Felix Bell


Felix make objects to unravel the tensions between culture and nature, giving agency to the unseen entanglements that surround us everyday.
He often embraces multidisciplinary design research to tell stories which result in projects that have a varied outcome, from installations to moving image.. 

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INVISBLE SPACE

 

2021

Video Essay & Publication
MAAT gallery Lisbon

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Invisible space is a design-research project that approaches the ocean from an ontological perspective. Intended as a pedagogical experience, the project navigates a hyper object such as the ocean through multi-scaled histories, recognizing the effects that past events at sea have had on inland cultures and networks today.

A terracentric bias created historical voids where the sea acted a shroud, veiling disturbing truths from our society. The oceans do not stop at the shore; They penetrate deeper into the land in the form of trade, labour and infrastructure. This power radiated from offshore and onto the - land in the form of plantations. These monoculture crops were harvested by exploited labour and shipped to the global north to generate capital. For the first time in history, a vessel had been constructed to transport an enormous amount of goods and people across oceans with relative ease. 1

The metal box at the heart of the phenomenon of containerization inherits a spatial logic inaugurated by European colonialism and transatlantic slavery. 2 Following the container around enables us not only to trace the materialization of an economy based on plunder and exploitation in space but also to unravel how it reproduces colonial time, the temporality that came to dominate world history.

Today, around 90% of global production goods are stored in containers and shipped across the ocean; The materialisation of an economy based on the exploitation of labour from overseas. 3 Containers efficiently packed into floating factories, supporting the cycle of production and consumption across the globe. A hidden power in the ocean that drives the machine of consumerism—the haunting relics of a dominion founded upon concealed brutality. A worldwide network, that reaches deeper into the land but often remains unnoticed.

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1)  Exerpt from an interview conducted with Marcus Rediker, an American professor, historian, writer, and distinguished Professor of Atlantic History of the department of history at the University of Pittsburgh. 

2) On Nonscalability: The Living World Is Not Amenable to Precision-Nested Scales Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing - This essay explores scalability projects from the perspective of an emergent “nonscalability theory” that pays attention to the mounting pile of ruins that scalability leaves behind.

3) Unfoldings. A Research Dossier on Seven Trajectories of Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation Page 28 - The dossier explore the complex intersections of the transformation processes shaping the world-system and the Earth system, asking how we can sense and make sensible the multiple transformations of the oceans, strengthen our understanding, form new collaborations, and move together to safeguard the oceans’ many life forms..


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Interviews


Marcus Rediker











Felix Bell

Felix is a designer & artist based in the Netherlands. His work focuses on melding the divisions between culture and nature, giving agency to the unseen relations that we are entangled with in modern society.
He often embraces multidisciplinary design-research to tell stories which result in projects that have a varied outcome, from installations, moving image to writing.

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