Karaoke Discourse

2020 | Event formats
Karaoke Discourse is a collective of research-based designers creating discourse through design. Together (Ward Goes, Arvid&Marie, Maxime Benvenuto and Cream on Chrome) experiment with interactive online/offline events relating to themes and issues in public debate and build a platform to discuss the discursive and speculative side of design.

2020 – Misunderstanding: Design Ethics Exorcism
Objects and products are filled with intent. In their studio spaces, designers imagine what consumers needs and come up with all sorts of smart answers and solutions for instance ergonomic toothbrushes, self-cleaning toilet seats, compact vacuum cleaners or self-driving cars. But what happens when these products are misunderstood by the consumers they are supposed to be designed for? And even more importantly so: who is responsible for this implicit misunderstanding between intention and perception? Join as on spiritual quest to drive out bad spirits and misconceptions from the objects and products we surround us with every day. Help us to interrogate the famous designers responsible for these misunderstandings during a performative program and discuss the ethical dilemmas their creations pose.

2020 – Misunderstanding: Objects of Contention
Do you buy a scooter to move around or to impress your friends? Almost all of the objects that surround us possess a symbolic layer next to their functional value. With some, like luxurious cars, pretty much everyone agrees on what they represent. With others, opinions diverge to an extent where it becomes questionable whether the opposing groups still talk about the same object. They completely misunderstand each other. We invited four ‘ultimate objects of contention’ this evening, can you guess what they are? We won’t tell you right away, but reveal them throughout a performative quiz show. Giving hints on their social implications rather than their shiny looks, the guessing will be up to you.

2020 – Misunderstanding: Conference Call Entropy
Hello, are you there? Can you hear me? Is my camera on? With overly pixelated video, bad WiFi reception, or too much background noise video chats are often hotbeds for misunderstanding. Still, anno 2020 they are becoming the visor with which we look at, perceive and interact with the increasingly complex world around us. How do we make sense of this chaotic world, if we cannot even get our webcams to turn on? Log in to your Zoom account and accompany us on our quest to complexity. During a participatory discussion we will explore the possibilities and limitations of conference calling as a means of understanding each other and the world we live in. How does this format affect the way we explain and understand things?

2018 – What if your news bubble pops?
This experimental talkshow on personalization of news media gave the audience full control over what they hear – letting them either comfortably stay in or go out of their own information bubble. Using RGB silent disco headphones, visitors could choose to switch between three live talkshow channels that ran simultaneously, discussing the same questions from three very different perspectives (academic, artistic and entrepreneurial). The hour-long program concluded with a performance teaching media literacy. Guest speakers were: Daniëlle Arets, Merien van Houten and Ruben Pater.

These events were commissioned by MU Hybrid Art House and the Dutch Design Foundation (What if your news bubble pops?).