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

07. A Library of Material Rights

A Library of Material Rights is a multi-media installation exploring the notions of material rights and object value.

The installation is a collection of sustainable objects and books arranged 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. Starting from the proposal of a “Parliament of Things” by Bruno Latour, we wonder: 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?

Collaboration with Marjanne van Helvert

Exhibited in De Dingen at Stroom, The Hague, the Netherlands (2018)