Metahaven is a Dutch design collective founded by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden. There work is far from normal graphic design, and is more oriented towards art, filmmaking and aesthetics, and overall is very hard to categorise. Their subject matter is extremely political, and philosophical. They have tackled numerous controversial subject matter like propaganda, media, face recognition, aesthetics, wikileaks and date. There vision I feel is to challenge the viewer and get them to ask questions. Their style incoratrates microsoft’s pre-installed font package, drop-shadow effects, pirated logos, overdone colours, and other dated graphic elements that make their work seem slightly familiar yet completely their own. Their films are a mixture of scenes that seem to be fished out of the darkest corners web overlaid with graphics a poetic voice overs. They show us that graphic design can become merged with art, fashion, photography ,and film, there are no more borders. Creating art through in their films, where they display deep concepts in a poetic way. Their goal is not to change minds but instead to spark a conversation within the viewer themselves.
The Sprawl (propaganda about propaganda) 2016 a full length documentary film, for which they also created an interactive website called The Sprawl. This website I found especially intriguing. The whole feel of the website is exactly as they intended, you feel as if you’re diving deep into the web swimming in the chaos of graphics, videos and text. It’s a hypnotic collage drawing the viewer in. They used the form of a website and transformed it into a online installation piece, a self exploration of the shards of their film. The page is built with many short youtube videos with overlaid with animated graphics where the lines between what is the video and what is the website are completely blurred. The content is asking the viewer by showing, in today's age we don’t know what is real on the internet and we are overflowed with propaganda. Footage of war and military involvement in Ukraine, red moons, Putin, questions about fallen planes, footage of sword fighters. I find the website is confusing and very strange, but yet effective in producing the desired feeling. But I do find that not everyone would really understand, and may cut this piece off as just being weird, therefor maybe not reach a broader public. Even so I found this to be very thought provoking. Metahaven serves as an example of how the lines of graphic design have blurred in the internet era.author of the text: Veronica Pardel