Visual Dimensions of Feminism
Under the title Sichtbarkeit gestalten (“Designing Visibility”), the participants of a course at Fachhochschule Potsdam, have jointly investigated where and how feminist thought and action become visible and what role design plays in this. The result is this “quilted” website, which assembles objects and other feminist artefacts. In a collective research they collected artefacts online: printed and digital publications, advertising, moving and photographic images, posters, objects, clothing, etc. For this work, the class developed the image of the quilt—based on a reflection on historiographic issues and the particularities of feminist publishing. It refers to working together on a supra-individual project, sharing stories and the sense of belonging and togetherness that comes with it.
The research defines a broad geographical, temporal and thematic field, on which individual artefacts are highlighted—this too is a consciously chosen image that takes into account the shadows that are created by the selection. To structure this field, the class has chosen categories that lie at right angles to a chronological or theme-based analysis: book, journal, and magazine titles, posters and advertising, digital and social media, info-visualizations, typography and language, moving image as well as body, clothing, and identity. In this way, they examined the specific modes of production and distribution of the respective media and the extent to which they condition and influence strategies for producing visibility.
From this research, the participants first developed a print publication—though not between two book covers, but as a loose-leaf collection. In this way, we took up the image of the quilt, but refused a fixed arrangement. Rather, we call upon the reader to explore, create and break up visual and thematic connections himself. In addition, this type of publication emphasizes the fragmentary, the unfinished and the polyphony of the collection. This website translates the concept into digital—and hopefully helps to continue the project.