For publication The Subject of the Email, Seven Clicking Index Fingers is a series of letters interpreting the 2020 Sandberg Graduation Draft Works developed by various writers and curators. Each letter is sent out as an email addressed to an organisation, industry or part of society, adding context to the drafts work and addressing related topics and phenomena as perceived by a new generation of artists, designers and (interior) architects.
Seven Clicking Index Fingers emails include contributions by researcher Delany Boutkan (NL), curator Zippora Elders (NL/ DE), curator Leon van Kruijswijk (NL/DE), curator Jules van den Langenberg (NL), writer Adrian Madlener (BE/USA) and critic & curator Laurens Otto (NL).
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in contributing an editorial to next year’s publication.
Dear Employment Agencies
What shape could a department in an employment agency for a new generation of creative workers in the Netherlands take? And what if those recently graduated from art and design academies were the ones to form this department and what it means to work in a healthy work environment in their field?
A note from me to you, director to director, following the postponed graduation of the Sandberg students in September 2020. That month also marked your 10 year anniversary as director of the Sandberg Instituut, for which I send my congratulations.
In June I was invited to write a letter to Non-Humans, simultaneously integrating the description of the works-in-progress of eleven selected graduates. And now, as a follow-up, we have been asked to continue the writing after their finals. Reading back, I am fascinated by the level of abstraction that I could allow myself to think in still, last June, considering the vast and daily-changing loads of emotional and institutional labour that followed soon thereafter. It made me wonder ... How are you looking back at this year, Jurgen?
This is a proposition. It is to be taken seriously, but not personally. If this proposition is an attack on anyone, or anything, it would be the art world as we know it.
I’ve been trying to make this proposal sound like a movie trailer, so I would appreciate it if you, the reader, would be willing to experience it as such.
In a world ... (you know the type of movie trailer I’m referring to) ... In an art world ... without ... any imposed hierarchy ... ten people graduate.
Dear Kraftwerk by Leon Kruijswijk
A couple of months ago I wrote you an e-mail to introduce the inspiring draft proposals of 10 graduates of the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. Although I shared it with some people, it somehow slipped my mind to send it to you, or maybe it did not slip my mind, but I might have been reluctant to actually click ‘send’. Sometimes, when we express thoughts, they become more part of reality than before, don’t you think? I believe I was not ready yet to actually share my formulations of the world we were, and still are, living in, as I wrote to you about the plethora of turns that have been taking shape, which we un/expectedly still are in the midst of grasping. Since that letter, many things have shifted in the world and I continued to think about the best way to grasp our current living condition, which I could compare to a dystopian novel that, by leaking through cracks and bursts, has left the realm of fiction invading our tangible everyday life. I cannot even count the alienating moments of the past months in which my reaction was a mixture of finding myself gawking, feeling unsettled and trying to pinch myself awake, though knowing that my dreams came to an end the moment my alarm went off that morning.
Dear Countryside by Jules van den Langenberg
It’s Fall break. We enter a rental bus that seats about thirty people. As the engine starts, the driver fills a cup with water and puts a leaf with a needle in it to float. His DIY compass points North.
Dear Public Transport Company
I hope this message finds you well. COVID-19 poses innumerable challenges to transport systems throughout the developed world, but this paradigm-shifting pandemic also serves as an opportunity to envision and implement significant improvements. Nederlandse Spoorwegen is one of the entities best poised to enact these changes. While large-scale architectural and engineering programs are essential in the amelioration of our rail, road, and air infrastructures, softer solutions can also help enhance traveler and commuter experience. They perhaps even solve the unsolvable when it comes to customer satisfaction. Through initiatives that focus on the reprogramming of existing structures, not massive overhauls, much can be achieved through the simple rethinking of the frameworks and tools in place.
Dear Reader by Laurens Otto
I’m writing this letter to you, because you are reading it now.
If Modernity was an attempt to take hold of the present, our current times are geared towards the future. Or rather: the present is formatted by the future. The present can no longer be extrapolated from the past, it is supposedly governed by speculations on what’s believed to come. What happens today is based on a pre-emption of the future, or, so we are told.