December 22, 2020 - Het Nieuwe Instituut - Out now: I See That I See What You Don't See
e-flux Architecture
December 22, 2020
December 22, 2020

Het Nieuwe Instituut

I See That I See What You Don't See. Graphic design: Rudy Guedj.

Out now: I See That I See What You Don't See
A new publication bringing together a variety of authors and artists reflecting on darkness

I See That I See What You Don’t See presents a layered, non-binary perspective on darkness. Navigating cosmic, automated, and seemingly invisible environments, this publication examines what we do not generally get—or choose—to see, and the consequences of these choices on notions of visibility, oppression, and emancipation.

In this publication, the exercise of seeing and revealing what generally remains concealed purposely avoids the metaphor of light as wisdom and knowledge. Instead, its contributors aim for an increased understanding of the contrasting effects of light access, deprivation, and overexposure on different bodies, including the influence of radiation on human and non-human behaviours, our coexistence with the invisible yet pervasive architecture of the digital, instances of synchronicity with the cosmos, and the role of design in these areas.

All of these narratives construct a fragmented representation of our contemporary landscape as a hyperconnected and controlled environment; one that is the result of persistent acts of design, one where borders between nature, ecology, technology, and culture increasingly fade, and one that alters the body’s relationship with the cycles of light and darkness.

Here, design is not positioned as a solution to a problem, but rather as a practice that is often part of the problems it claims to solve. By establishing crossovers between design and biology, forensic science, cosmology, or activism, and venturing beyond the traditional notion of the design product, this publication aims to challenge the dominance of the market (as well as hegemonic powers) in the design discipline and practice—a recurring pursuit of Het Nieuwe Instituut. In sharpening our perception, which tends to be affected by thrude condition of permanent performance, each contribution offers a critical practice through which to open spaces for transgression.

The publication adds new voices and stories to those cultivated in the exhibition I See That I See What You Don’t See, the Dutch contribution to the XXII Triennale di Milano in 2019, also shown at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam.

An audiocast to support the launch is shared on with contributions by artist/researcher Danilo Correale, poet Momtaza Mehri, The Academy for Urban Astronauts, composer Zeger de Vos, yoga teacher/healer Mie Jorgensen and researcher Setareh Noorani reading an essay by Saidiya Hartman.

Editors: Marina Otero Verzier, director of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut, and Francien van Westrenen, head of Agency at Het Nieuwe Instituut; Text editing and translations: Jack Eden and Gert Staal; Design: Rudy Guedj.

Contributors: The Academy for Urban Astronauts, Ramon Amaro, Danilo Correale, Jonathan Crary, Aldo van Eyck, Ludo Groen, Bregtje van der Haak, Saidiya Hartman, Marten Kuipers, Lucy McRae, Momtaza Mehri, Melvin Moti, Johannes Schwartz, Dirk Sijmons, and Leanne Wijnsma.

Publisher: Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

I See That I See What You Don't See is available via Idea Books from December 24, 2020. 

This publication is generously supported by The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Het Nieuwe Instituut
Share - New publication: I See That I See What You Don't See
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York