Mar 5–29, 2019
(free and open to the public)
The Dutch collective Metahaven, comprising Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden, are many things at once: exhibition-makers, graphics designers, writers, filmmakers, and publishers. They combine multiple modes of cultural production to make ideas public, to interrogate, for example, the impact technology, geopolitics and media have on the circulation of information in a global society. In their polymathic pursuits, Metahaven’s future-forward practice questions the very vehicles through which information is distributed, through which experiences occur, and, thus, through which knowledge is produced. They draw on the aesthetic familiarity of the now, the way things look—a website, an advertisement, a music video, an album cover—and through design (exhibitions, books, films and installations) portend a new future for media. Metahaven sees “design as a mediating force within an economy of signs—and therefore design as a possible mode of critical thinking on the effects generated around this economy—is at the center of Metahaven’s practice.” And, in doing so, Metahaven’s strategies disrupt the consensus of the role of the artist, the designer, and the curator, and what those roles look like.
The book PSYOP: An Anthology embodies these philosophies while encapsulating the general future-forward ethos of Metahaven. PSYOP is a monograph publication. It has the aesthetic appearance—dimensions, glossy cover, advertisements, editorial sections—of a magazine. The book was produced as both a stand-alone work and accompaniment to Metahaven’s solo exhibition Version History at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London (Oct 2, 2018–Feb 24, 2019). The book is an archive and a potent object for an argument to enact new forms of mediation, new ways to be visually literate. It emphasizes through interviews, essays, and visual work the importance of critical thinking and questioning accepted interfaces, of pushing forward.
Metahaven embodies futurity. We’re delighted to present Metahaven—PSYOP: An Anthology as Case Studies #7.
Case Studies identifies a book to unfurl into an exhibition of archival materials, photographic reproductions, periodicals, ephemera, sound, and text that amplify ideas explored by the featured publication.