The issue at hand is the result of our work over the past few months. It is an objectification of our ideas and research, our considerations and discussions as well as our co-operations. In short, this issue objectifies various information, which, while it may not be objective per se, determines the design process.
Every process has a moment of exposure (in our case print) as a point of no return, where corrections and updates are no longer possible. Seen from this perspective, our work is similar to that of designers. Which of the many possible objectifications designers happen to choose, the addressee they approach, the medium they opt for or the material, which appears suitable to them – decisions always have to be made. These decisions can be right or wrong, but in any case, all objects or facts are on the point of disappearing again from the outset. They get lost, fall apart or become obsolete – that is simply in their nature.
But disappearance does not need to mean merely looking on helplessly, but rather actively promoting it and using intellectual detachments to reveal other possibilities. Contrary to our everyday practice, let us imagine, for example, that work, time, and money are not linked to each other. Let us accept the proposals of the proponents of a basic income. In doing so, it would initially transpire that many of us have long been practicing a type of decoupling in the form of unpaid overtime, holidays not taken, and blurred lines between our private and professional lives, but under conditions which fundamentally contradict those associated with basic social security: a fear of losing our jobs, impermeable, hierarchical structures, or ideologies camouflaged as corporate identity, to name but a few. If we were to reverse this situation, however, and would release ourselves from material existential fears, emancipating ourselves from hierarchies and exposing ideologies to well-overdue criticism, we would come to the conclusion that many problems associated with work would simply disappear. We would unconditionally welcome machines undertaking various aspects of our work. Some innovations would not even arise at all until there was a clear distinction between employment, time, and income. But we would undoubtedly attribute work a fundamentally different significance.
Information does not disappear because it is not, has never been, and will never be objective. But it can only become comprehensible with the aid of objects such as this issue. This implies continuous merging and decoupling, permanently letting go of knowledge, which we have often held close to our hearts, in order to acquire new insights. Within the editorial team, we regard this process as an opportunity and as a challenge, and we are delighted to be winning increasing numbers of allies.
With this in mind, we would like to thank all of our contributors involved in this issue, in particular illustrator Santa France for the friendly and uncomplicated collaboration.
Stephan Ott, Editor-in-Chief