On Performative Design
Interviewed by Korean graphic designer Jungeun Lee, Tereza Ruller explains The Rodina’s performative approach within the graphic design.
Why do you include yourself in the designs? What does performative design offer your practice that more traditional design does not? How do you resolve the paradox between traditional design (static flatness) and performance? How important or what is the role of participation in your practice? What are the motivations that lead you to create graphic performance, both personally and politically?
Concept & Design
Tereza Ruller & Jungeun Lee
for Performative Design Conference at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
The Mountain of Politics
This is the time of organised control, order and constant negotiation. Citizens are responsible for delivering their vote and feeding the hungry mechanism that gives legislators the power to hold public offices. Every now and then people gather in order to secretly express opinions. To transform disgust, complaining and comparing the act of voting to landing in a gooey clot of chewing gum we may ask: what if the ballot as a device casting votes becomes transparent?
Visitors of unseen are asked to juxtapose their votes. The participative event poses an urgent question: What could the process of making decisions be? Mountain of Politics becomes the display tracing participant’s decisions. Ephemeral statistics encourage a debate among people who have otherwise no reason to share or collaborate.
icw Jonathan Castro
commissioned by: UNSEEN & Self Publish Be Happy
• Art (22), • Installation (11), • Participation (10), • Performance (15), • Research (11), • Social (17)
Abstract Portrait of the Crowd:
At the End I Became a Painter
Each of us might be seen as a walking cluster of data. Tereza grabbed textures of exhibition visitors’ faces and placed them it into a form. Different skin, eye and hair colours were mixed from more than 30 skin toned acrylics. The shape of each form was generated by 3d scan software that afterwards assembled new portrait –an abstract portrait of the crowd.
“Performing a painter as a designer gives me an opportunity to question the medium of painting.”
By being painted, each visitor became a participant of this performative act.
How does it feel to place colour into smudges, form a texture peppered with artistic vision? What is the character of the brush stroke? Is the last edge of the squirrel tail connected with the painter as a natural extension of his body? Can we see the object we are painting as a collection of data? Can painting as a medium become a tool for selective data-visualisation?
Painting is dead, let’s paint!
Ten Interventions Festival at Tique Art Space, Antwerp
curated by Welmer Keesmaat and Mr. Make-Do
typeface: Favorit by Dinamo
Visitor is Present
we are artists. We were used to painting big frescos and huge canvases for centuries. Not so long ago we discovered we are human beings with bodies. So we started to perform. Today we have large printers, we like selfies and we like you to be present in our artworks.
Tereza Ruller, Hieronymus Bosch
and Pieter Brueghel
In her work Tereza creates a surface to document her performances of H. Bosch’s and P. Bruegel’s complex paintings. Using her body, she renegotiates the relationship between historical canvases and contemporary self-performing culture. The audience is invited to create an environment for Tereza’s restaged figures. Historical allegories are transformed into a participative event. The overall image grows and changes over the time, as a sequence of visitor‘s interactions.
Curiosity Killed the Cat exhibition
at Het Nutshuis, Den Haag
curated by: Welmer Keesmaat
Part 2: EQUESTRIAN
In this act, designer became a commander. Inspired by cavalry generals –during the loud sound of medieval battle– Tereza led the crowd to fill in a simple questionnaire.
ingredients: 25m2 participatory mood-form, motorbike, performing designer as a navigator, 4hrs long performance
kindly supported by Wang Motorcycles
photo by Studio Johan Nieuwenhuize
• Art (22), • Data Visualization (8), • Exibition (13), • Participation (10), • Performance (15), • Portfolio (29), • Research (11), • Social (17), • Web (9)
Parade explores narcissism in today’s world. It questions the ecstasy of parading the self to the world—duplicating the self or achieving the image of the ideal self as a means of achieving a sense of value, distinction or immortality.
How do we construct our identity in a post-representational digital reality? Parade is a fantasy rainy world, where hearts together with hundreds of other emojis orgasmically fly across the screen.
Our audio and visual collaboration takes you into Yllis’ deeply personal and ultimately expressive post-Internet universe. As in every romance, there need to be two –a couple– to sparkle the relationship and eventually love. Therefore we constructed a hybrid body from mapping parts of Yllis’ face on Tereza’s head. So Yllis can stay loving himself and an imaginary girl in one ultimately hybridised existence.
Yllis makes experimental electronic pop, melding a myriad of sonic influences to create a musical image of the future—a vision of globalised culture streaming through wireless internet pipelines, borderless andhyperconnected.
Shadows in Paradise
Exposure to mass media arouses fear. Even if the frightening scenarios are fictional they blind us and make us unable to act. Fortunately, we can train to overcome this stream of dread.
Visitors of the exhibition were asked to come and break the spell of apprehension during an enchanting ritual.
The time is up, watch it here: shadows.therodina.com
Anti-fear costume and flag icw Anna Mala.
at The Small Museum
January – February 2016
• Art (22), • Exibition (13), • Installation (11), • Performance (15), • Portfolio (29), • Research (11)
Re-scaling Turrell and Gaillard
Rotating installation displaying art works situated in public space that were initiated and donated by Stroom Den Haag.
We designed re-scaling tools to perform at the site of land-art. Designer became a performer operating those tools.
First we re-scaled Turrell’s Celestial Vault, 30 meters wide and 40 meters long ellipse. This volcano was built for audience to experience the sky. Because for Turrell light and space are the object of his interest.
Then we found and measured Gaillard’s Dunepark, temporarily excavated burried Atlantikwall bunker from World War II. For Gaillard, the physical process of excavating in the dark and wet soil was a form of negative sculpting.
Installation icw Office of Hard Work
Thanks to Arnold Mosselman
• Art (22), • Curatorship (4), • Installation (11), • Motion (16), • Performance (15), • Photography (3), • Research (11)
– Installation as performative space
– Designer as a Playbourer
– Post-Fordist Baby
– Affordance of Props
– Multidisciplinary graduation project that shows Circulation of work.
Borders between play and labour are disappearing. Work time and leisure have become unified in one never-ending shift. This is especially articulated through our networked presence in multi-internet reality.
Every hour of our play, minute of entertainment and megabyte of shared data generates profit. This realm of the lost division between labour and play is called playbour. All of us have become players in this game. But who is the real winner?
Playbour is an activity of work that feels like a play and leisure – attractive and pleasurable production.
Royal Academy of Art, The Hague
Playbour: The New Workaholism
Borders between play and labour are disappearing. Work time and leisure have become unified in one never-ending shift. This is especially articulated through our networked presence in multi-internet reality. Every hour of our play, minute of entertainment and megabyte of shared data generates profit. This realm of the lost division between labour and play is called playbour. All of us have become players in this game. But who is the real winner?
Playbour is an activity of work that feels like a play and leisure – attractive and pleasurable production. Examples of this phenomena are social networks as Facebook, Tumblr, fashion blogs, game modding etc., that function playfully but generate profit to others.
Part of the graduation project Playbour: The New Workaholism by Tereza Ruller @ The Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague. All rights reserved (c) 2015
Ventolin – music, lyrics, mix, production
Ondřej Ježek, studio Jámor – mastering
The Rodina – concept, art direction, video, design, lyrics
BumBum Satori -production
• Data Visualization (8), • Installation (11), • Motion (16), • Portfolio (29), • Research (11), • Text (5)
Action to Surface
Rethinking surface production in terms of performance
The Rodina’s text on performative design.
We, designers, are used to presenting graphic design as a surface‑centric practice, the way of surface production. In addition to this, Tereza tries to step out of separated media constraints and tend to establish a new field of potential through identifying performative components in graphic design processes and results.
This research establishes links between action, body, designer and surface. It attempts to convince the reader, that surface production could be an action, happening, or chance‑driven act. Therefore the text introduces necessary theoretical, philosophical and historical backgrounds of performance art.
The narrative covers examples from Leonardo da Vinci through Modernists, Post‑War Expressionists and Andy Warhol to recent work by Hito Steyerl. It also presents graphic designers working with action in their design process. For example Sister Corita Kent’s activism, Stefan Sagmeister with his involvement of the body and nomadism, the conceptual approach of Czech designer Petr Babák, Maki Suzuki with his excitement “to do”, ephemeral surfaces and the unforgettable events of Cox and Grusenmeyer, Moniker with their Conditional Design happenings towards surface and Auto Italia’s identity of interactive assistant.
Finally, the text explains why the contemporary form of labour – Sven Lütticken’s concept of general performance – is so important. This thesis is a manifestation of the emerging designer, his/her milieu and effort to position himself/herself into the world of democratised surface production.
Book available at studio The Rodina, Amsterdam, The Royal Academy of Art Library, The Hague and in the library of Stroom Den Haag, The Netherlands, library of ESAC Cambrai.
Lecture and poster commissioned by ESAC Cambrai, FR.
Research, concept, text, design and code by The Rodina
• Book (9), • Data Visualization (8), • Participation (10), • Performance (15), • Portfolio (29), • Research (11), • Text (5), • Web (9)
Dutch Education – Budget Cuts
1st Prize-winning mega-hit Budget Cuts by hyper-realistic band Dutch Education is not only a data visualization but performative design act. Designer becomes part of the design and stages the message and various infographics.
We received special access to the financial data for Dutch governmental spendings and income for 2014-2017. The task was to carry out extensive research and re-contextualize the information, statistics and figures from the Miljoenennota (Dutch budget plans) resulting in exhibition What’s inside the koffer?.
“In current times our world economy is ruled by capitalistic excess, unpredictable markets, and people-induced crisis. Dutch education, specifically in the arts, is facing sharp budget cuts affecting the cultural producers of tomorrow,” is written in the curatorial text by Foundland and Mind Design.
concept, lyric, choreography: Tereza Ruller
design, dop: The Rodina
sound mastering: Moimir Papalescu
sound recording: studio Ovoce
awarded by Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance / exhibited at the Ministry of Finance, Den Haag, Netherlands / music video was done within the context of Graphic Design class at the Royal Academy of Art, Den Haag
• Art (22), • Data Visualization (8), • Motion (16), • Performance (15), • Portfolio (29), • Research (11), • Social (17), • Web (9)