1 taking part in the exhibition De Dingen, Stroom, Den Haag, with our project A Library of Material Rights

2 A Library of Material Rights installation

3 Marjanne van Helvert and me performing at Stroom on 24th April 2018

4 alternative ways of living (here, caravans)

5 installation trials on scale in the studio

6 close-up photograph of the installation

08. A Library of Material Rights

As part of the exhibition De Dingen from art center Stroom in The Hague, Marjanne van Helvert and I have worked on an installation and performance related to the given theme of the exhibition (the things).

Our installation A Library of Material Rights (2018) is a collection of sustainable objects and books, arranged and curated on a structure inspired by Viktor Papanek’s work on alternative living. Focussing on the home and the objects in our daily lives, the structure questions our relationship with things: how do we value them and why? How do we attach ourselves emotionally to them? How is our materialism related to status, to apathy or to compulsive hoarding? What do we throw away, and what do we keep, repair and cherish? What privileges are connected to possessions, ownership and waste?

These questions address the speculative existence of material rights. As all humans, animals, and some natural things are in the process of gaining legal rights, should artificial objects be granted rights as well? And how could the existence of such rights promote a respect-based relationship to the objects we own and enhance a sustainable approach to production?