Motivation+Aktion: 06 — INTERVIEW MIT METAHAVEN & EXPERIMENTAL JETSET
We often see punk as a sort of ›scale model‹ of modernism. After all, punk is also a phenomenon defined by deconstructive tendencies on one side (No Future, Destroy) and constructive tendencies on the other (the whole DIY culture). What we were trying to explain in the Helvetica documentary is that we regard modernism in a similar way. However, if you would ask us now to elaborate on the subversiveness of modernism, we would probably start by defining it. For us, modernism has everything to do with the notion of breaking spells, and the ambition to go beyond the chains of illusion. When we say ›beyond the chains of illusion‹, that is a specific reference to Erich Fromm’s book of the same title, in which he tries to synthesize the languages of Marx and Freud. And in our view, it is exactly in the push and pull between Marx and Freud where modernism can be located. To quote Marx,›The demand to give up illusions about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions‹. This connects all modernist manifestations. From the most fragmentary surrealist collage to the most grid-based Constructivist composition, and everything in between: They all aim, each in their own way, to go beyond the chains of illusion. In that sense, we believe that every manifestation of modernism is inherently subversive. We believe that even in its most harsh and rigid form, modernism still offers a way out. Even in those rare cases when modernism puts on an unbearable authoritarian face, it still gives the viewer the possibility to completely disagree. It provides a person something to chew on, to work with, to bounce off of. It always demands an active position. Therefore, we even believe that the more corporate outgrowths of late modernism possess a subversive potential.
But still — we would say there is one fundamental, crucial difference between the print culture of modernism and the digital culture of the internet. In our view, print is still a more public medium. If a poster is hanging in the street, it is seen by every passerby in more or less the same way. Sure, the interpretation of the poster will differ from person to person, but by and large, the poster itself will appear in roughly the same way to every viewer, regardless of his/her class, race, gender, age, personal preferences, etc.
This is different on the internet, where websites and pages conform themselves instantly to cater to the personal tastes and preferences of the individual viewer. Google search results change from person to person, the advertisements that clutter online profiles are specifically targeted toward the viewer, etc., etc. This makes the online environment ultimately an individualistic, isolated experience, despite the promise of ›being connected‹«.
»In our view, print is still a more public medium. If a poster is hanging in the street, it is seen by every passerby in more or less the same way. Sure, the interpretation of the poster will differ from person to person, but by and large, the poster itself will appear in roughly the same way to every viewer, regardless of his/her class, race, gender, age, personal preferences, etc.«.
Ist das »freie Internet« überhaupt das richtige Medium, um eine politische Message zu verbreiten?
Können wir als Designer auch den Raum der Straße mehr nutzen, um Themen zu kommunizieren?
Welche Möglichkeiten bestehen heute in der Kombination von Kommunikation zwischen analogem und digitalem Raum? Können wir die Vorteile beider Räume verbinden? Also allgemeine Zugänglichkeit im digitalen und größere Relevanz im analogen Bereich.
Motivation+Aktion ist die Bachelor-Arbeit von Michael Schmitz. In der Arbeit wird versucht Möglichkeiten der politischen Bedeutung des Designs auf theoretischer und praktischer Ebene zu erläutern und aufzuzeigen.