November -December 2017: Clara Lobregat Balaguer – Publisher in Residence

Meet our publisher in residence: 

Clara Lobregat Balaguer 

Clara Lobregat Balaguer, photo by Adrià Cañameras

Clara Lobregat Balaguer (Manila,1980) is a cultural worker interested in the decolonization of cultural production most especially through the lens of the contemporary vernacular. She founded The Office of Culture and Design in 2010, a platform through which she articulates research, residencies, and social practice projects in the Philippines. She explores collaborative authorship through the clandestine publishing of Hardworking Goodlooking, a cottage-industry fueled imprint co-founded in 2013 with Filipino-American graphic designer Kristian Henson. She has lectured at Walker Art Center, Harvard GSD, MIT, Strelka Moscow, MoMA PS1, Triple Canopy, Hanyang University Seoul, and University of the Philippines. Her work has been exhibited and performed at Asia Culture Center, Singapore Art Museum, Art Dubai, Hangar Barcelona, and La Capella.

A publishing performance on the politics of what isn’t funny
A post-humor** joke book

For 8 weeks, Balaguer will gather, exchange, generate, and pirate information on the use of post-humor for waging of (gender) politics in the Philippines and its diaspora. With the backdrop of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s neofascist dictatorship budding in her home country—disguised on the surface as populism, but actually furthering an elitist technocratic agenda for globalizing progress at the expense of the most poor—, Balaguer has planned a series of activities with different institutions and collaborators in Rotterdam. Their intent is to bridge the gap between post-humorous political events in the Philippines and how they correlate to Western sociopolitical landscapes battling the rise of the anti-immigrant alt-right. This project follows Balaguer’s long-term research into online ideological trolling, which combines the exploration of hateful rabbit holes on social media with IRL activist and community engagement, the latter being an antidote for the anxiety caused by the former. The results of the relationships and activities performed during her residency will culminate in a publication made at PrintRoom.

*Lang means “only” in Tagalog
**Post-humor is defined according to a trend identified in young Spanish comedy that has, according to some (vernacular) cultural commentators, spanned the last ten years of humorous practice. It is understood as comedy in which the primary intent is not to make people laugh but rather to make them uncomfortable, sensation that then induces hilarity.

Hard Working Good Looking 2014 NY Art Book Fair

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