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Thursday Night Live! Design Dialogues: Ore Streams
wo 3 mei 2017, 19:30 – 21:00 CEST
Formafantasma presents their research into global ore flows, from overground mining to e-waste. In conversation with curator Natasha Hoare, they will investigate the relationship of designers and institutions in highlighting the landscape of mining and manufacture. This dialogue will question the “immateriality” in digital design enabled by metal ores. Moderated by Tamar Shafrir (Het Nieuwe Instituut).
Minerals and precious metals are the basis for some of the most coveted objects within our society — powerful electronic devices, technical instruments, trading commodities, currency, and exquisitely crafted artefacts. Yet the processes of their extraction and disposal are largely hidden from wealthy consumers in post-industrial nations, despite their sweeping implications for landscapes, climates, and societies living and working in mining regions. The design duo Formafantasma is currently exploring the question of contemporary consumption and considering new ways to source, access, deploy, and dispose of minerals. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, this research and its outcome will be presented in December 2017.
In this edition of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s series of Design Dialogues, Formafantasma will discuss their ongoing research into ore streams and how they respond as creative practitioners to a material context characterized by political, environmental, and technological conflict. In particular, they will confront the extensive material footprint of the design products whose effects are mostly immaterial — the mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic devices whose microprocessors, wires, transistors, and batteries rely on tungsten, tantalum, gold, and other metals. In this highly-charged landscape of consumer desire, industrial mining, and e-waste recovery, how should designers negotiate their role?
The discussion will also look at the impact of cultural institutions in the investigation of material flows at the heart of production for art, technology, warfare, and daily life. Natasha Hoare will offer her perspective as curator of the 2015 Witte de With show Art in the Age Of…Energy and Raw Material, which also looked at the centrality of minerals and other matter within the production and circulation of art.
Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin are Studio Formafantasma, an Italian designer duo based in Amsterdam. Formafantasma’s work is characterised by experimental material investigations, explorations of the relationship between tradition and local culture, critical approaches to sustainability, and reflections on the significance of objects as cultural conduits.
Natasha Hoare is a curator at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. She co-curated the shows Art In The Age Of...Energy and Raw Material and Art In The Age Of...Asymmetrical Warfare and edited the accompanying publication, Art in the Age Of… (2015). The year-long programme investigated the production and circulation of art through contemporary economic, material, and technological networks.
Thursday Night Live!
In Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Thursday Night programme thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad discuss urgent issues, innovative research and critical reflection related to architecture, design and digital culture. Visit the museum and grab a bite to eat with the speakers and guests. With varied pop-in expo's and diverse partner programmes.
Before Thursday Night Live! you can grab a bite and eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut. At 18:30 Het Nieuwe Café will serve either soup with bread or a quiche with salad. Dinner vouchers are available for €7.50 up to a day before the particular Thursday Night event via the Tickets link on this page.