Graphic Notes

The Graphic Notes are actually not a record of things observed, but a record of areas of special interest related to design technique and technology; triggered by insights gained about the physical and metaphysical environment of the Suriname's maroons.

The need to rearticulate the notion of field research in the context of a pandemic, has interestingly made the entry point into their culture of shaping  physical environments, not from the domain of object making but more from the world of less tangible relational themes (metaphysical).

Using the riverine environment of maroon societies as the contextual reference, the graphic notes are intended to be read as a compendium of conceptual design enquiries which introduce relational themes, as listed below:

  • The potential of formal cross-fertilisation of indigenous design technology and modern science as a means of contextualising technological advancement, whilst sustaining traditional knowledge bases

  • The relationship between transience/ temporality and environmental sustainability

  • The relationship between economic sustainability and the sustainability of traditional forms of knowledge

  • The relationship between spiritual mores and the shaping of technological acumen

The desire to integrate physical form shaping into the ‘writing’ of the graphic notes, informs their presentation as sketch collages, comprising three narrative layers:

  • Possible future (hand drawn studies of the formative design enquiry)

  • Abstracted present (carved satellite images of a specific location along the Tapanahoni River)

  • Remote past (horizontal strips of a 1905 map of the Tapanahoni River)

In the vein of cross-fertilisation, these graphic notes are also further intended as reference points for gauging and engaging the environmental and technological culture of the Dutch polder.

This project is part of a Fellowship supported by Tilting Axis and Het Nieuwe Instituut, in collaboration with the Amsterdam Museum, De Appel, The Black Archives and Melly.

*korjaal (pronounced kȯr-ē-al) is a dug-out or canoe.

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