• Us 16 - # 15. 2015.

    Us 16 – A short outline of the key ideas behind the ‘Us 16′ body of work

    Posted by Angela & filed under Contemplation-Blog.

    Us 16

    The body of work around Us 16 centres on the notion of community. Within any community such as a family, circle of friends, or team of any kind, there is usually a common denominator, some shared biology, topography, value, interest, background, experience, aim, skill, context or philosophy which acts as a binding agent between or common denominator for the individuals making up the group. This common denominator frequently influences what type of individual fits into the company, and whilst an individual’s behaviour is either explicitly or subconsciously shaped by the specifics of the group, the individual also influences the fabric of the group as a whole in turn. The dynamic within any community is consequently a complex synergy, shaped by both the bigger unit and the individual.

    Despite the bigger web of dynamics, however, each member of a group is still a distinct individual with a specific personality, background, opinion, set of skills, and strengths and weaknesses[1]. This microcosm often influences or even determines the various roles individuals can assume within a group, and it plays a role in the dynamic and nature of one-on-one interactions with other group members, resulting in a wide array of possible intra-personal forces. A group’s diversity and richness, but also its tensions and occasional discord stem (in part) from the basis that group members in the end are relatively autonomous and complex entities.

    Bringing these notions into the specific body of work, it becomes apparent that the 16 pieces form a little community which is grounded on various common denominators: all pieces are rings, all have been fly-pressed in terms of their production technique and they are all based on a coherent, singular design approach making use of formal elements such as ovals and widening tubular shapes. Visually the design methodology plays with colour, density, dimensionality and tensions between flowing forms and clean, sharp edges.

    Seen as a whole, the collection of rings assumes a strong presence without negating the uniqueness of the individual pieces. Similar to human members within a group, each ring has a different character, determined by strengths and weaknesses, colour, detail and relative boldness. Also like with individuals in any group, there are those which are more accessible and those which cannot be summed up after a first glance; there are those which are highly likable and those of which one is perhaps not quite sure or convinced. Furthermore, each ring strikes up a different interaction with its neighbours, depending on who those are, resulting in a wide range of possible sub-dynamics within the overall collection. Ultimately, however, the collection of rings is bigger than the mere sum of its constituents in isolation, a trait which is arguably the most enigmatic of any group.

    [1] Of these elements, personality is arguably the most influential one. One of many approaches to the understanding and classification of personalities was developed by Isabel Myers-Briggs & Katherine Briggs. The Myers-Briggs personality type indicator is founded on Jung’s theory of personality types, seeking to group personalities according to perception (ways of becoming aware of things internal & external) and judgement (ways of reaching conclusions about the gained perceptions). Differentiating between introversion and extraversion, sensing and intuition, thinking and feeling, as well as judging and perceiving, the Myers-Briggs approach differentiates between 16 basic personality types, which ties in neatly with the chosen focus for Us 16 (http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/home.htm?bhcp=1 – accessed 26 May 2015). 


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