of the Master of Arts in Creative Direction Class
during the College Open Days, 14th and 15th July 2012
Nicolas Bourriaud's second modernity, which he entitles 'Altermodernity', is the topic of analysis in this Intercultural Design Context project. If twentieth-century modernism was above all a western cultural phenomenon, twenty-first century Altermodernity arises out of planetary negotiations. With the modern binary thinking and its inclusion/exclusion processes hence becoming obsolete, new forms of identity creation processes reveal themselves necessary. When there is a lot of diverse cultures that meet, they can either clash or confluence. Bourriaud's suggestion is not the repression of any culture but the acceptance that there is not only one truth, one story to be told, but many different ways of doing that have to come into exchange with one another, that have to communicate. Communication and exchange are the hallmark and strength of Altermodernity. If the language of modernism can be called 'abstraction', then the language of Altermodernity can be referred to as 'translation'.
One way of encountering people, of opening up the exchange, we found, was over food, whether by preparing or consuming it. Inspired by the performances of Rirkrit Tiravanija, we proposed our own, handmade noodle salad (with dressings from four continents) that was constituted from the cut-out lettres of the suspended dough, saying: 'I bring you something that was said in a different language from your own', in eight different languages. This dough was a metaphor for the brittleness and fragility of translation, on how fragments can easily disappear or turn into something else. Yet, despite this frailty, the beauty of it consists in the creation of something new!
The cultural diversity on our plates was greatly enjoyed…And nothing but by drying, the dough turned itself into its own creations.