Isabel Mager

Residence Time:


Artist Bio:

Isabel Mager, born in 1992, received a BA Cum Laude at the Design Academy Eindhoven (NL, 2016), now working as an investigative designer in the Netherlands. Mager’s works map and confront asymmetries of power fostered through the circulation of commodities and standardisation of trade cultures.

IOAM×Cache Space | Lecture: What’s the Matter?

18:00 – 20:00


No.11, Liaogezi, Qixing East Road,798 Art District,

No.4, Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China


About the Talk

Matter becomes shapes, become objects, become commodities – matters of exchange, circulating across borders and various socio-cultural and geopolitical contexts, engaging multiple hands, tactile interactions and bodily movements along their lifecycle. The movement of objects as commodities, linking and connecting identities across the globe, got amplified with the free-trade agreements of the early 90’s (This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein). Since then the shipping industry has grown by more than 400% (Ninety Percent of Everything, Rose George) evidencing the increased international flow of objects.

As a designer, trained to shape matter into desirable commodities, I have embarked a longterm researchwork with the intention to make the complexity of global trade tangible – focusing on the smartphone as first case-study object. In this talk, I will share research fragments from a recent stay in Shenzhen, this past November, which will be continued in the coming year. During this stay first conversations with local manufacturers, workers and young creatives were initiated and visitations to key industrial and urban sites took place. The talk will further unfold related and recent works to embed this ongoing dialogical research between China and Europe within my creative practice as a whole.

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