A Manifesto Creative Process
“With the virtues of our heroes, the manifesto is written to our hearts need
Down to the last detail
As those who do not lose themselves”
This is the opening paragraph of Waves of Change manifesto, written “down to the last detail” by the three founders of Ny Dansk Bølge. But how did we get there? This is the process behind the creation of Waves of Change. It is meant to be an inspiring reading for who is willing to express a dream, a guide for who wants to learn new techniques, as well as an entertaining story. This is how we cut-up our manifesto.
The main motivation that drove us to begin this journey was our need for expressing our dreams. We had something to say to the world, and we had the will to write it down. What we needed was the frame and the form. We then looked for those in existing manifestos, seeking for inspiration. We found inspiration in many public declarations like:
- The Futurist Manifesto by Tommaso Marinetti
- The Piss Manifesto by Mandie B. BM Jed
- Coil Manifesto by Coil
- Dada Manifesto by Tristan Tzara
- Dogme 95 by Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg
At this stage of the process we found ourselves full of ideas and running the risk to rush into writing. We pushed the break. We decided to take more time to collect ideas so we set up a box in our studio. We spent time collecting materials and blindly adding them into it.
What is Cut-up?
Cut-up is an analoge technique made popular by the artist and writers of the beat generation where you cut up written text or pictures and paste them together again to form a new meaning. We got inspired by our heroes to use this same technique in our digital age proving it to be a strong tool in a creative process.
After two weeks we opened the box. We found ourselves with many inspirational quotes, concepts and practical ideas. We just had to agree on what should be the next step. Since the three of us had different approaches, and we wanted to make sure that all our perspectives were represented, we decided to make three copies of all the materials collected. We worked individually on copies of the same materials using the cut-up technique to deconstruct and reconstruct the shared texts.
After processing the elements we confronted each other. We discovered three different approaches to the same quest. At first we decided to share our views and to set values and structure for the proceeding. We all recognized our values as: provocative and progressive, sustainable and innovative, utopian. We decided for a triangular structure, a mix between the three legged chair of craft, art and science and the iron triangle of time, quality and cost. The content needed to be expressed in an elegant and poetic structure. In the second stage we shared dogmas and statements that we individually collected, finding out many similarities between our individual work. Some of these ideas became the strongest metaphors of Waves of Change.
At this stage we found ourselves with a shared set of values, a scheme and a structure we agreed on and many strong metaphors for representing our ideas. After setting up a poster with the overall chapters, we began writing the manifesto. Using the shared elements we wrote a first draft of the manifesto. We spent time in reviewing and correcting the first draft before moving to the second. Using cut-ups we associated values, dogmas and quotes to each section of the text. We repeated these cycles several times.
We dug so deep into the meaning of our expression that we felt the need to get an outside view on what we wrote. We asked to trusted friends to read what we produced and we collected feedback. We used these fresh points of view to polish and refine the text, without corrupting its meaning and its strengths.
After the final final corrected ultimate 2.0 review we felt ready for sharing with the world our public declaration, “as those who do not lose themselves”.
Giovanni, Johannes, Mia
Ny Dansk Bølge
You can read Waves of Change Manifesto here