We are thrilled to announce that F͡RA̴UD̸ has been selected as our Helsinki Design Resident for 2017. We spoke to the duo, Francisco Gallardo and Audrey Samson, to find out about their work and the planned project in Helsinki, exploring the theme New: Material.
Tell us a bit about yourself; your background and areas of interest.
We work under the name of F͡RA̴UD̸ , and we like to think of ourselves as a métis duo of artist-researchers because of our plural languages, cultures and expertise. Our backgrounds include media and space systems with studies on software culture, environmental history, postcolonial feminism, performance and disruptive design. Also, Audrey can fly Cessna planes while Francisco is improving his inshore sailing skills.
What are you working on or researching at the moment?
Our current practice investigates how erasure constitutes a fundamental force at play in the construction of current economic and political structures of power, modes of control and knowledge systems. Or, cakes with Facebook data stored in DNA, cloud-storage cocktails, and shrimping after working conditions :)
Why are you interested in Helsinki and why did you apply for the Design Residency?
We were particularly interested in the theme of the call, New: Material. As the world seemingly disappears under a cloud of data, the politics of (new) materiality become the more critical. Meanwhile the nostalgia of "material” may help to obfuscate the complex systems of trade that are emerging, where for example the financialisation of trees through carbon trading argues the efficiency of industrial forests. Historically, forest lines demarcated the limits of urban areas and the doorstep into the unchartable realm of the commons. Nowadays, the tree line ebbs northwards marking arctic climate change--one of the most acute forms. Meanwhile, key green industry speculators come from the very polluting and extractive industries that have long benefited from climate denialism and deregulation. Materiality is a key focus in FRAUD’s research, therefore the Design Residency in Helsinki presented itself as a great opportunity, especially considering the wonderful partners supporting this programme.
What are you planning to research or produce during your residency in Helsinki?
For the New: Material themed residency programme, we will investigate the emerging material realm of carbon derivatives. F͡RA̴UD̸ will explore the collision between the forest as a storage resource of carbon, the boreal forest’s disappearance and emission trading systems (ETS). Through art-led inquiry, we aim to produce a critical landscape to think about these phenomena through food-led events.
What are you hoping this residency experience will bring to your practice, or to your personal understanding and experience?
This residency will provides us with the opportunity to do on-site field work to research the obfuscation of boreal forest effacement through green bonds and emissions trading, and to work together with the range of fantastic partners that are involved in this project. This plurality of voices, perspectives and expertise brings a richness to the project and our understandings. This residency programme also allows us to further our ongoing inquiry into the ontology of erasure, which is our core research focus.
Francisco and Audrey will take up their residency in Helsinki from 16 - 30 May and 15 August - 18 September 2017. We look forward to hearing about how their project evolves!