Dintho was created for the purpose of providing a digital space where sharing of material culture can happen, with the aim of allowing for marginalized cultures and heritages to be showcased and understood further. With the fall of Rhodes statue in Cape Town and more recently the removal and defacing of statues in the US, UK and Europe, the question of who is allowed to contribute to the mainstream narrative of our global societies history, and culture is raised. With 'the digital' creating the possibility for a more collective writing of history we wanted to create a space where we could see this materialize. Each piece of material culture could potentially be a portal to understanding a part of marginalized society and with more understanding, there can be more support and thus a better chance of conservation of these stories.
In an attempt to understand marginalized communities within society, there needs to be an effort to take care about ‘communities’ heritages and adopt ways of being, recognizing them as a valuable facet of society, giving support to the existence as well as transformation of these ways of being. The project aims at creating a new way of listening and observing in order to develop a deeper and necessary understanding, giving us, society, the will to begin to act in a more conscious way with regards to marginalized groups.
This act of listening and observing is done in a way that respects the stratification formed over time in these ways of being and intends to promote the continuous change, bringing light to the current state of the culture but also supporting the life of the culture to come. Therefore, the project states that it is open to the complexity and dynamics of groups/ communities/ society; the project respects the ever changing identity of these groups and ultimately cares for the value of the different groups within our larger society.
The project cares in the sense that it aims to showcase the relationship between the current material objects and the culture with which it is associated without taking, keeping and colonizing pieces of culture, this is why the conservation-driven approach has been assumed as opposed to that of preservation.
“Visible, tangible, concrete, everyday aspects of a society, arising from a shared knowledge, automatically transmitted”
- S.Pistida, 2018
“the study of material culture wants instead to observe as a
preference that in the community is stable, permanent and
constant enough to characterize it (...)”
-R. Bucaille, J.M Pesez, Item Material Culture, Einaudi Encyclopedia, 1978, vol. IV, PP. 271-305
As a move away from the monument, the project aims to acknowledge the everyday object and the importance they play in understanding the collective practice of being human. Monument often refers to something of exception to many, these are often in a state of preservation and are under no threat of being naturally erased, yet they avoid the act of transforming. a disquisition of “the monument” sometimes means the neglect of widespread and peripheral heritage and culture. It’s becoming more and more clear that the conservation of these peripheral and sometimes widespread cultures and heritages need to be undertaken, through awareness, understanding and a change in approach.
“Contemporary historiography also focuses on “material civilization”,
on “the repetitive gestures, on the silent and almost
forgotten stories of the [people], in long-lasting things, the
weight of which was immense and the sounds just audible”
-F. Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, 1967
Scanning an object takes away the interpretive aspects of photography, we get to see all sides of an object and attempt to understand its details in order to get a full scope of the significance behind the piece of material culture presented. It is essentially the practice of surveying, which inherently involves investigation in order to know and understand. 3-D scans also allow for interactions such as augmented reality, allowing for a somewhat spatial understanding of the piece of material in your own personal space/way and for printing 3-D models.
With every scan we ask for a short write up, giving context to the object and providing other sources of learning, for the purpose of an individual who would like to learn further about that fragment of society.
Today we experience digital platforms that allow for information and statements made in one context to be read and interpreted by individuals in other, different contexts. This might bring about issues of what is true for one region might be misconstrued in another, not at the fault of the interpreter but rather due to the fact that conditions can have different effects on the same fact. The project aims to be based within regional, peripheral groups and thus the conditions are predicted to be unique to most mainstream society. Therefore, the project aims to provide context to statements, allowing for an understanding of not only the statement but where it comes from. The project hopes to remain undeterred by the issues which arise with globalism, as it believes that widespread awareness and understanding is key to the conservation of the diversity of life that exists in the world.