In search of the Pluriverse
Can we as humans and other living beings learn to live together, in difference? Can we design a future that actually has a future? Join artist and researcher Sophie Krier and editor and storyteller Erik Wong in their search for alternative perspectives, radical imaginations and a world in which many worlds can thrive. It's a search for something that is already here: the pluriverse all around us.
Wong and Krier have adopted a perspective put forward by Arturo Escobar in his book Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (Duke University Press, 2018) – see the background page in this web magazine.
“ What are the consequences of these pluriversal notions in daily life? ”
The search was initiated as a part of The Travelling Academy. For their search Wong and Krier visit five locations at the fringes of Europe: İstanbul, Casablanca and Berlin (often seen as gateways to and from Central Asia, North Africa and old Europe respectively) and two rural areas: the Isle of Mull and Asturias (as places for self-sufficient living). For each edition, four makers join Erik and Sophie: two locally based, and two based in the Netherlands. Every conversation and encounter builds on the previous one in an effort to create a vibrant network that connects different places, types of knowing and ways of living.
You can access all the talks via the instagram account that functions as a radio guide. You can also look for the talks on the podcast platform of your choice.
Besides the podcast series, there is an exhibition that will open on 22 April 2022.
As well as watching and listening, you can also read the introduction to the pluriverse by Dirk van Weelden.
“ "Come in, the door is open. (...) We invite you to turn off the television and look at one another face-to-face: our history, our struggle, our words, which are clumsy but sincere. Turn on your flashlight and illuminate well. (...) Every freed farm, here or in any corner of the world, is a territory that adds up to reestablish the equilibrium of Uma Kiwe. It is our common house, our only one. There it is, yes: come in, the door is open." ”
Source: "Libertad para la Madre Tierra," spoken May 28, 2010 by the Asociación de Cabildos Indígenas del Norte del Cauca. In: Designs for the Pluriverse, p. 199.
Arturo Escobar wishes to acknowledge the Zapatista cosmovision Queremos un mundo donde quepan muchos mundos (trans. we want a world in which many worlds fit), Marisol de la Cadena and Mario Blaser for co-enunciating the notion of the pluriverse.
Mental Weather In the initial version of this web magazine, visitors landed in an animated field of symbols made by graphic designer Miquel Hervás Gómez. Rain-, snow- or sun-like signs and color gradings hinted at the live weather conditions on Mull, in Berlin, Casablanca, İstanbul and Asturias.
In Miquel’s own words: “One-in-five atmospheric identities generated by real time weather reports from the five localities make up a constant geo(typo)graphic system reflecting on the commonality (or not) between the geographical coordinates.The typeface is affected by the (un)likely weather conditions."
Look for different (ambient) inputs such as wind intensity, temperature, humidity and daylight in the above simulation. Miquel’s contribution inspired Wong & Krier to start each talk by checking with their podcast guests how their mental weather is.
Artist/researcher Sophie Krier interweaves biographies of beings and places by conceiving situations for shared reflection. Alternative learning spaces realized over the years include the book series Field Essays (2008-ongoing), which brings thought and practice into dialogue; and School of Verticality (2018-ongoing), a program focussing on ‘acupuncture of place’.
Erik Wong has a background in graphic design, teaches at the Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, in the TXT department and founded Wongema: a place for work, contemplation and surprising encounters in the far north of the Netherlands. Wong writes, edits, organises and designs.
Wong & Krier met at the Rietveld Academy in 2007, where they both gave shape to different departments. They joined forces in and outside the academy. Ever since, they work together whenever the universe allows it, since 2018 under the working title Making Radio. They describe Making Radio as "a (live) radio programme about what we make, why we make it, who 'we' are, and in the end or in the beginning, what gives and deprives us, and others, of humanity."
Graphic design: Miquel Hervás Gómez