2017 was the year the Design department at Goldsmiths launched its new, post-disciplinary MA in Design: Expanded Practice. For their first brief on the programme, students were asked to work in teams and approach museums from a different perspective: Musée des Refusés, a space in which what is rejected by museums, cultural institutions and/or by society as a whole may claim attention.
One of the teams decided to take a deeper look at mass surveillance in public spaces and how it could be disrupted. Fivos Avgerinos, Riya Gokharu, Wonji Jeong, Erin Liu and Anastasiya Vodolagina created masks that can ‘trick’ facial recognition software used in surveillance cameras, and in the process, help us question why we have become so accepting of mass surveillance in the first place.
What does the mask do, exactly?
Erin: “Biometric facial recognition works by mapping certain landmarks onto your face which are called nodal points, measuring the distance between the eyes, the width of the nose, the shape of the cheekbones and the shape of the jawline. The mask tricks facial recognition software into believing those landmarks are elsewhere, which gives them false results.”Read More »
Last week, the 2017 graduating class of the MA in Interaction Design exhibited their final projects, alongside work by current students of the MA in Design: Expanded Practice.
Interaction Design graduates have reached the end of a 15-month programme, and their output reflects the diversity of their perspectives and approaches, with projects tackling topics as varied as redefining the limits of architecture, Saudi futurism, or measuring time through a drawing machine.
Meanwhile, the very first cohort of Expanded Practice students are responding to the Musée de Refusés brief, reinterpreting the museum to showcase objects and ideas rejected by traditional museum spaces. Students worked in groups and offered innovative interpretations, from investigating museum artefacts acquired through colonialism to proposing a museum space where touching the displays is encouraged.
Next week, the 2017 graduating class of the MA in Interaction Design, and current students of the MA in Design: Expanded Practice will exhibit their work in a joint show in the St James Hatcham gallery, MUTAGEN/Musée des Refusés.
Thursday, 14 December: 4-9 pm (private view)
Friday, 15 and Saturday, 16 December: 10 am- 6 pm
Mutagen is a set of projects from the fourth graduating cohort of MA Interaction Design at Goldsmiths. This diverse and inventive group have accomplished a huge amount during their 15 month programme, not least in the strategies they have developed to take on the demands of the courses they undertake. You will see how their graduating projects mix empirical and speculative approaches, while responding to human computer interaction, interaction design and co-design, and grappling with social theory. Come and see these projects, and speak to the people who have articulated individual and bold routes through the entanglements that characterise an expanded field of Interaction Design.
The Musée de Refusés (based on the Salon de Refusés) is a space in which what is rejected by museums, cultural institutions and/or by society as a whole may claim attention. There may be many reasons for the rejection; but essentially the ‘refused’ is not considered to be the sort of thing the museum or other cultural authorities are looking for. The Musée de Refusés contains the kind of things that are not of interest, concern or use to society … often times determined not to be in society’s ‘best’ interest.
Any rejection is inevitably reciprocally constituted; the thing rejected, in its very rejection, rejects the authority that rejects it. So when an ‘authority’ (a museum) with an encysted (insisted) ideology, through an instituted juridical process, refuses to embrace what a work is or does, the work, in turn rejects the regular expectations, systems of validation and ultimately, the constitution of that authority.
Alumna Wendy Lau (MA Design: Critical Practice 2017) recently spent six weeks as artist in residence for the Guandu International Nature Art Festival in Taipei, alongside several international artists. Wendy wrote to us about the experience and its significance to her life and career:
“I have learned and experienced so much in this residency, in both aspects of my profession and personal philosophy. Designing creations for a nature park was a new challenge for me, because I had to consider artwork existing in an outdoor context as well as using on-site materials which should not be harmful to that environment. There were limitations at the beginning, but then I managed to turn them into my inspiration, and re-directed my initial approach to a more explorative one.Read More »