Help Your Self!
The Rise of Self-Design
- ‘Mieke Gerritzen makes a crash landing on the island of Ennui. Search the wreckage for shattered bits of selfhood while you explore the mobility of microbes, the myth of mindfulness, the narcissism of Zoom, and the addictive allure of love, money, and success.’
Ellen Lupton, Design Chair Maryland Institute Collega of art, Curator Cooper Hewitt. Smithsonian Design Museum New York
- ‘This fascinating and provocative book confronts its readers with the most urgent questions that raise their self-awareness and improve their quality of life.’
Boris Groys, philosopher, media theorist
Pb | 24 x 15,2 cm (h x w) | 256 pp. | separate English and Dutch edition | October 2020 | ISBN 978-94-92095-63-3 [Eng] | € 25,00
Mieke Gerritzen is a designer, producer and director. Until 2017 she was the director of MOTI, Museum of the Image, in Breda (NL). In 2017 she founded the Image Society to initiate and organize discussions, exhibitions and events with designers, writers and artists, on visual culture, design and digital culture. www.imagesociety.nl
- Book review (in German) of Help Your Self in PAGE Magazine: 'Help yourself: Designkritik mit Ironie' (PDF/web).
Who are you, who do you want to be, and what do you need to do to get there? We are constantly pushed to lead the perfect life. The media present us with a picture of an existence in which we’re rich, beautiful, happy and successful. Our identities used to be shaped by our communities, families, and friends, but today, in the online era, we’re expected to write our own success stories on social media platforms.
We design our own identity, create our own image and present ourselves in the way we want to be seen. The various imaginative methods and ideas for upgrading oneself—by dieting to achieve the perfect body, transforming your talents into a successful business, or finding bliss by meeting a new love—are seen as new forms of creativity, or Self-Design.
Help Your Self is an inspiration book to design your perfect self and shows you how to get started. At the same time, it reflects on the self-help industry as a relatively new phenomenon.
- ‘Gerritzen dissects the self-help industry with wit, intelligence, and merciless absurdity. At the same time, she is dead serious about the inimitable possibilities and everlasting practice of “becoming” self. Brace for an eye-opening roller coaster ride that is called the playground of identity.’
Aynouk Tan, fashion philosopher, journalist and curator, Amsterdam
- ‘The first, only and indispensable do-it-yourself book for the human Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamlined Babies of the Twenty-First Century.’
Timo de Rijk, director Design Museum, the Netherlands