and co-founder of Enough Room for Space. Her works can be seen as a form of science-fiction, partly based on facts and research, but often brought into the realm of fiction, abstraction and speculation. Recent solo exhibitions include HIAP (Finland, 2019), OSL Contemporary (Norway, 2019), NOME (Germany, 2018), and The Munch Museum (Norway, 2018). International exhibitions include Contour Biennale 9 (Belgium, 2019), 4th Screen City Biennale (Norway, 2019), 1st Fiskars Biennale (Finland, 2019).
Poet, essayist and meme activist
Momtaza Mehri is the co-winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Her work has been widely anthologized, appearing in Granta, Artforum, Poetry International, Vogue and Real Life Mag. She is the Young People’s Laureate for London and columnist-in-residence at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Open Space. Her chapbook Sugah Lump Prayer was published in 2017.
Melvin Moti tells a short story about the prisoner’s effect: the total deprivation of the possibility to see.
Melvin Moti has produced several films along with artist books, objects and drawings, which have been featured in international exhibitions such as the 55th Venice Biennale and the Yokohama Triennale in 2014. He is a participant in I See That I See What You Don’t See.
Spatial practitioner and researcher
Paolo Patelli weaves together a suite of differential, multiple, visual ethnographies, and three sites in the Netherlands in which life and death intertwine with multispecies formations, soil and landscape forms.
Paolo Patelli is a spatial practitioner and researcher based in Amsterdam. He is a multidisciplinary design academic exploring the intersections of space and technology, nature and society. Often through collaborative enquiries, he addresses architecture as a critical spatial practice. He is associate lector of Places and Traces at Design Academy Eindhoven, and holds a PhD from Politecnico di Milano. Patelli is currently a fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Artist, designer, researcher
Currently, ‘clock time’ structures direct human behaviour. But what happens when our activities are guided by cycles of light and darkness, rather than clock time?
Artist and designer Dr. Helga Schmid researches aspects of atemporality, investigating a new time system and ways of living, based on light and darkness.
Dr Helga Schmid is an artist/designer and founder of the research platform Uchronia. She explores the multifaceted nature of time in an academic and public context. Schmid is a resident at Somerset House Studio, Senior Tutor in the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art, and in 2018 was a Designer in Residence at the Design Museum in London. She has worked as a researcher in the Architecture and Design department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and her work has been exhibited and featured worldwide, including the Serpentine Gallery and Whitechapel Gallery (UK), Dia Art Foundation (USA), Istanbul Design Biennale (Turkey), and DMY Berlin (Germany).
Dirk Sijmons will take us on a journey along 4 possible philosophical attitudes that may inform designers take on the landscapes they’re creating.
Dirk Sijmons is one of the founders of H+N+S landscape architects, developing regional plans and research projects, receiving the Prince Bernhard Culture award in 2001. In 2007 Sijmons won the prestigious Edgar Doncker award for his contribution to Dutch culture, and the Rotterdam-Maaskant award in 2002. His published books include Room-for-the-River (2017), Moved Movement, (2015), Landscape and Energy (2014), Greetings from Europe (2008), and = Landschap (Landscape, 1998).
At the World Design Summit 2017 in Montreal Sijmons received the IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe award, and was curator of Urban by Nature: International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (Netherlands, 2014). He was chair of Environmental Design and Landscape Architecture at TU Delft (2008-2015), and the first State Landscape Architect of the Netherlands (2004-2008).
Designer and urban ecology enthusiast
Claudia Rot will elaborate on the fact that there is no term for environmental justice in the Dutch language. The notion of sustainability in the Netherlands is limited to finding technocratic solutions, ignoring the intersectionality of environmental problems, and the societal aspect of sustainability.
Claudia Rot is a designer and urban ecology enthusiast from the Netherlands. She values the use of intersectional systems approaches to tackle complex problems, having studied climate and environmental sciences, and urban design. She uses cartography, graphic design, linguistics, and community science as learning tools for environmental justice advocacy. Rot is currently a fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Without microbes, the Earth would be uninhabitable for humans. Designer Leanne Wijnsma simulates this invisible reality by exploring the effect of microbes on our emotions based on specific scents. In a dialogue with researcher Agnieszka Wołodźko, and sourdough baker Eline Ex she will explore this practice further.
Leanne Wijnsma’s work uses instinct as design, exploring the relationship between freedom and technology through smell design and subterranean explorations. The immersive nature of her work lends itself to an investigation into human awareness and the impact of new technologies on individual and collective behaviour. Wijnsma is interested in addressing the instinctual within us by creating experiences for our senses, trusting that instinct evokes an inherent truth and freedom of mind through action.
Hip hop formation
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