Merel Noorlander

Class of 2022
4D Design

Instagram: @merelnoorlander_studio

My work navigates the space between performance, technology, and social design, where I create non-normative stories and a new format of expression within a wide variety of perspectives and bodies –male, female and beyond.

    Fundamental to my research is a focus on and aim towards collective empowerment that manifests itself in two main work fields:

    On the one hand, there are innovative kinetic installations and (video) performances, that interweave sexuality and contemporary objects (sex tech), set in public or private domains.

    On the other hand I am developing responsive It aims to question what the social, personal and artistic implications are of our renewed online dependency, as well as how it affects identity, access, and intimacy, at inner and outer space.

    As part of this investigations I design (virtual) spaces and (physical) objects as second skins, that unfold in the folds of the body, inspired by theories of Sarah Ahmed, Paul B. Preciado, Donna Haraway, Legacy Russell and Audre Lorde. The works invite the viewer to take a closer look at the epilogue of our personal stories within the realities of gender fluidity and sex toys. We all have the power to transform and change our feelings and thoughts between desire and body, technique and consciousness, and in my work I reach out towards new possibilities in these areas.

    Outside of my work at Cranbrook I am also involved in participatory social research with designers, inhabitants, and municipalities on the topic of gentrification and the role of art and cultural institutions in this process. I’m interested in how the social artistic museum can serve as a playful area of reflection, design, debate, and discovery, beyond a fixed physical location or collection.

#HoeGaatHetEchtMetJe shares stories and knowledge for and by Amsterdam residents as sexworkers, about the (in) visibility in quarantine, that took form into quotes, political statements, and poems. Across the appropriate distance, and with confidence that these words will reach whoever they need to belong to.