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THIS WAY

Kyra van Ineveld's DAE graduation projects capture the spirit of the school's Milan exhibition, THIS WAY.  This year curator Ilse Crawford wants to show authentic and humanistic work that engages with the world.

By Gabrielle Kennedy / 13-04-2011

Kyra van Ineveld never expected to be in Milan.  In fact, after graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven this past December, she thought that that was it for her and design, at least for now.  “My marks were average and I was sort of over it,” she says.  “I needed some air.”

Last month, however, she unexpectedly received an email from the school saying that curator Ilse Crawford had selected her work for the academy’s showing in Milan.  “I was so shocked,” she says,  “especially because from within the Department of Communication I had had so much criticism.”

Van Ineveld is interested in communication, media and information.  “I am fascinated by how information has changed,” she says.  “Fifty years ago families owned a set of encyclopedias and believed each volume contained the truth.  Those books were where people accessed what they believed to be the concrete truth.  Now if you look at information you can see that so-called truth always changes.  It is an endless process.”

Inspired by this thought, Van Ineveld approached Wikipedians and entered the world of Wikiparties.  “There are loads of Wikifreaks out there who answer questions constantly and make a lot of changes to the entries they are most passionate about,” she says.

From them she learnt that there are ways to discover which entries are changed the most, but also how to access an entries’ history.  “When Wikipedia first started, for example, Barack Obama had a three line entry.  Since then his page has exploded to one of the most frequently changed.”

In fact, Obama, the Catholic Church, the Gaza war, global warming and the connection between race and intelligence have been the five most changed Wikipedia entries since it opened in January 2001.  The list itself reveals much of the western contemporary world.

“A lot of the people making these changes are not academics or experts,” Van Ineveld says.  “They are ordinary people and enter into what is termed an edit war.  Truth has become the wisdom of the crowd.”

To visually represent the unfixed truth, Van Ineveld designed five books that read as the entire history of the five most changed Wikipedia “pages”.

Visually “The Wiki Truth” books look like massive traditional encyclopedias with gilt paging and hard covers.  Sitting at around 3000 pages each, the books reveal how information is added, changed and criticized.

Van Ineveld’s second graduation project from the Communication Department, “Foreign Nature” was also selected for exhibition in Milan.  This time her topic is migration and boarder control and the absurdity of Holland’s government policy.

“My point is that defining boarders doesn’t really make sense in these times,” Van Ineveld says.

To show this she starts with images of nature and animals that have “illegally” migrated across boarders to cope with climate change.  Over those she superimposes slogans and populist phrases taken from official government documentation.

The placards are left leaning in public spaces making the project feel something like an uninitiated protest.   

“It is effective because it proves you can’t talk to animals like that,” van Ineveld says.  “Japanese oysters, the Canadian goose, and Tiger mosquitoes arrive despite not being wanted.  The Dutch government is even gassing the oysters to try to keep them away, which is ridiculous because nature won’t ever obey.”

Unsurprisingly, neither will human beings.

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