Nice Nice Very Nice


It is the year 2042. The current Neo-Neoliberal Governmentality is represented by the leading philosophical Branches which took control of the market and knowledge production in 2020. The complexity and abstraction of global finance required a suitably complex and abstract form of aesthetic representation in order to modulate the access of society to it. This is where New Aesthetic, Object Oriented Ontology and Speculative Realism found their way to sell themselves successfully and so gained control over the power networks.

This is a reference logo catalogue of the most influential philosophical companies and their merchandise products, which present themselves at the 4th Neo-Industrial Revolution Fair 2042: “Nice, Nice, Very Nice”.

“Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park,
And a lion-hunter
In the jungle dark,
And a Chinese dentist,
And a British queen--
All fit together
In the same machine.
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice--
So many different people
In the same device.”

Kurt Vonnegut,
Cat's Cradle

Playing Cat's Cradle

Together with Donna Hairaway are we introducing the proud members of "the new" Old Boyz Network grouped along the current leading philosophical branches.
Let us celebrate those heroes who fight already almost 50 years for the rights and voices of suboridinate devices!
old boyz network

Concept and Motivation

Proclaimed new critical methods (e.g. Speculative design) or philosophies (e.g. Object Oriented Ontology) have been spreading through art universities over the last couple of years, often without questioning their “criticality.” In fact, many of them could be perceived at least as very apolitical trends. The main message of this project could be summarized as follows: What “radical art” was in 70’s, has become “speculative design” today (sadly lacking any critical ambitions in many instances).
This project is an ironical future scenario of what could pop out of current trends in philosophy and media theory. What if .... Plato’s idea of state leaders being philosophers would become (this version of) a reality?

Pseudoscientific research task

The basis of research were Metaphors and Categories commonly used in current philosophical theories and their visualization. The main parts of speculation were:
1. Depiction - creating logos for philosophical companies (used Metaphors)
2. Description - description of each of the Metaphors in the form of fictive merchandise products. Contains links to original sources of literature. Works as a “Fox-ford Philosophical dictionary”
3. Procedural rhetoric - [Constructed reality = game in the real world] setting up the speculation in form of an online shop with a new currency called “PHD” (has a strong inflation rate, needs to be spent very quickly).

Theoretical background

“Visual semiotics speculation” or pictorial collection of philosophical logos is based on metaphors from:
Object Oriented Ontology (Harman, G. 2005: Guerrilla Metaphysics: Phenomenology and the Carpentry of Things);
New Aesthetics (Berry, D.M., Dartel, M., Dieter, M., Kasprzak, M., Muller, N., O’Reilly, R., de Vicente., J.L. 2012: New Aesthetic, New Anxieties);
Speculative Realism (Boghost, I. 2012: Alien Phenomenology: or What It’s Like to Be a Thing);
partly Speculative Design (Dunne, A., Raby, F. 2013: Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming)


As an inspirational basis for the research following methodological sources were used:
1. The Cat’s Cradle methodology /a form of actor network theory/ developed by Donna Haraway
2. A work of science-fiction by Kurt Vonnegut from 1963 which explores issues of science, technology and religion, satirizing the arms race and many other targets along the way.
Exhibitions and Awards
“As if” show at Immigration Office (2014, HB, Germany)
Hochschulpreis Digitale Medien Hfk Bremen 2015
Lucia Mendelova Blabla