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KABK Outcome Research Lab, January 2015

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On January 31st I presented the outcome of the ResearchLab The Age of Old at the Royal Academy in The Hague (KABK). Together with Arne Hendriks we were embedded at the KABK through the Dept.Of What If, a multi-contextual initiative to promote and develop alternative practices of speculative art and design. Together with 12 students we explored the upcoming emancipation of the elderly, and the coming of a society where the metabolism of the elderly, their perceptions and their very presence will change society at large.

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KABK Outcome Research Lab, January 2015

  1. 1. KABKRESEARCHLABOUTCOME
  2. 2. DEPT.OFWHAT IF
  3. 3. STUDENTS WHO APPLIED TO THIS RESEARCH LAB BECAME AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPT.OF WHAT IF, A COMPANY DEDICATED TO THE PRODUCTION OF SPECULATIVE SCENARIOS FOR THE NEARBY FUTURE.
  4. 4. THIS SEMESTER THE DIRECTORS AND EMPLOYEES OF DEPT.OF WHAT IF EXPLORED THE RAPIDLY APPROACHING AGE OF OLD.
  5. 5. THIS RESEARCH LAB INVESTIGATES THE QUALITY OF OLD: OLD WINE, OLD FURNITURE, OLD PLACES, OLD PEOPLE… AS WE ENTER THE AGE OF OLD THERE IS A NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW AN AGEING POPULATION INFLUENCES SOCIETY AT LARGE. THE DEPT.OF WHAT IF DOESN’T PERCEIVE AGEING AS A PROBLEM BUT AS A QUALITY. THIS QUALITY WILL CHANGE HUMANKIND IN WAYS UNFORESEEN. RIGHT NOW AGEING IS BEING REGARDED AS A ‘PROBLEM’,AND THEREFORE MANY PEOPLE ARE ONLY ABLE TO THINK IN FINDING SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM. BUT THIS WAY OF THINKING LIMITS OUR CREATIVE ABILITIES.
  6. 6. IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE (RAAD VOOR DE VOLKSGEZONDHEID EN ZORG) THE DEPT.OF WHAT IF EXPLORED CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF BEING OLD, SPECIFICALLY WITH RESPECT TO THE PUBLIC AND SEMI-PUBLIC DOMAIN. WE DON’T PERCEIVE AGEING AND LONGEVITY AS A PROBLEM BUT AS AN ASSET BY MEANS OF DEFINING AND QUESTIONING THE SOCIAL AND PHYSICAL STATUS QUO AND (NEAR-)FUTURE PERSPECTIVES OF OLD PEOPLE IN SOCIETY. THE DEPT.OF WHAT IF EXPLORES THE NOTION OF SLOWNESS VERSUS SPEED, AND HOW SPACE AND ACTION ARE ENVISIONED AND BENT INTO A DIFFERENT SPACE-TIME REALITY. THE REALITY OF THE AGE OF OLD.
  7. 7. (unhurried since 1833)
  8. 8. EMPLOYEESKABK 1ST SEMESTER - SEPTEMBER 2014 - JANUARY 2015 VISUALS, ASSOCIATIONS AND STATEMENTS
  9. 9. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD BIANCAMEILOF A Object that loses its function because of its place in time. This project is about losing your function because the environment is changing. The world increasingly digitizes and some functional objects, such as paperweights, become obsolete. As a consequence a paperweight transforms from being functional into being ornamental. But isn’t it the same with our elderly? They lose their function in society and transform into ornamental objects. Ornamental
  10. 10. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD CHARLOTTEVANDEZANDE My grandma has a hard time with getting old, although she is never sick and always acts very young. Sometimes she behaves like a 16 year-old girl. She applies teenage make-up and dances around. My grandma realises that she is getting old, but she denies it. She likes to dry flowers. I see this hobby as a personal anti-ageing process: she doesn’t want the flowers to die and by drying them they attain an eternal live. Apart from my grandma and her dried flowers I came across with a man who has a passion for stuffed animals and skeletons. Somehow he resembles my grandma and her hobby: he holds on to the remains of something that isn’t alive anymore. But this man is not afraid to get old. He just likes sensing the mem- ories that can be found in these dead objects. Stay forever
  11. 11. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD CHRISSYRAMAEKERS “The passage of time (my History) leaves behind a residue that accumulates.” Georges Perec Species of Spaces 1974 RE-
  12. 12. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD FLOREKUETER WHAT IF you have a blackout 24 hours long? You don’t remember anything, there is no past and there is no future. You’re in a bubble, isolated from the world, seeking for something to hold on to. Time is the only yardstick you have but it says nothing. This audio is a simulation of a blackout, as experienced by someone with ‘transient global amnesia’: anxiety, repetition and emptiness. People with dementia have such moments, and they know the moments of clarity will diminish. But a blackout can happen to anyone. Void
  13. 13. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD INESVANSANDICK It’s a fact that our generation will live ap- proximately 20 years longer than the gener- ations before us. Our daily routine is struc- tured in such a way that we generally stop working at 67 years of age. The additional twenty years we live longer, we now still see as 20 additional years of being old. WHAT IF we spend every day one of these 175.200 hours of being old and invest it into something we would normally do when we’re retired? Instead of being 20 extra years old, let’s be retired for one hour every day, throughout our lives. 175.200 hours. 175.200 hours
  14. 14. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD JUDYWETTERS kairos |’kiräs| noun [ in sing. ] chiefly Theology 1. the perfect time, an opportune or propi- tious moment for decision or action. ORIGIN mid 20th cent.: Greek, literally ‘op- portunity.’ CLOCKS
  15. 15. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD MATEUSZTKACZEN Today’s society is changing rapidly and drasti- cally. This is the first generation which grew up in the digital era. What will its elderly be like? People living in the western world are over- whelmed with ubiquitous amounts of visuals. All these data cannot not be fully comprehended and digested by the human brain, which is not developing as fast as technology. Eventually the overabundance of absorbed data turns into an immense noise which makes finding inner peace hardly possible. WHAT IF we could filter memories, so only the meaningful ones would retain? WHAT IF we could totally disconnect from this overwhelming noise? My research on the process of aging in the digital era resulted in a vision of the conceptual ‘zero city’. The city became a tool which enabled me to connect with the society without any assumptions in order to answer my research questions. The reminiscence of zero city and its voidness are described with the following words: “There is no past and future. Only now is real and only this particular moment matters. The presence is eternal and enclosed in materials and objects. Zero city functions as a scale-less and culture- less shelter of silence.” ZERO CITY
  16. 16. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD NANNEKEBOOMGAARD What if in twenty years from now you can choose for oblivication or memodamnation. Oblivication - O-bli-vi-ca-tion At own request remove some parts of memory for a certain amount of time or forever. From the Latin word obliviscatur which means wanting to forget. Memodamnation - Me-mo-dam-na-tion Without a doubt completely erase someone or something from your memory. From the Latin term demnatio memoriae which means damnation of memory. But if I erase? Isn’t everything connected with each other? Won’t I forget the existence of the egg if I erase the chicken. If I erase
  17. 17. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD SOPHIAZOON,TOMMYDEMOOR We talk about old and wonder when “old” begins in temporal life. If we see life as stages of temporary moments, when does it become eternity? Do we see eternity as “old”? We want to establish a poetic approach to the question, through a morphological examination in a narrative. ‘Is temporality eternal?’ ‘Death is the only certainty in life’ ‘Is identity permanent?’ ‘When is something temporary?’ When do temporality and eternity touch each other?
  18. 18. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD SOPHIAZOON,TOMMYDEMOOR We talk about old and wonder when “old” begins in temporal life. If we see life as stages of temporary moments, when does it become eternity? Do we see eternity as “old”? We want to establish a poetic approach to the question, through a morphological examination in a narrative. ‘Is temporality eternal?’ ‘Death is the only certainty in life’ ‘Is identity permanent?’ ‘When is something temporary?’ When do temporality and eternity touch each other?
  19. 19. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD SVENVANDIEKEN A hate-love relationship with clocktime Sometimesafewtimesandeachtimeinnotime At certain moments the awareness will grow The awareness that the time sneaks past What about the perception of time A provocative relationship with a non-physical It has taken the form of a hostile fluidity The time is slipping through the fingers Conditioning of the timeless consciousness Conscious about the insidious subconsciousness The ability to waste time is certainly there But only if you completely forget to enjoy it Give a potential failure a ‘second’ chance It is really about the journey after all Suit a moment to deliberately fill in the time Dream your life or live your dreams THE EXPERIENCE_TIME_ PERCEPTOR
  20. 20. RESEARCHLAB| DEPT.OFWHATIF|THEAGEOFOLD VYASAKOE Alzheimer’s is the necessary phase of a human being to die in peace. The loss of memory is the necessary stage of detachment from earth. We forget about the ones we knew or the value we have placed on objects, which make it easier to travel to the dimension of death. Only the people around somebody with Alz- heimer’s are projecting guilt, because they are the ones who are forgotten. The fear of being forgotten and the fear of letting some- one go makes that we perceive Alzheimer as something being bad. WHAT IF we could see Alzheimer’s as a normal transition of someone preparing for afterlife? WHAT IF Alzheimer’s is just as nor- mal as birth? The exhibited work represents the transition of Alzheimer’s. The wax is also a transition of stages creating natural shapes as it solidifies in water leaving an echo of the memory of an object. Alzheimer’s is good.
  21. 21. DEPT.OFWHAT IFEMBEDDED IN THE KABK BY ARNE HENDRIKS AND RONALD VAN TIENHOVEN 2015

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