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Issue #23
December 2020 - June 2021
Living Voices
Guy Königstein / June 09 2021

Approximately one year ago, I participated in a tour at the archive of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, which included a visit to the storage and conservation facility of hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of radio and television sets, record players, loudspeakers, and numerous other apparatuses designed for recording, broadcasting, playing and projecting sounds and images. These objects – carefully ordered, numbered, and free of dust – were all turned off, standing silent and motionless, in total contrast to their original function. Moreover, the person in charge of their conservation explained that, in accordance with the national preservation law, once the objects enter the archive and are stored in its facility, it is strictly forbidden to turn them on for fear of damaging them: after all, they are now part of the country’s national heritage!

Most of the objects presented before you – from the recent remake of a prehistoric hand axe to the last of contemporary drones – were selected for this exhibition out of a large collection that is carefully stored and preserved in the museum basement. Yet these objects – if we only care to listen to them – are anything but mute. They echo stories from their past and events from the future. They attest to encounters with human beings and speak of interactions with other objects. They brag about their various functions, and reveal much about their material and emotional qualities. They applaud their creators and whisper their secrets.

Let us, then, discover what they yearn to share. Let us open our eyes, and above all listen with our ears, attending to their stories. What resonates from among the catalogue pages of Hebrew typography? What sound do the polished silver pieces make? What emanates from the depths of the glass? How does porcelain shatter? Who is creaking? Who is rattling? Who is rubbing against whom? Who is using what? And what is the unspoken message of the one whose voice is not heard?


Hand-held stone, Lower Paleolithic, ca. 500,000 years ago

Ilan Molcho (editor), Hebrew Typography: Practical Letters Catalogue Binder. Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, 1980

Gal On (manufacturer), Table Fan, 1961

OTOTO (Daniel Gassner and Ori Saidi), T-Party Vase, 2005

J. Princenteil (manufacturer), Cheese and Butter Cutlery, 1950s

Philip Starck for Saba, Jim Nature Portable Television, 1994

Autocars (manufacturer),Susita – Cube Model, 1959-1966

Brill Shoe Industries (manufacturer), Standard Army Shoes, 2014

Percepto (manufacturer), Sparrow Autonomous Drone V 2.4, 2018

Design Research
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Returning from Milan is not always easy, and we are envious of anyone who manages to formulate their impressions, discover vogues, and share with such speed.
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Wheels and mirrors: automata and robots as metaphysical machines
Patrick J. Gyger
What is it with the automata these days? Those relics of a technological era we left behind more than a hundred years ago, aren't they obsolete? It is true the story of artificial beings is old: it charts the influence of technology across human history. But the meme of mechanical beings didn't catch on until the principle of Philosophia ancilla theologiae was superseded and philosophers assumed their role as interpreters of the most wonderful miracles of technology.
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In A Better World
Maya Dvash
American designer Yves Béhar has received the prestigious INDEX: Award for his See Better to Learn Better project. Béhar is the first designer to receive this award twice. His projects are driven by the belief that good design can be an agent of change, that design can inculcate basic tools for education and improve the lives of people with limited means.
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