in Contemporary Art and Design
creative concept development
visual art impressions/modeling/prototyping
critical writing (essays/articles)
connected to: Oasis and Lagoon
Redirecting the influence of art and design in a socio-cultural context. Establishing and supporting (local) artists, initiatives, projects and events.
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Geert Lebens follows the ever changing versatile relation between art/design and culture. The most interesting field of these relations is the field of ‘techno-context’, or the societal context of technologies. We often see art as a reflector or a guide to how we should understand society, life or the (personal) psyche. This is also the case with technologies. In this case technology and art don’t collide but rather merge with one another. In contemporary art we often find a place for the disposed (side) effects of technologies, recontextualising the use or application. Examples are: glitch art, bio-art, noise art and different varieties of niches in other art forms or genres. This even sometimes happens with in vitro technologies. Before they have found a societal purpose, artists already start to speculate about the impact, application, ethics and cultural values of this new technology. Design, which is often used to commercialize technologies, on the other hand can be used to ask questions or start a debate about social desires for application. By prototyping the future from utopias to dystopias we can socialize future cultures by dialogue. Art and design have the power to be the present future or the guide to an artificial, conceptual or more desirable, reality.
The term ‘technology’ explained: “Technology is the methods a species uses to interact with the environment in order to increase the chance of survival or in order to improve its living standards, well being or welfare (both mentally and physically).” In this explanation the distinction between technology and nature should be limited. Technology is a part of nature, derived from and used by nature. All organisms use technologies in order to evolve.
The power of the object, or the image, is the ultimate medium to construct alternative realities, in order to create a solid starting point for speculation (like Clement Bezold used to explain in the ‘future cone’ with the possible futures, plausible futures and probable futures and with the preferable futures covering a part of all of these areas). This power has to be considered as the ability of the object or image to trigger the imagination to transform it into a notion; a concept. This notion can be personal and differ by culture, age, background and many small cognitive experiences from the past. The variety of notions normally dictates the collective memory, which is the concept that is indoctrinated to our brains (a compromise by social means). The powerful variety of personal notions though is an important catalyst for cultural change. For instance the emancipation of women, gays, lesbians, bi’s and transgenders, taboos on sex, freedom of gender choice, acceptance of designer babies, the emancipation of in vitro meat, the use of social media and many more.
The starting point for almost everything Geert does, is curiosity to these different notions, visions and the versatility of truths and realities. He believes in the power of imagination and speculation as tools for innovation and artistic practice.
An essay about the definition of technology and it's role in society, focused on the evolution of the internet and the risks and possibilities of the big data. This essay features the work of artist Julian Oliver.
This essay contains an analyses of different opinions about the role of crafts in the design process. It contains my current opinion about this subject, based on my experience with it and my personal vision on the role design plays in our contemporary society.
This essay features four texts about image culture. In what ways does it effect our society and what could be the risks?It's a very complex subject, especially because it's already such a big part of contemporary society it can be hard for western people to be skeptic about.
SONSBEEK'16: transACTION - 2016
Independent Volunteer Creative Coordinator - Info-Centre Molenplaats | Teamleader of Volunteers
Ruimtekoers Festival - 2015
Location Manager, Re.TALE Concept Warehouse
De Kracht van het Idee - 2016
An article in the first edition of Pre Scriptum (monthly limited edition paper). A place to share little creative ideas, thoughts and doodles.
Craft Thinking Design Making - 2015
Catalogue of the graduate students of Product Design, ArtEZ, Arnhem. A collection of background stories about the graduates with a focus on their graduation projects. Based on interviews. | published: Juli 1, 2015
Editer at Home - 2015
Attended Courses & Workshops:
#Additivism Workshop - 2016
2 Day workshop | by: Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke | organized by: Sonic Acts Academy 2016 | at: Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam
Masterclass Artificial Idiocy - 2016
1:30 Hour masterclass | by: Agi Haines | organized by: MU art centre, Eindhoven | (part of the Bio-Art & Design Awards special at the Body of Matter exhibition)
Back to the Anthropocene - 2015
WDCD for Refugees - 2015
Break-out Session | by: Cameron Sinclair (UNHCR) | organised by: What Design Can Do | at: Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam
Shoe Design Workshop - 2015
2 Weeks course | by: Lillian Sanderson and Elsien Gringhuis | organised by: ArtEZ Product Design, Arnhem | at: ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, Arnhem
Bio-design Workshop (mycelium) - 2014
2 Day workshop | by: Erik Klarenbeek | organized by: ArtEZ Product Design, Arnhem | at: ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, Arnhem / Mediamatic Amsterdam
Product Design - 2013/2015
Bachelor | ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, Arnhem
Man & Well Being - 2011/2013
Bachelor | Design Academy Eindhoven
Internship at Scherpontwerp - 2011
Graphic design | Eindhoven (NL)
Internship at Besters Communication Concepts - 2009/2010
Graphic design | Tilburg (NL)
Media Design - Graphic Design - 2007/2011
De Eindhovense School / Sint Lucas Eindhoven
research / essays
activities / experience
about: Abiogenesis Chair
a • bi • o • gen • e • sis [ey-bahy-oh-jen-uh-sis, ab-ee-oh-], noun, Biology
The now discredited theory that living organisms can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter; spontaneous generation.
This chair is a design that is build upon intuition. It is a sculpture of lines. The process existed of a series of intuitive interventions, each line influences the choice of position and shape of the next one. The design process becomes a metaphor for the process of growth. A dead material, in this case the metal, gets touched by a soul and thereby becomes the relic of a creative spirit. It is a spontaneous anatomy that arises from inanimate matter. The name, that is also the name of the theory mentioned in the definition above, is of essential importance in the scientific question of what life forms are made of, animate or inanimate matter; like a process of inanimate material that moves as a result of chemical reactions.
about: Narrative Objects
Narrative Objects is a project that opened an autonomous research case, Investigating the human relation between the imagination of the mind and the physicality of the object.
The research is meant to collect insight in the human relation with objects. Attempting to stimulate the brain to explore the power of the mind by colliding the familiar with the unfamiliar shapes, materials and contexts. It is a play between the collective memory doctrinated brain and the limitless relatively blank memory of a young child, or the state of mind pursued by artists. During the philosophical and physical research I became more aware of the systems that dictate our senses of reality and the ways we define and explain it. Our minds seem to read languages of shapes to extract a reality out of it, something that feeds a problem solving neuronal network.
Creating scapes of objects that upset these neuronal patterns could create an artificial reality, one that we might be able to call a possible future one day. The research is about the acceptance of the unfamiliar, the alianating, in order to accept it as a reality or a whole new judging system that criticizes the conservative collective memory.
A Wearable Day
about: A Wearable Day
A Wearable Day is about prototyping our near future. What will our near future be like with our expanding 24/7 society and our nights turning into days and days into nights. This wearable light contains small LED-lights with a high concentration of blue light in its spectrum. The blue light suppresses melatonin production, the hormone that makes you sleepy. The concentration is comparable with the amount in day light, simulating a day situation. It's position prevents dazzling effects.
The Introverted Aftermath
about: The Introverted Aftermath
The Introverted Aftermath is a speculative scenario for an Anthropocene or post-Anthropocene future. The environment human kind creates is become more one that’s based on chasing luxery and fulfillment of desires, demanding more and more of our environment. Man kind has astranged itself from it’s nature, or rather has astranged itself from the ecosystem it is assigned to. All it's interventions in the earths environment has transformed the earth into a hostile environment. Our technologically enhanced bodies need to coop with polluted air, toxic food, strange breeds of crops and more extreme exposure to radiation. The Introverted Aftermath is not about the suit, but about what is in it. A body with strange new organs and processes so astranged to it’s nature that it need to be protected to not disturb the bodily processes.
about: Concept Shoe
This concept shoe is the result of a two weeks workshop, which included the basic elements of designing and the craft of shoe making. The design is based on sport shoes (specificly on cycling shoes). In order to apply pressure a shoe needs to feel as a second skin. This design is a study of ergonomic pressure point to keep a shoe in place. The partially open structure and elastic bands are inspired by muscle structures around the bone joints.
The workshop was given by Lillian Sanderson and Elsien Gringhuis at ArtEZ institute for the Arts.
Bad Awards Special; Isaac Monté
Bio-art & Design Awards | MU, Saturday January 23 | Isaac Monté, Dr. Renée van Amerongen and Dr. Monique Verstegen about ‘The Art of Deception’. ‘The Art of Deception’ focuses on the human striving for perfection by deception in society to show how art can influence our thoughts about the…
Fiction Driven Symbioses of Science and...
An open letter to plee for the societal importance of speculative design. For decades technology and fiction are closely related to each other. Both operate separately for most of the time, but they influence each other instan-taneously. Fiction has the power to use the imagination for mapping the needs… Continue reading -->
'Thing Nothing' at Van Abbemuseum
Thing Nothing By: Van Abbemuseum and Design Academy Eindhoven, At: Van Abbemuseum, October 17 – November 15, 2015 Thing Nothing is the third in a row of exhibitions taking place during Dutch Design Weeks in Eindhoven. The exhibition contains work of Design Academy graduates and other young designers combined with … Continue reading -->
Craft Thinking Design Making
ArtEZ Product Design Finals 2015 On the 1st of July 2015 the ArtEZ Finals of Art and Design Arnhem were launched, including several exhibitions of first, second and thirth year students. The work of the Product Design department was collected in this pocket sized catalogue that contains a series of … Continue reading -->
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