Summer Semester 2010,



How can we prolong the life span of a poster and transform old, not longer used paper into new and noteworthy design?

How can I raise awareness for the dramatic effects of our consumer behaviour on the situation of traditional indigenous peoples?

This project builds on the idea of giving discarded posters a second life. I utilized a manual weaving method that is traditionally used by Latin-American indigenous peoples, Indigenas, to weave their paper into patterns from pop culture as well as traditional tile and mosaic designs. The Indigenas traditionally use this technique to weave thick and sturdy threads or strands of fibres into everyday objects. These objects simultaneously act as culturally powerful transmitters of significant symbols, expressing a unique sense for their society’s traditions, embodying a specific language code and culture, as well as raising awareness for their environment. These objects tell stories, represent social status, religious or aesthetic concepts, ancestry, family and mythology, passing on knowledge and wisdom from generation to generation. They are also used as decoration and ornament, and some are associated with certain rituals.

My intention was to overlap these different levels of meaning which stand for different concepts of living and relations between people and their environment. The posters, symbolizing consumerism and western civilization, become the raw material and backdrop for methods and images of a another culture, which is much more attentive towards its environment and its resources. I wanted to illustrate the important cultural concepts of the Indigena and at the same time raise public awareness for the serious consequences of our impact on their endangered habitat.

The title ‘Cut-Up’ originally refers to a writing method that cuts sentences and re-arranges them, creating a new order and with it a new meaning. In this project, the cut-up method is used on a visual level, fragments of images and information are re-arranged and create new possibilities for interpretation of the given context.

The information carried by posters visibly interacts with the traditional weaving patterns. Over the cut up material of the original poster there is a second, symbolic level carrying an individual, coherent aesthetic. The resulting juxtaposition combines two cultures, without either one of them fading or disintegrating.

The final result of the project is woven surfaces, which can be used as wallpapers or room dividers. For the production of the room dividers, I used double-sided posters and for the wallpapers one-sided prints. The old posters were given to me by the museums of Berlin and by an advertising company. In order to make the final product, I used only paper.




Supervision Prof. Dr. Zane Berzina, Prof. Susanne Schwarz-Raacke, Prof. Heike Selmer
Project categorySemester Project