The template, from website templates to memes, is a controversial design object. At best, they are a vague, inconsequential habit within “everyday averageness”. At worst, templates are the main cause for the flattening of our visual culture. Neither of these perceptions are necessarily positive. Nor do they offer developmental possibilities for a tool that, whether we like templates or not, plays an important role in our shared network.
By looking at the template as a speculative object that relies on the user for its completion, Templated Thinking is a desktop research documentary that questions what it means to create and use something that is made to be repeated by others. By taking a closer look at how we engage with copy culture and our templated and networked society at an everyday level, this project aims to open up the template’s possibilities. What are its consequences for concepts such as authorship and authenticity and how can we as users relate to one another through them?
When exhibited (both on and offline), the work is placed in a templated office setting where the viewer is is confronted with their own face and performance as they are watching “Templated Thinking”. An image of themselves is placed in a virtual space together with other singular participants who viewed the work before them; the performance is done by oneself, but is always in relation with others. This aspect of the work is only activated when it is exhibited.