Display.observer presents a non-profit project conceived as a resource for research, collaboration, information, and education purposes.


Freja Kir

Conceptual feedback: Miquel Hervás Gómez

Website design and development:
Bram van den Berg

preface, Display stories:
fanfare (Freja Kir & Miquel Hervás Gómez) with Fabulous Future (Niels Albers, Malissa Anne Cañez Sabus, Gauthier Chambry, Naomi Credé, Liene Pavlovska, Mirko Podkowik, Rein Verhoef)

Chapter 1, Imagining Platforms:
Freja Kir




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Sources and inspiration

Included in the sections are various references, inspirations and acknowledgements. These can be found in no order of appearance here. As silent actors are difficult to trace, we want to acknowledge the collective spirit that lay behind most prominent projects and figures. Please make us aware if you come by any lack of credit.

  • Overall the project is guided by an aim to present various entrance points from which to address the display. This approach brings together inspiration from various makers and thinkers: Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, Catherine D’Ignazio & Lauren F. Klein, Olga Gorionava, Lucy Suchman, Ursula K. Le Guin, (to name a few)

  • The inclusion of several aspects of the process and organisation has found its inspiration in "A Pattern Language" (1977) by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein.

  • The narrated multiplicity likewise draws parallels to play and storytelling as a medium for cultural resistance. An example of inspiration is addressed by Ursula Le Guin in her influential short essay "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction". In it, Le Guin builds a narrative that redefines technology as a cultural carrier:

“Prior to the preeminence of sticks, swords and the Hero's long, hard, killing tools, our ancestors' greatest invention was the container: the basket of wild oats, the medicine bundle, the net made of your own hair, the home, the shrine, the place that contains whatever is sacred. The recipient, the holder, the story. The bag of stars.” (Le Guin, 1986)

How may this approach be relevant to the website structure? Through the optic of the carrier, Le Guin not only questions one-line narratives, but also presents the imaginary aspect of narration as “... a way of trying to describe what is, in fact, going on…” (Le Guin, 1986). While this writing reflects an ideological position of pinpointing a male-dominated and techno-heroic narrative, it is in this context of relevance for considering the display as a website and the website as a carrier for gathering the outcome of multiple perspectives.

  • The necessity of forming a vocabulary that links the display with the platform and the platform with a larger software vocabulary is rooted in inspiration from Matthew Fuller,(2007) Software Lexicon, interface writings by Johanna Drucker (2011), Infrastructure reflections in Signal Traffic (2015) edited by Lisa Parks and Nicole Starosielski.

  • The Dogma presented in the introduction has gathered conceptual inspiration from the "Dogma 95" cinematic concept by Lars von Trier and Nicolas Winding Refn in 1995.

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The project was generously supported by The Creative Industries Fund NL