There are no innocent objects.
They all carry a silent testimony.
As a designer and producer, I move between all parts of production. I am the designer, but also the product developer, the strategist, the visionary, the economist, the co-worker, the project manager, the marketer. But, I am also a consumer, and I am fascinated by beautiful images, eye-catching logos and promises of a better, easier and more stylized life.
You hold in your hands the continuation of a project that started almost five years ago. After having worked as a designer on assignments and with my own productions for many years, more and more questions that demanded answers were cropping up. The result was an essay in book form: Brave New Production, where, among other things, I question prevalent structures and approaches within the multi-layered area that is production. I have now continued further and deeper into certain questions while leaving others behind. This is presented in a new magazine. This format allows me to highlight specific subjects, phenomena, events and people. These may appear to be disconnected, but I believe that they, in the highest degree, influence us in some form on the macro or micro level. It also allows me to work with others who may have something to contribute to the project in the form of new nuances and pieces of the puzzle.
I want to bring our notions of how we value objects to light based on how, where and by whom we believe them to be made. In the long run, it also mirrors how differently we value people. I believe that there are no innocent objects. They all have a background; they have all been touched by human beings and by machines and they are all the result of different systems. Their quality, price and appearance bear silent witness to this. I want to seek out the “dark” side of MADE IN and find out what is behind these significant and often decisive words, both in practice and in our notions and values. We are all part of a larger, holistic course of events; we are all affected, directly or indirectly. We are pulled in as consumers and winners at one end – but as citizens, we often become losers. My intention is not to give an answer as to what is better than something else. I want to ask inconvenient questions and try to find explanations for something which is far more complex than what most of us think, and not leave the discussion solely to those on the other side – politicians, companies, economists and theoreticians – but instead represent a party with different starting points. I want to tackle some of these subjects in ways that may contribute to them being highlighted and discussed by more people from all the aspects they deserve: historically, politically, artistically and economically. I would also like to approach from angles that we may not be so used to. Is it the case that the value we give the objects mirrors the value we give the people behind them?
Margot Sucksdorff Barolo, designer