Catalogue DOGtime 2014

o r i g i n h e r e m e a n s t h a t f r o m a n d b y w h i c h s o m e t h i n g i s w h a t i t i s a n d a s i t i s w h a t s o m e t h i n g i s a s i t i s w e c a l l i t s e s s e n c e o r n a t u r e t h e o r i g i n o f s o m e t h i n g i s t h e s o u r c e o f i t s n a t u r e t h e q u e s t i o n c o n c e r n i n g t h e o r i g i n o f t h e w o r k o f a r t a s k s a b o u t t h e s o u r c e o f i t s n a t u r e o n t h e u s u a l v i e w t h e w o r k a r i s e s o u t o f a n d b y m e a n s o f t h e a c t i v i t y o f t h e a r t i s t b u t b y w h a t a n d w h e n c e i s t h e a r t i s t w h a t h e i s b y t h e w o r k f o r t o s a y t h a t t h e w o r k d o e s c r e d i t t o t h e m a s t e r m e a n s t h a t i t i s t h e w o r k t h a t f i r s t l e t s t h e a r t i s t e m e r g e a s a m a s t e r o f h i s a r t t h e a r t i s t i s t h e o r i g i n o f t h e w o r k t h e w o r k i s t h e o r i g i n o f t h e a r t i s t n e i t h e r i s w i t h o u t t h e o t h e r n e v e r t h e l e s s n e i t h e r i s t h e s o l o s u p p o r t o f t h e o t h e r i n t h e m s e l v e s a n d i n t h e i r i n t e r r e l a t i o n s a r t i s t a n d w o r k s a r e e a c h o f t h e m b y v i r t u e o f a t h i r d t h i n g w h i c h i s p r i o r t o b o t h n a m e l y t h a t w h i c h a l s o g i v e s a r t i s t a n d w o r k o f a r t t h e i r n a m e s a r t m a r t i n h e i d e g g e r t h e o r i g i n o f t h e w o r k o f a r t 1 9 3 5 o r i g i n # 6 m a n e l e s p a r b e i g a s c a a m s t e r d a m 2 0 1 4

With respect and admiration for all you have achieved.
It was an honour to have worked with you.

Manel Esparbé i Gasca
Head DOGtime Bachelor Programme
Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam


Fine Arts

For me, working on a thesis is an open construction. As is with teaching. There is no plan. There are no plans at all. There is just me and my student in this open construction without plans.
What are we going to do? We are going to improvise. Improvising as in real life.
It’s important to link study and art, and the study of art to real life. There’s no other subject.
I never know where my students and their thesis will end, and I am not interested in the end either. I’m interested in the ups and downs along the track, the good and wrong decisions, the insights, die Aha-Erlebnisse, the fuck-me’s & the fuck you’s, the joy of understanding, of mental freedom, the importance of research, the strength of words and the urge to be at the centre of your own mind. Of our own mind. Just to be in the centre of our own mind.
What is the essence of having an opinion? Do I have an opinion? What is the meaning of having an opinion? Am I able to catch my opinion in words? What are words good for? Does my thesis have an end? A start? Does a thesis need an end or a start? Who am I? What am I doing? Who’s this man in front of me?
Working on a thesis is a kind of roadmovie; a roadmovie without a script. The voyage is the script. I’m the coach on the couch. I’m my student’s best friend and best enemy. I’m a snake when I have to be, and if they think I’m a dog: I bark :-)
No more classical teachers in this multiplying society, this wonderful schizophrenic era, please! We are the chameleons of the twenty-first century!
So here I am, next to my student, in a car and we don’t know where we are driving to, yet. We talk, we are silent, we smile, dream, we discuss the landscape, control the speed of the car, proclaim the supremacy of imagination and try to get as deep as possible into our temporary conspiracy.
Whatever the subject may be, we will come out with ‘something’, iets, something that grew out of the emptiness of our open construction without any plan.
It’s like making art. But from the other side. Exactly from the other side…

Q.S. Serafijn
Thesis lecturer DOGtime 5 Fine Arts

somebody is walking with a bucket
something is ripped apart
a curse, fuck this
weight loss
nothing is cleaned (in overalls)
a beamer light blows, fuck this
paint is mixed, spilled and splashed
baby’s made
a carpet could fly
things fall
a murder solved
penguins, pebble beach
arriving on horses, bikes and BMW’s
a heart close to exploding
red is preferable so is black tape, a better blue and a warmer white
The last months before the graduation show are a mix of energy, sacrifices, nerves,
failures, success, questions, big rushes, last decisions, hunger for improvement.
It’s a privilege to be amongst this feverish DOGTIME mix.

Pieter Kusters
Lecturer DOGtime 5 Fine Arts


Title thesis:
site, site-specific, site-related

Link to thesis (PDF)

My work focuses on the perception of place and space. With different mediums, like drawing, sculpture and photography, I explore the way we relate with the world around us through our senses.
Besides perception, I am interested in the way we interact with, inhabit and map space and place. Construction manuals, floor plans, roadmaps, Google maps and Google glass show an abstracted image of the world, but also manipulate this image and our interaction with the world. I reuse these mappings and representations to create a new awareness of place and scale in my work. Abstraction and visual distance is counterbalanced by a concentration on the material, tactility and the work process.
Esther Brakenhoff - Objectbenaming Apenrots (foto) Objectbenaming Apenrots
Esther Brakenhoff - Objectbenaming Apenrots(tekening) Objectbenaming Apenrots

Title thesis:

Elsewhere researches the idea of foreignness by looking closer at how our environment, our stories and the objects we own are given shape. We design our objects, our nature, our narratives and they - in turn - direct our perceptions and beliefs continuously and almost seamlessly.
Various artists have been interviewed and their practices are discussed in relation to art's potential to subvert our personal experiences by producing foreignness, and putting us in the position of the newcomer, the stranger who has to learn how to "read" the surroundings all over again. I argue that this situation doesn't make us weaker, it rather empowers us with new imaginative space.

Link to thesis (PDF)

Collecting text and images from the environment that we live in, is the way I compose my works. I don't create new images from scratch, instead I pick all kinds of different "parts" from what is around us, and I put them in the spotlight. I present them outside of their original context so that they can convey new meanings to the viewer, either remembered or imagined..

A window still looks like a window once I have captured it with my camera, isolated it from its physical surroundings with Photoshop and blown-up on a white wall. But from that white wall, that same window will also create new space for itself and will start to exist in our thoughts as something else.

It is essential for my work to be grounded in the cultural, social and physical environment and its architectures. For instance, how do smaller or bigger windows direct us towards a different behaviour, or different ideals even? What does it mean to my body or to my feelings that a door opens to the outside, instead of to the inside of a room? How does the meaning of words take shape in the language we speak, by us speaking it? The concrete construction of our surroundings, as much as the words and gestures that we use to communicate with others, construct our beliefs and imagination..

Art is my chance to place different elements of the daily environment as we know it in a context that is more free, where they can become something else than what they were initially intended to be. Especially formal elements of the environment that direct our thoughts and behaviour (words, objects) can be presented on their own, out of their original situation, so that they are allowed to become functionless and be only form. They can become something personal to the viewer, who is given the power and freedom to create his own story with them and so to own them anew.
Marc van dijk

Title thesis:
The Mountain, The Cave And The Lion Whisperer
Art And Myth Through The Ages

Analysis of and reflection on the Gordian Knot of art and myth

Link to thesis (PDF)

I often involve people in my work in a very direct way. History and current events are my raw materials. I work as a writer, journalist and artist. In my visual work these disciplines overlap.

My graduation project is based on the case of Olaf H., a possible new judicial error. Olaf H. is a truck driver, serving a life sentence since 2004 for a double murder and attempted murder. Philosopher Ton Derksen published a book about this case, in which he shows that the evidence against Olaf H. is very slim.

With five actors I reconstructed the murders, in two versions: ‘Olaf shoots’ and ‘Olaf hides’. The reconstructions where done on a set that matched the crime scene in terms of geography and sight lines. This resulted in a video installation about (tunnel)vision, (re)construction and truth.
Marc van Dijk - Olaf H., twee reconstructies (setfoto 1)Olaf H. twee reconstructies (setfoto)
Marc van Dijk - Olaf H., twee reconstructies (setfoto)Olaf H. twee reconstructies (setfoto)
  Marc van Dijk - Olaf H., twee reconstructies (video still 1)Olaf H. twee reconstructies (videostill)
Marc van Dijk - Olaf H., twee reconstructies (video still 2)Olaf H. twee reconstructies (videostill)
Marc van Dijk - Olaf H., twee reconstructies (video still 3)Olaf H. twee reconstructies (videostill)

Title thesis:
Procession of the Damned
Life near the event horizon of a postmodern black hole

"Sensitivity for the expressiveness of images, and knowledge of literature are strengths of Barbara that come together beautifully in her thesis. The thesis can be read both as a text and picture essay. The text intelligently circles around the first signs of a possible global, literary and philosophical apocalypse. She then isolates poor images from the global digital B-universe feeding them with pleasure to the hungry black hole, black of ink... Admirable thesis, tip of an iceberg ... " [Q.S. Serafijn]

Link to thesis (PDF)

‘When you are young, you always expect the world is going to end. And then you get older and the world still chugs along and you are forced to re-evaluate your stance on the apocalypse as well as your own relationship to time and death. You realize that the world will indeed continue, with or without you, and the pictures you see in your head. So you try to understand the pictures instead.'

I have carried this quote in the back of my mind for quite some time now, while trying to make physical sense of our technological and virtual world, and groping my way through the materials and objects scattered around the studio and other people’s backyards.
Barbara_Dubbeldam_Tracking_surfaces_with_evolving_topologyTracking surfaces with evolving topology
Barbara_Dubbeldam_Particle-based_viscoplastic_fluid_solid_simulationParticle based viscoplastic fluid solid simulation

Title thesis:
What is a Museum?

Link to thesis (PDF)

In situ at the Rietveld Academie; more and more my art practice gets entangled with its surroundings. Its relation with the building, space, material, people, and - as a result - a leftover of a performance stage. In the past years I’ve worked with the notion of having Art to disappear; I haven’t succeeded so far. Even worse it’s starting to get a shape and a form, whether a piece of text on a wall, a photo, a ready-made piece, an assembled sculpture, an unnoticed installation or a(n) (art) conversation.
Olivier L_032058-01

Title thesis:

Supernormality is that state where something normal is so normal that it becomes strange again.
In my thesis I look at that odd, exaggerated normality – which I dub ‘supernormality’. I look at how it works and how it can be used – in art specifically – as a strategy to look at and showcase normality, to reflect on the constant navigation between needing to be normal on the one hand, and wanting to be special on the other.

Link to thesis (PDF)

I look at expectations. At norms, group behaviour, being inside versus outside. The expectations of shared beliefs, a desire to be uniform. And together with those desires, simultaneous attraction and disgust, a tiring unease.
I take a normal artefact or scene, one that most of us will know or recognise: a meeting, a walk, a house, a dinner. Then, I highlight it, set it apart, make it strange, make it fail, make it absurd.
The exact object of the scene is not so important. It is once removed from what is shown, the content at a meta level. It is the ‘how’, not the ‘what’, that counts. In the assembly and presentation there are humors of melancholia, artificiality, childlike guises, being together and apart in a group, a want for an experience.
The viewer - having become an unwilling participant, because this is also about them - is reminded of the strangeness of our behaviours, of what we do to belong or not belong. With it I can hopefully create, or show the possibility of creating, liberty, a free space.
OLIVIER 20140528-20140528_204237 Ascending [place a forward slash here] Mobility (installation view)Ascending / Mobility [installation view]
Olivier Oosterbaan - Ascending [place a forward slash here] Mobility (detail)-01Ascending / Mobility [detail]
  Olivier Oosterbaan - Ascending [place a forward slash here] Mobility (detail)Ascending / Mobility [detail]
Olivier Oosterbaan - Stability & Security (working title, detail)Stability Security (working title) [detail]
Keiko L_031948-01

Title thesis:
The Presence of Absence

As an artist born in Japan, but now living and studying in the Netherlands, I have developed a particular viewpoint, which is born of merging and integrating two contrasting cultures. The intention and purpose of my thesis is to evaluate contemporary art, largely governed by Western values, from my Eastern point of view and personal perspective. This opens up a dialogue that leads to new insights. My analysis centres around the concept of 'Ma' ('negative space' or 'space in-between’), with its origins deep in Japanese culture, but with its global meaning. In the first chapter I start with an investigation of the perceptual differences between 'Ma' in Japan and 'Ma' in the Western countries, in the domain of human interaction, subjective self, and physical environment. Chapter 2 examines and analyses 'Ma' in the works of both Western and Japanese artists such as Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Francis Alys, On Kawara, and Rei Naito. My line of thinking is inspired by mixtures of Western and Eastern philosophers such as Roland Barthes, George Gurdjieff, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), Dogen Zenji, Hu Shih, and others.

Link to thesis (PDF)

I combine a variety of media such as video, installation, and performance. As for physical materials, I like to use the basic elements such as earth, water, wood, and stones. I enjoy their smells, their feel and touch - it satisfies a basic, primary urge.
Being a female artist, my recent artistic fascination revolves around the womb -matrix- and I bring its spirits in my work. Honestly, I am surprised how mysterious this female organ is! It is so closely connected to the nature. It reflects all of earth's cycles, the waxing and waning, the ebb and flow, the changes of the seasons and many of the ups and downs we experience in our lives. For me it also symbolises the connection between this world and another world, the gate we pass at birth and through which we give life. It is a magical "space in-between"; a meeting point between the present, the past, and the future; a space of silence, of being, and of female consciousness, where all paradoxical parallels co-exist.

Thanks to Fontrodona Art Space
KEIKO Floating WorldFloating World
KEIKO Half Empty Film 1 Half Empty (still)
KEIKO Half Empty Film 2Half Empty (still)
KEIKO Half Empty Film 3Half Empty (still)
KEIKO Half Empty Film 4Half Empty (still)

Title thesis:
Communion through exclusion
How can exclusion lead to communion?

When society fails, new subcultures are born as a resistance to the current state of society. In the exclusion from society, a new form of communion is born. People who live in stigmatised areas in harsh conditions where they feel excluded from society can, through music, clothing, art, etc., gain a voice to be heard and listened to, an expression of their own existence. Creating a communion in his or her own being. Some by silence and others by showing resistance, some through music, some through visual expression such as graffiti and street art and some by throwing bricks.

Link to thesis (PDF)

In life the decisions I make often come from an impulsive act. From an intuitive decision making rather than logical as cause and effect.
My approach to painting starts the same way, intuitive combined with stern appraisal, not knowing what a painting will look like when completed.
To relate to the cause and effect requires a transparent and simplified view of the world. Such is, however, not the world to us humans. Each painting becomes a chapter, as windows to something else.

"What´s magical about painting is that the thing about time is that its always over. What happens when you paint is that you can reserve it. You can't do that with life" [Per Kirkeby]
JohannaRobleto, Untitled, Oil on canvas, 130 x 184cm untitled
oil on canvas, 130 x 184 cm
 JohannaRobleto, Untitled, Oil on canvas, 150 x 159cmuntitled
oil on canvas, 150 x 159 cm
Tanya spaan

Title thesis: THIS THESIS IS A RESEARCH INTO THE PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIP TO SPACE Subject: The concept of the body in a space is essential in my work, whether in video, installations or sculptures. Space, interspace, emptiness, void, their precense intrigued me. My interest in the physical relationship to space has led to the separation of this topic into ‘Body in Space’ and ‘Body in Time’. In art jargon the English word body means more than on just the human body. It also concerns the more abstract notion of volume. Which concepts are created with regard to ‘body in space’ and ‘body in time’ in modern day art? Link to thesis (PDF)
Making visible the simple that hides complexityMY WORK IS RELATED TO THE SIZE OFF MY REACH It is not about autonomous sculptures. The sculptures are related to a movement that I perform in a space, while making the sculpturesAs the body shapes the sculpture, the material is at least as decisive for the shape of the sculpture. At the same time I push the material and the form to its limits. The works are related to my body. Sculptures that work as an inscription of a movement in a space.
TANYA IMG_1929-1
TANYA IMG_1925-1
TANYA IMG_1923-1
ovidiu spaniol

Title thesis:
Collective Memory in the Works of Contemporary Romanian Artists

Identifying usage of collective memory in the works of several contemporary Romanian artists

Link to thesis (PDF)

My work stems from a need to change and twist the context of present or past events, existing or non-existing objects, appropriate and personalise through a conscious/subconscious filter, making use of dreams, reflection, auto-reflection, clichés and popular culture references and placing myself along the lines of Conceptual Art, Dadaism, Pop Art and Arte Povera.
number 8 in a serienumber 8 in a serie
Sander ter steege

Title thesis:
Negation in art

Link to thesis (PDF)

The tradition of painting is so rich that it is both and play ground and habitat for me, that I will never be bored with. This tradition, with all its references and facts, I combine my paintings with photos, drawings and images from my personal archive. My research into the matter of the medium is focused on finding new intense syntheses in which the tradition is still palpable.
SANDER boulder beachboulder beach

Title thesis:
The connection between spaces of a different nature
The transfer, the moment of touching and the position of the focus

Link to thesis (PDF)

Smooth transitions

I am interested in the rhythm and the process of perception of basic everyday phenomena of which I am usually not aware. The construction of the environment from a succession of fragments, subtle eye-movements, the shifting of the focus of looking, mental leaps and images. The position of the point of focus and the place of attention can be very diverse and shift very fast. The transitions between these spaces of different nature are perceived amazingly coherent and smooth.

I try to comprehend physical properties like the transitions within the retina reflected in the space and the limit and the contrast with the space I do not see. I would like to grasp the transformations of the dynamic and three- dimensional shape of the field of view when eye-movements encounter the static boundaries of a space.
Vincka Struben_field of viewField of view
Rutger van der tas

Title thesis:
Transition into timelessness
The struggle of three artists

My thesis is about three artists who all have their own mental problems, Willem de Kooning had Alzheimer's, William Utermohlen too, and Vincent van Gogh had a multitude of possible disorders. In my thesis I examine the period in which these disorders come to the surface through various symptoms, and how they effect the lives and works of these artists, up to the point that where they are no longer able to work or socially function.

Link to thesis (PDF)

The common thread in my work runs through mental instability along the advancing digitalisation of our humanbody into the anatomy of our existence.
rutgervandertas titel geentijdteverspreken 40cmx50cmGeen tijd te verspreken
40cm x 50 cm
rutgervandertas titel bottleneck 200cmx140cmBottleneck
200cm x 140cm
rutgervandertas titel goatie 24cmx30cm-01goatie
24cm x 30cm
rutgervandertas titel sisispex(3) 120cmx140cm-01 Sisispex (3)
120 cm x 140cm
Steffen Vogelezang

Title thesis:
(living the good life)

A flower or plant, pelican or cream cake can motivate a painting. Anything can be a reason to paint. So I paint everything.
A painting encapsulates its own space, its own universe. I want my paintings to exist in their own worlds while touching ours. Through recognisable associative elements, and the researching of space in the painting, I want to create tension between both worlds. Every painting creates its own set of rules resulting in a unique individual focus that forces me to research painting itself.
Each individual work demands something different from me. The treatment of the paint, the use of color, the composition, all these factors combined generate their own context within each painting.
living the good lifeTiles living the good life
magicMagic cake
 HouseHouse cake
Eleonora Volpi

Title thesis:
Perception, Identity and 2 Identities

Link to thesis (PDF)

I guess I can say that with my work I investigate what identity and perception are. How differently I relate to myself and that what surrounds me depending on the moment, and how limited I am as human being : it is a matter of facts. I never perceive the truth, but only what my brain allows me to perceive, depending on my needs.
eleonora volpi bitmom (still)bitmom (still)
Interaction Design Unstable Media

In most of the stories and novels by the Japanese author Kobo Abe, writer of ‘The Woman in the Dunes’, famously adapted for cinema by Hiroshi Teshigahara, the main characters do not have a name. They are more or less synonymous with a profession, or they are just beings, without any specific qualities. They could have been anyone. Like in the story ‘The Box Man’, in which the nameless protagonist gives up his identity and decides to live in a large cardboard box he wears over his head. As he wanders through the streets of Tokyo, he describes the world outside as he sees or imagines it, in a madly rush on the inside walls of his box. In a style reminiscent of Kafka, Abe conveys the story of the man by following what he writes down as life comes to him, as if in a dream, via the mediation of the box. The box grants him a life and an identity : he becomes the box man, and he becomes the interpreter of the effects that the box has on him, as it changes his relationship with the world outside of the box. The box becomes the interface of his choice to live his life, as he becomes the ardent scribbler of the effects that this choice exert upon him.

What is the difference between a box we put over our head and that we use as a canvas for our writing or a little black box we carry around all time and with which we explore the world, by tapping on it, talking to it, scribbling on it? In both cases we are dealing with an interfaced reality, and a deep acknowledgement that life is fundamentally ‘out of the box’. Yet, we are trapped, by our free choice to live inside that box or via that box.

At IDUM we are not interested in the box as object per se, but more in the effects it has on you when you put it over your head. Subjectivity is not something that resides cosy and statically behind your artistic eyes, but is actively produced by a world around you and by the way you react upon that world.

Our graduation candidates of this year each have found a box to put over their heads in order to explore the effects they exert upon them and what those effects tell us about boxing and living inside a box, and what can be perceived of a life outside of that box. Ans has put the box of her own memory over her head to explore what memory does to the live of a person that once was part of her life, but resides only as an effect of the past. Carlos has used the box of Thinspo, he found on the internet over his head, to try to come close to what these tiny little girls online experience in their radical disappearance act. Jelmer has chosen to use language as a box, or container of subjectivities in order to investigate how language becomes a infinitesimal small film or tissue that mediates intensities, but that can evaporate into even thinner air.

In order to be able to ‘live and think outside of the box’ you have to create a catalogue of effects of what it is to live in a box.

Willem van Weelden
Thesis Lecturer DOGtime IDUM 5
In order to prepare the candidates for their graduation I arranged for individual sessions of 45 minutes about every other week. I believe in individual coaching, which is of course a luxury. Unlike Art, which is a necessity.
If you think instead that art is a commodity, we are likely to have a semantic misunderstanding.
When talking about art, you might think I mean the stuff you see in galleries, the stuff that gets commissioned and the stuff that involves matter & technology. We can actually do without all of that. (However, it would make life financially unbearable for me.) But we can’t do without a poetic dimension of what culture presents to us as ‘real’ or ‘truth’.
So when I mention art I mean activities and/or artefacts which are articulating, exploring and creating this poetic dimension of ‘the real’. This art defies the notion of art as a commodity. It even defies the notion of art as contemporary art, but we should not completely rule out the possibility that contemporary art touches upon a poetic quality that makes life worthwhile, as that would be truly cynical.
The ‘why’ we want to travel from A to B can never be explained, but it might be possible to share the experience of traveling? In a world without poetry we just move from A to B, we start and graduate, maybe, we learn to think out of the box. But in the world of these DOGTIME graduates, we learn to shape and share the experience of the journey, defying the notion of a box.

Geert Mul 2014
Lecturer DOGtime IDUM 5

In order to drill my students to become great artists, I had them standing up and when I shouted questions, I made them shout back answers to me over and over again until they finally stopped thinking and just listened.

This is the drill:

Why Art?
I’m creative!

What is the core of the creative practice?
To create!

What does the creative strive for?
Leaving traces!

What are its means?

What is untrue?

What is the core of artistic practice?

What does art strive for?
Mind over matter!

What do you strive for?

What is artistic knowledge?

What is art’s biggest enemy?
Artistic consensus!

What is a medium?
Embodied consensus!

What is meaning?

What is context?

What does art consists of?

What is knowledge?

What does Poetry learn us?
The impossibility of notation!

carlos silva pinto

Title thesis:
The Demented Blow-Up
Production of Subjectivity in Modern Imagery

Link to intro thesis (PDF)

My ongoing visual projects involve the use of images that populate the internet landscape and its hysterical transformation.

These projects are partially driven by my research on algorithms, computer-generated imagery and how they could relate to the viewer, establishing a new dialogue between these images and the viewer.

I explore and use as material selected medias relevant to the current online imagery eco system and its impact on the viewer.

Is mass art produced by virtue of the fact it’s online and easily accessible. How has mass art changed because of this development of instantly reproducible imagery? Has it always been about mimicry and repetition? If so how has the process of mimicry and repetition smoothed itself out?

I reflect on the world today using contemporary digital media to not just talk about the media itself, but to regain understanding of its impact and systems around us.
Jelmer Luijting

Title thesis:
Trans-thesis van de gelijknamige thesis

This thesis may give the impression that its focus lies on language. In fact there is no specific focus. It deals with matters outside the mechanisms of what this thesis seems to be about. A state of deposition is more applicable here. One might think “so that must be the topic, right?” Indeed, the topic of this thesis deals with a state of deposition that derives from the incompleteness theorem of Kurt Gödel, which states: "Something cannot be proven within the system of its own laws, it can only be proven outside its own system”. So therefore, besides the use of language as a medium in itself, this thesis can also being seen as a manual or an instrument designed for its interactive quality.

Investigative research can be based on a lack of skills, an inability or sheer incompetence. In other words, an investigation can spring forth from an ignorant approach. It does not necessarily have to stand for boundless naivety, yet it may well be the outcome of a conscious design choice. As a designer you have the ability to deliberately choose for such a specific strategy. Such a strategy supplies research with outcomes and insights that ordinarily will be left unnoticed.

What fascinates me are the abilities and inabilities of language. Language is a communication system that forms a representation of our proficiency (epistemological knowledge). Regarded in this sense, language then is the communicative expression of that what we know about what we know.

In the pragmatic use of language a consensus is easily met in regard to that epistemology (epistemological convention). Language is the medium of that convention.

However, this awareness or understanding is not a static given, but a dynamic, ever changing knowledge which everyone, in the course of the use of language itself can have their influence on. As designer I consider it my task to make people aware of this potential influence in their use of language. Thereby the designer casts its effect on knowledge itself. As long as we accept that we live in a self-created, fictional world of which many of the systems and regulations have gained their justification and legitimacy by means of (often unconsciously) applied conventions. With the help of imagination the consensual mechanism that determines 'that what we know we know', can be stretched and a conception can be made of a different logic or amendments can be accredited with an existing logic.
Jelmer Luijting - Booklet postersbooklet posters
bij de kapper in Kaapstad

At the Hairdressers in Cape Town: ‘They Want to Look Super Slick’
CAPE TOWN - It is busy at the hairdressers across from the hotel, a narrow shop in Parliament Street. When one of the hairdressers tells me it is my turn, the guy sitting next to me loses it. He is pressed for time, he signals. Is the only white guy getting preferential treatment? I don’t think he actually says it (I cannot understand him), but I have a feeling that my skin colour plays a part in his rant, even if unarticulated.

I arrived after him. What he does not know is that I had been in the shop earlier, and had stepped out to get something. I let him go first.

As a tourist you are never in a hurry, so it is easy for me to play the noble paleface. Besides, I cannot imagine that the hairdresser will have to spend much time on the angry man. In my eyes the little hair that can be seen on his shiny light brown head is pretty much styled to perfection.

It is my last day here, an excursion to South-Africa with my DOGtime class mates and teachers. On the worn-out leather sofa for the waiting, I look through the mementos in my wallet. The evidence of a week in Cape Town. Only a few more bank notes depicting the animals that a safari-goer has to collect like football cards (the Big Five), and on the other side the most portrayed South African of all time: Nelson Mandela. Then a colourful business card from Kolekile Mhlana, who showed us around the prison on Robben Island, where he was incarcerated as a political prisoner with young and old activists, amongst whom the Great Nelson. When the guide finished after an hour, a chubby tourist with a sunburned neck commented: ‘It was a long talk to freedom.’

It really started to go wrong before then, when Mhlana told us that after the tour we could start on our long walk to freedom, back from the prison to the ferry. A joke that is part of the standard repertoire of the tour guides, it had also been used by the guy who had driven us around the island. It fits the atmosphere of unsightly Mandela mouse pads, mugs and T-shirts. But still: even people who are sceptical of the Mandela worship become quiet in this place. And when eye to eye with his cell, will want to touch the bars.

I browse through the photos on my phone and have another look at the gigantic fort that formed the foundation of Cape Town in the 17th century. On each gable stone the logo of the Dutch East India Company, the first multinational in the world. Inside the building, depicted on paintings and blue and white plates from Asia, the bustling bay with the Table Mountain - recognisable from the sea for any sailor.

Near the stronghold is the Slave Lodge. The Dutch Reformed Church is right next door. The place where slaves were traded has only quite recently been made into a museum. There is a bill on display, the balance sheet of one shipment: ‘List of dead slaves. How many blacks died on which day, how many were thrown overboard – either dead or alive. Everything is neatly chronicled in beautiful fancy script.

Slaves were given Dutch names to replace their own names that were to be forgotten. Mamakousje van de Rio, Sander de Groot, Jonas van de Cust.

It is my turn. The hairdresser, a guy of not yet 30, thinks it is a shame I am having it all cut. ‘I could do all sorts with this hair,’ he says, ‘most people here have such coarse hair.’

He is from another part of South Africa. The name of his tribe includes a click sound. I try to imitate him, but concede quickly. He has lived in Cape Town for seven years. He is doing well he says. He has a job. Hair always grows. And a campaign like ‘Check out yourself in the hairdresser’s mirror’ is not necessary here. ‘Black men sometimes return after three days’ he says, ‘They would prefer to come every day. They want to look super slick’.

He doesn’t know Amsterdam. Well, he has heard of it. He would love to make far journeys, but he lacks the funds. And if he travels within the country, it does not usually take long for him to find trouble. Recently he was taking a walk with two friends in Wellington, a nice old town near Cape Town. When they took a rest on a bench, they got a dirty look from a white man that lived there. A little later the police arrived. The friends were arrested and taken to the station. ‘Why? We were just sitting there. I was talking to my mother the other day and said: apartheid is still here. Nothing has changed.’

‘The younger generation is doing much better amongst themselves,’ he says, ‘but the older generation? Sometimes I wish they were all dead.’

Four centuries of racism, and now two decennia of ‘Rainbow Nation’. A word pitched by Desmond Tutu. A lot still has to happen before that term sounds just as light and cheerful as the smile of Tutu himself. Like when we unexpectedly saw him in the foyer of a theatre – triggering smiles and conversations all around him.

There is still need for time. A lot of time. I ask the hairdresser if he feels it will ever really be different. ‘It’s all gonna be fine,’ he says, and he seems to be genuine.

I pay for the haircut: 30 rand. About 2 euros. We shake hands. He tries to teach me a cool hand shake, but I fail miserably.

My name is Kia. Pleased to meet you, Marc.’

This report was previously published in DOGTIME CAPE TIME, a publication about our trip. 19-03-2014 © text: Marc van Dijk, translation: Mags Westra, photo: Steffen Vogelezang
ct Oosterbaan_20140313-IMG_3499-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
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ct Esthe Brakenhoff - Bo Kaap-01Bo-Kaap [Esther Brakenhoff]
ctEsthe Brakenhoff - FaxPrintCopy-01Fax Print Copy [Esther Brakenhoff]
ctEsther Brakenhoff - Cape Time-01CAPE time [Esther Brakenhoff]
ctEsther Brakenhoff - James Webb, Untitled (Al Madat)-01James Webb, Untitled (Al Madat) [Esther Brakenhoff]
ct Esther Brakenhoff - Kaap de Goede Hoop-01Kaap de Goede Hoop [Esther Brakenhoff]
ct Esther Brakenhoff - penguin tourists on Robben Island-01Penguin Tourists on Robben Island [Esther Brakenhoff]
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ct Oosterbaan_20140313-IMG_9413-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
ct Oosterbaan_20140314-IMG_3503-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
ct Oosterbaan_20140315-IMG_9460-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
ct Oosterbaan_20140315-IMG_9461-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
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ct Oosterbaan_20140316-IMG_3544-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
ct Oosterbaan_20140317-IMG_3570-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
ctOosterbaan_20140317-IMG_3587-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
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ct Oosterbaan_20140318-IMG_3617-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
ct Oosterbaan_20140318-IMG_3629-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
ct Oosterbaan_20140319-IMG_9523-01[Olivier Oosterbaan]
ct Table mountain from Signalhill-01Table Mountain from Signalhill [Vincka Struben]
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ct talking to artstudents of Michaelis in the parc-01Talking to students at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts [Vincka Struben]
ct testing art in Cape Town-01Testing Arts [Vincka Struben]
ct the news room 2-01News Room [Vincka Struben]
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ct the street of our hotel going uphill-01The Street of our Hotel going Uphill [Vincka Struben]
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ct ANS Me and my camera horizontal 1-01Me and my Camera [Ans Vianen]