Sandus has long known Realism. over the years, this realism has meant many things, from a focus on political realism to social realism, even economic and material realism. today, we sandum people acknowledge a new realism: an artistic/design realism.
this artistic manifesto has its roots in the century-old bauhaus. that movement sought to rupture the present from the past, to achieve the greatest utility for all people, and to combine art and life. driven by the waylessness of life after the great war, bauhaus masters became experts both in their individual materials while also having an eye for the universal. some of these masters were driven by Walter Gropius’s manifesto to make an art and a design of livelihood without class pretensions.
these masters played with light and texture, and they cared for material. they played with different media and colours, and they purposefully shattered the conventional disciplines and broke glass (literally and figuratively) to make a new world of art.
their principles of maximised utilitarian design combined with modernist art spread throughout the world, and today they can be found in countries across the globe and not just in germany. designers from the americas to europe, africa, and asia and the pacific have been inspired by their artistic vision. and to have vision, one needs visionaries.
but today bauhaus has given up on its socialist goals. its once-socialist, now modernist/postmodernist bourgeois designs are expensive, far more costly than a worker in an age of falling wages and rising living expenses can afford. what was once a dream and an ideological mission to break revolutionarily from the class-pretentious past has been coöpted, and is now the purview of corporate and class elites. modernity has failed us.
sandhaus realism should be for the people.
bauhaus’s designs may have been the exclusive property and intellectual content of the rich and elite, but it is up to us with middling means to make these designs and this unification of art and life a reality, wherever and however we can.
the school’s rupture with the past was an admirable purpose in the nihilistic age after the great war, and it still is in a world where violence and warfare exist. but we are never free of our pasts. it is idealistic and has run into failure in the real world. even now, bauhaus is the past.
we can never escape it.
we can instead free ourselves by living in the present, mixed between past and future. historicism can rupture the past’s hold on our lives, but with a recognition it still holds sway over our society, our culture, our politics. ourselves. our psyche. this is artistic realism.
the building being the sum of all design in the ideal bauhaus construction, vs.adam von friedeck
the nation-state being the sum of all cultural activity in realist micronationalism
we encourage realist and class-conscious attitudes toward material. we cannot live beyond our contemporary modernist livelihoods in this age of late stage capitalism. we can, however, work to combine art and utility in our daily life through our own means. we can encourage both light and the use of colour in our lives. these principles have the capacity to change our lives, to encourage us to learn proletarian pragmatism and to raise class-consciousness, while also improving our common and individual weal as the sandum philosophy encourages us to do. they call upon us to reconsider everything sandum, from style to art, from home to national. this design manifesto will change everything from typeface to tabletops, logos to facebook profiles. in this great cultural moment of ours, we have only one thing left to do: break our chains and make a mockery of them.
opinions and critiques welcome