• Materializing the Invisible Conflicts

    SESSION C.2: Artist Talk: Time, Space, Matter
    Day 2. Friday, 28th October.
    18:30 – 20:30
    Venue: CCCB: Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona

    While art has long had a role of social barometer and social disturber, design, and especially discursive, speculative, critical design with its innate ability to create believable fictions establishes a material space for a dialogue. Tangible artefacts, diegetic prototypes open a way to communicate the most urgent socio-technical controversies with a knocking down power to make believe.

    We are proposing materiality of cultural probes as a methodology, physicality and somewhat familiarity of design objects as a manner to reveal the contradictions and as a departure point to questioning homogeneity. With our projects – “Prenda de riesgo” and “assisting the self” we are tackling the vulnerability of the body and its ambiguous relationship with social and technical environment. We aim to confront the normativity inscribed in the bodies.

    La prenda de riesgo es un prototipo diegético que encarna los conflictos de una investigación de caso entorno las prácticas de autofabricación, que se dan en el contexto de la autogestión de la diversidad funcional como respuesta a los problemas de la movilidad reducida. Esta investigación se desarrolla a través del mapeo de una controversia socio-técnica, el handiwheel, y mediante un objeto que yo propongo, la prenda de riesgo, a partir de los cuales construyo mi escenario de investigación-acción.

    “Assisting the self” is exploring the effect that assistive devices – more specifically communication aids – have on the shaping of the self-image of the wearer. Communication aids have a certain duality inscribed in the technology itself, which can be revealed by juxtaposing assistive devices with enhancement devices. Both categories have the same inclination – excel the given human abilities. The thin line dividing these sectors lies in the notion of what is considered “normal” human abilities.

    Joana Capella Buendia and Maryia Virshych
    BAU School of Design, Barcelona

    Joana Capella Buendia. (Sant Fost de Campsentelles, 1990) researcher and artist. Master in design research and experimentation, Bau (Barcelona). Member of Fer cosa fora, a research way around art, design and the society.

    Maryia Virshych. Architect and product designer. Master in design research and experimentation, Bau (Barcelona)
    Using physical objects as triggers for conscious, responsive and critical thinking; and design fictions as a method to research and reveal controversies. Fascinated and intrigued by the ambiguous nature of material artefacts and connotations inscribed in them.


Department of Art History
Universitat de Barcelona
c/ Montalegre 6-8.
08001 Barcelona

Call for Papers
Organizing Committee

The images for the Art and Speculative Futures conferences are generously provided by artist Regina de Miguel from her video Una Historia Nunca Contada desde Abajo (2016).