An Analogue Network, Rooted in the Social Design Studio
“We find ourselves in a situation in which we are temporarily forced to keep distance from one another and stay in the private sphere of our homes (microcosms/bubbles) – in contrast to the public realm, the city, our social lives, and our networks (friends, family, university) – where we are thrown back on our own (and to the essentials like food, time, money). Our very own body and health, our private lives, how we spend our free time or our night life, how we behave as individuals in public space, physically encounter and communicate with one another, are becoming – more than ever – a political topic. We seem to be experiencing, on the one hand, the ambiguity of the hard contrast between privacy and public, between the individual and the collective, between the self and the outside world; and on the other, the repercussions and influence of political decisions in the realm of personal restrictions, which intensify these differences.”
With these thoughts in mind, Karin Fisslthaler, a guest artist in the Social Design Studio in the 2020 summer semester, initiated a project in April, which was conceived and realised by Social Design students. The collective works deal with the fragile territories between the virtual windows of the Zoom platform, small interstitial spaces, which create a distinction between the private and the public, between the extents of the digital and real world. In order to bridge this distance and turn it into an essential physical experience, handwritten letters were sent to a critical mass of people, who were asked to respond. The haptic echo materialised our “remote presence” (Vilém Flusser) in the city, left physical traces, and called for relationships in all due materiality.
Prof. Brigitte Felderer, Institut für Kunst und Gesellschaft
Karin Fisslthaler, Envelopes