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The ‘text’ for you to look at for our next session on Wednesday 13.03.13 is the documentary:

STYLE WARS

http://www.stylewars.com/watch

STYLE WARS Hip Hop Documentary 1 of 5 graffiti movie

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STYLE WARS Hip Hop Documentary 2 of 5 graffiti movie

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STYLE WARS Hip Hop Documentary 3 of 5 graffiti movie

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STYLE WARS Hip Hop Documentary 4 of 5 graffiti movie

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STYLE WARS Hip Hop Documentary 5 of 5 graffiti movie

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THE DOCUMENTARY

Directed by Tony Silver and produced by Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant, it was awarded the Grand Prize for Documentaries at the 1983 Sundance Film Festival. STYLE WARS is regarded as the indispensable document of New York Street culture of the early ’80s, the filmic record of a golden age of youthful creativity that exploded into the world from a city in crisis.

STYLE WARS captured the look and feel of New York’s ramshackle subway system as graffiti writers’ public playground, battleground and spectacular artistic canvas. Opposing them by every means possible were Mayor Edward Koch, the police, and the New York Transit Authority. Meanwhile MCs, DJs and B-boys rocked the city with new sounds and new moves and street corner breakdance battles evolved into performance art.

New York’s legendary kings of graffiti and b-boys own a special place in the hip hop pantheon. STYLE WARS has become an emblem of the original, embracing spirit of hip hop as it reached out across the world from underground tunnels, uptown streets, clubs and playgrounds.

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AND read

Michael Bierut’s

Style: An Inventory

http://observatory.designobserver.com/feature/style-an-inventory/36718/

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Vault doors manufactured by Remington & Sterling Company (detail), c. 1912. Photograph by Niko SkourtisStyle as learning

. It is your first big assignment in design school. You know, or think you know, about problem solving. You know, or think you know, about communication. You know about composition, about white space, about kerning. But this is not enough. With all those issues addressed, there are still decisions to be made, decisions that seem perfectly, maddeningly arbitrary. What typeface? What color? Not what does it say, or how does it work, but what does it look like? These decisions, arbitrary though they are, have an oversized impact. How do you decide? Do you copy something you like? (Is thatplagiarism?) Do you do something that no one else has ever done? (Is that even possible?) The blank piece of paper is overwhelming. You make your choices, and you look at the results. This is your first lesson in the power of style.Style as destiny. Style was never discussed when I was a student. There was a vague sense that genuine style emerged unconsciously in its own time, like breasts or facial hair. Trying too hard would derail the process and result in something less than authentic. What a wonderful promise: within each of us is a unique voice that will reveal itself, but only through patience and practice. Use the force, Luke. Do or do not, there is no try.

Style as compulsion. Where does style come from? Put more broadly, why do people do what they do? Nature or nurture? Free will or intention? How much of our particular version of the design process is hardwired directly into our basic brain functions? The designer can’t help it.

Style as ideology. It is unnerving to some that certain design decisions, particularly those related to style, are motivated subconsciously. “I don’t know, I just like it that way,” doesn’t always work for teachers, bosses, clients and judges of design competitions. Thus we have the post-rationalizations of the style deniers. Ideology is the superego to style’s id.

Style as habit. At the outset of his political career, Barack Obama decided to wear nothing but dull blue, black and gray suits so he could focus his attention on more important things. Here is William James in 1877: “The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work.”

Style as uniform. Charles Baudelaire: “Dress like a bourgeoisie, think like a revolutionary.”

Style as epithet. Stefan Sagmeister originated the easy-to-remember equation “Style = Fart.” He later said he no longer believed this, acknowledging that appropriate use of style could aid communication.Style as crutch. Every great designer has a default mode that provides a solution when original thinking, for whatever reason, is impossible. This default mode, deployed with regularity, becomes associated with that designer’s unique personal style. Do not fear your default mode, but nor should you seek it. Simply know that there’s a safety net if you need it. Knowing that makes you less likely to need it.

Style as assimilation. We are taught to value originality, to assume that the first goal of every design solution is differentiation. If you think that standing out in a crowd is a universal goal, take a look around. You will see few people sporting hula skirts or top hats. Instead, everyone is trying to fit in. Some design challenges have the same requirement. If you’re creating packaging for spaghetti sauce, you can make it jump out from the shelf by making it look like a bottle of shampoo. But people in the pasta aisle aren’t looking for shampoo. They’re looking for spaghetti sauce. And what makes spaghetti sauce look like spaghetti sauce is the aggregation of a hundred small stylistic cues that need to be understood and mastered. Once you know how to fit in, you can decide what it will take to break out.

Style as nemesis. Paul Rand almost never talked about or even acknowledged living graphic designers: his heroes tended to be European, usually obscure, and preferably dead. But in “Design, Form and Chaos,” he described the styles of some of his contemporaries, and one can almost imagining him spitting out the adjectives between clenched teeth: “squiggles, pixels, doodles; corny woodcuts on moody browns and russets; indecipherable, zany typography; peach, pea green, and lavender; tiny color photos surrounded by acres of white space.” On the other hand, I remember being introduced to Rand’s work as a first year design student in 1975 and thinking it looked naïve and old fashioned.

Style as straightjacket. Philip Glass: “I know you’re all worried about finding your voice. Actually you’re going to find your voice. By the time you’re 30, you’ll find it. But that’s not the problem. The problem is getting rid of it.”

Style as rebellion. How to break out. If you’re right handed, draw with your left hand. Determine the most sensible, practical thing to do, and then do the exact opposite. Pick a color at random. Force yourself to use the typeface you hate the most. Take on a problem that you’ve never faced before. Overturn the game board and make up new rules based on where the pieces fall.

Style as substance. Oscar Wilde: “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.”

Style as groupthink. Everyone’s doing it, why can’t I? It’s difficult to resist the zeitgeist, particularly if it doesn’t even feel like the zeitgeist, but simply the way things are supposed to look these days. And then…Style as timestamp. [Year] called, they want their [dated graphic trope] back. Oh, snap!

Style as denial. I don’t like to think I have an identifiable style, says the designer with the identifiable style. A way of working can become so comfortable that small differences can seem exaggerated. With surprising regularity, a designer is blind to the fact that it all looks alike, that the same patterns are being repeated over and over. The entire field of psychiatry exists to address this problem in daily life. At what point do you need professional help?

Style as trademark. You can identify an Emily Dickenson poem by the punctuation alone. There is an entire profession called “forensic linguistics;” its specialists can authenticate a Shakespeare sonnet or derive a criminal profile from a ransom note. What evidence are you leaving behind?

Style as narcissism. Or, falling in love with your own handwriting.

Style as disguise. Planner Andres Duany has said that the comforting style of New Urbanism — front porches, picket fences — is nothing more than the nostalgia-imbuedTrojan Horse in which the radical planning ideas — no cars, tiny yards — are delivered.Mary Poppins: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

Style as professionalism. Eero Saarinen’s motto was “The style for the job.” His design for the TWA Terminal was as different from his General Motors Technical Center was as different from his U.S. Embassy in London as air travel is from automotive engineering is from international diplomacy. Purists viewed him with suspicion, but he was enormously successful and made the cover of Time magazine. After his early death, his work seemed to date badly. Today, everyone loves the TWA Terminal.

Style as prostitution. The oldest profession(alism). Who would the client like me to be today? “I’m a whore,” Philip Johnson liked to admit, preempting any criticism.

Style as homage. The gala invitation done in the mode of the event’s honoree. At a party for architecture dean Jay Chatterjee, famously fond of bow ties, attendees were asked to wear bow ties.

Style as impersonation. It can be surprisingly satisfying to attempt to channel the voice of John Baskerville, or William Morris, or Alvin Lustig, or Robert Brownjohn. Satisfying and, to some, dangerously addictive. Like a painting student copying an old master at the Musee de Beaux Arts, Hunter S. Thompson once typed out the entire text of “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He said he wanted to find out what it felt like to write a masterpiece.

Style as indulgence. Even at its emptiest, style can be a source of great pleasure. I work in a building that was constructed 100 years ago as a bank. In the basement, side by side, are two vaults. Each vault has a massive door manufactured by the Remington & Sterling Company, made of brass and steel, with a gleaming mechanism visible behind glass. Each door is covered with elaborate, hand-engraved filigree, graceful and exuberant, purely decorative, and destined to be — literally — locked away from public view, for the decoration is all on the inside. But that’s not the amazing thing. The amazing thing is that the doors have slightly different patterns. One is based on oak leaves. The other is based on maple leaves. It’s as if some craftsperson said back in 1912: these two doors for the job at 204 Fifth Avenue, are they right next to each other? I’d better make sure they’re different. The vault doors would work just fine without any decoration at all, of course. That makes the gift ever more special.

Style as style.

This essay was commissioned by Julia Hoffmann and Joe Marianek for the 2013 School of Visual Arts Senior Library, a book celebrating the best work of that year’s graduating class

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Formal Design Education Is Necessary for Practicing Designers. Yay or Nay?

Ellen Shapiro

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Scott Stowell

It was the third Designer’s Debate Club event. The Parsons Tishman Auditorium on West 12th Street was packed last Wednesday with people eager to hear what well-known designers and design educators would have to say about the necessity of formal design education.

Co-sponsored by AIGA/NY and organized by Designer’s Debate Club founders Jon Troutman, lead product designer at design/technology incubator General Assembly, and Keenan Cummings, co-founder of travel startup Wander, the event was moderated by Scott Stowell, proprietor of Open and an instructor at Yale and SVA.

Structured like a formal debate, two teams of three panelists each argued the motion, “Formal Design Education Is Necessary for Practicing Designers.” In the spirit of serious interchange as well as good fun, the goal was to find out through audience votes, before and after the debate, which panel was the most persuasive and swayed more people from their original positions to their side.

 

 

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Yea: Miller, Bologna, Twemlow

At the ‘For’ team table, saying ‘Yea’ to the motion, were Alice Twemlow, co-founder of SVA’s D-Crit MFA program; Matteo Bologna, creative director and president of Mucca Design; and Pentagram partner Abbott Miller.

The ‘Against’ team members, saying ‘Nay’ to the motion, were Kate Proulx, designer at HUGE and an instructor of digital design at Parsons; Able Parris, associate design director at the Big Spaceship digital agency; and Peter Vidani, design director at Tumblr.

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Nay: Proulx, Vidani, Parris (standing to make his point)

The initial show of hands revealed that approximately 60 percent of the attendees were in favor of the motion, 40 percent against.

I raised my hand for Nay. Why? I’m the product of a liberal arts education—I was a design major at UCLA. And I’m a big believer in formal design education, having taught at Pratt, Parsons, School of Visual Arts, and Purchase College, SUNY. But I can’t agree with the word “necessary.” There are too many exceptions, too many self-taught, original, and game-changing David Carsons and Matteo Bolognas (though seated on the ‘For’ side, Bologna opened his studio in Milan straight out of an Italian high school for art study and learned by scrutinizing the work of his design idols in Type Directors annuals). Am I being too finicky saying I would re-write the motion: “Formal Design Education Is Desirable for Practicing Designers”— desirable, advantageous, important, useful, valuable, helpful—just about any word but “necessary.” Well, if it’s a formal debate, the task at hand is to debate the motion exactly as presented.

Each team had five minutes to make its case in an opening statement.

Twemlow eloquently compared formal design education to a full banquet, an experience rich in content, community and culture. Informal, do-it-yourself design education, she said, was like a cold buffet on flimsy paper plates, which “never satisfies.”

“Design education is broken,” countered Proulx, who made the case for learning via alternate means: online discourse, trial-and-error experimentation, on the job. She claimed, via her own experience, that design school faculty are unprepared to teach the technological skills needed today, and that design education mainly serves to get graduates into huge debt.

Then came the rebuttal/argument segment. To wit:

Bologna: “I didn’t go to design school but wish I had. Making a success of yourself is very tough without having someone to teach you how not to make mistakes.

Proulx: “I don’t look for degrees. I look for how well you express yourself, what’s in your portfolio.”

Miller: “I’m horrified at the debate itself. What you’re buying in design education is not an imprimatur to get a job. It is a face-to-face, collaborative experience in a real physical space.”

Parris: “It’s very rebellious not to go to school. You can create your own school on your own time: Twitter, TED talks, YouTube videos.”

Twemlow: “What you’re describing is lonely and sad.”

Vidani: “School costs way too much.”

Miller: “Not all schools and programs are expensive.

Parris: Buckminster Fuller didn’t go to architecture school, and look what he was able to create.

Proulx: “I teach today what I learned on my own as a teenager. Digital design teachers really don’t know what they’re doing and can’t teach for the real world.”

Bologna: “The real world is bullshit.”

Speaking against the motion from the floor

Two microphones were set up for audience members, who bravely lined up to make one-minute floor speeches as passionate as those of the panelists. For example:

“Even the renegades come from a design education tradition.”

“Design education is for an old system.”

“It’s five years behind, not up to current standards.”

“Design school is not about technology. It is about art and culture, form and structure.”

In the second vote, more hands went up for ‘For.’ “The Yays have it!”

Well, the auditorium was filled with students. It’s encouraging that they’re committed to what they’re doing. I stuck to my ‘Nay’ vote. The three panelists on the ‘Against’ side—their work, what they’ve accomplished professionally—are living proof that a formal design education is not necessary. But, again, that doesn’t mean it’s not advantageous, important, useful, valuable, desirable.

Maybe the question really being debated was, Can you be a successful designer without a formal design education? Yes. Some rare and talented people, including Parris and Vidani, have done it. There will always be renegade geniuses. But just because they and Buckminster Fuller and David Carson and Matteo Bologna were able to succeed brilliantly without a formal education, that doesn’t mean that design school doors should be closed to everybody else. It did sound like the ‘Against’ side might be eager to shut down the schools and departments, and perhaps deprive those who aren’t independent learners of the opportunity. And to be honest, if the need to go to work and earn money weren’t an issue, if tuition fees had been magically paid, how many self-taught designers would have jumped at the chance to spend time in classes with great teachers and immerse themselves in art and culture, form and structure?

Upon further consideration: Both sides won. I’ve been a member of the AIGA since 1987, and this was one of the best events I’ve ever attended: the best organized and most relevant. Bravo! To both sides, to attendees, and to organizers Troutman and Cummings.

Afterwards, Jon Troutman filled me in on the Designer’s Debate Club: “We wanted to start an event series that was different than the typical panel or ‘designer at podium with slideshow’ type of thing,” he explained. “And it’s actually quite fun to throw manners to the wind and flat-out argue. This format is meant to be open and honest and somewhat raw about which things are working, or not working, in our industry. Also, debates are a hell of a lot of fun.”

The topic of the first debate, held at General Assembly, was “All Web Designers Must Learn to Code.” Recalls Troutman, “The response was so overwhelming that tickets for the second session were claimed within 36 hours of announcing it; more than 100 people were on the wait-list.” Panelists at the second session, which took place at the Etsy Holiday Shop in SoHo, argued, “Lean Startup Methods Prevent Designers from Solving Big-Picture Design Problems.” I’m not sure I totally understand the statement, but I’ll maintain that most clients’ design budgets, startups or not, are too lean.

Designer’s Debate Club plans to hold monthly debates, and invites all designers to suggest topics by tweeting @DesignDebaters.

Since design is often compared to writing, my parting thought is a quote from The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner, a college textbook:

“Though the literary dabbler may write a fine story now and then, the true writer is one for whom technique has become second nature. Ordinarily this means university education, with courses in the writing of fiction, and poetry as well. Some important writers have said the opposite—for instance, Ernest Hemingway … who recommended just writing, writing, writing. But, it may help to remember that he went away for free tutorials to two of the finest teachers then living …”

And the debate goes on. Long live Designer’s Debate Club. Especially since all proceeds from the $10 admission tickets are going to support Inspire/Make Workshops, free classes for high school students who want to learn how to design and develop for digital media.

Continue your design education with HOW Design University, an online education program for busy creative professionals.

Categories: Design School, Education, Ellen Shapiro, Events, Featured
Tags: AIGA/NY, Designer’s Debate Club, Parsons The new School of Design

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Graphic Design as Political Practice:

A Conversation With Metahaven [Part 1]

Published on February 14th, 2013

From: http://hyperallergic.com/

Written by: Kyle Chayka

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Installation view of “Metahaven: Islands in the Cloud” at MoMA PS1 (Photo: Matthew Septimus)

Metahaven is an Amsterdam-based design studio made up of its two members and founders, Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden. Yet to describe them simply as a design studio seems misleading. The pair uses graphic design, identity branding, and product development as weapons, harnessing the power of the image in the internet age to design concepts that both signal label and propel political and social change.

Following their fascination with strange political gambits, obscure corners of the internet, and the power of the cloud, Kruk and van der Velden have written essays for e-flux, rebranded the micronation of Sealand, and created salable products for Wikileaks as the organization was just hitting the global scene. On the occasion of their current exhibition at MoMA PS1, I sat down with Metahaven to discuss their history as a studio, the process of working with Julian Assange, and the aesthetics of the dot-com boom. The second part of the interview will be published tomorrow.

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Metahaven infographic from “Captives of the Cloud” (Image via e-flux.com)
Kyle Chayka: How did Metahaven first get started?

Vinca Kruk: We started to collaborate on the Sealand Identity Project, which was to conceive a national identity for the Principality of Sealand, which is a self-proclaimed nation on a former war platform near the coast of the UK. We didn’t stop working on that project, but wanted to keep going with it. That’s what our practice emerged out of. Quite naturally, it wasn’t a formal decision.

Daniel van der Velden: I agree.

KC: How did you first hear about Sealand or start thinking about it?

DV: Towards the end of the dot-com boom at the time I was co-designing a magazine called Archis, which is now called Volume, an architecture journal, and we had a special issue about islands. Sealand emerged in an editorial meeting as an example and then actually the idea came about to think about an identity for this kind of really weird place that no one can actually visit, that’s only accessible through the internet.

Sealand was trying to have its own dot-com business model at the time. So it was really a combination of this idea of sovereignty, self-proclaimed nationhood, in combination with this flawed entrepreneurial dream of starting an offshore business onboard Sealand. I think we were both interested in working on a lyrical aspect of visual identity, something that had to do a lot with heraldry, opulence — something not so minimal. Sealand was a really good launch platform for that. We also had an interest in theory, so it was also a great projection screen for all kinds of theoretical notions of identity and state.

VK: Explorations of theory, nationhood, and statehood, the combination of anarchy and monarchy, and all the contradictions that you find in Sealand as a kind of self-proclaimed state. There’s a strange, almost totalitarian thinking behind it, but it is so lo-fi. People hanging out with beer on a platform like “playing state” in their backyard.

DV: It’s interesting because Roy Bates, the founder of Sealand, recently passed away. The whole idea of Sealand was basically a gift to his wife. So it was his wife Joan, and he was obviously very much in love with her. He gave her this title “princess.” Which is a super-poetic and at the same time totally meaningless title. She doesn’t get any special perks from that other than some sort of fame. It’s interesting that it was done in a pre-internet age so obviously he wouldn’t have done it for, like, followers.

It was an inherently genuine act. That’s what’s great about Sealand.

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Installation view of “Metahaven: Islands in the Cloud” at MoMA PS1 (Photo: Matthew Septimus)

KC: Can you describe what kind of identity you made for Sealand? How did it evolve visually and what was the end product?

VK: What we found interesting about Sealand that it had all the very traditional objects of statehood, like stamps and passports, to prove that Sealand was very legitimate and real. There were also fake Sealand passports circulating. We were interested in creating coins of stamps that wouldn’t really materialize, but would exist virtually. An endless flow of heraldic images that keep going and keep adding to them.

DV: There are the old fixed icons like coins and stamps, but they are charged with stuff that’s actually really unstable, like everything that you find through Google Images. Everything you find about Sealand through Google would be legit to use in the identity for that reason.

So, for example, the landlord of the murderer of Gianni Versace had a fake Sealand passport. So that’s a little chain of events, and because of that link we could use the Versace iconography in the brand. If you Google “Sealand” now, you also get results for “Seal and Heidi Klum,” because Google has changed its algorithms accordingly. So you get lots of images of Seal and Heidi Klum together. Had that had been around at the time, we would have certainly used that.

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“Jewelbox” of Sealand branding (Image via wired.com)
KC: What’s the current state of Sealand?

VK: There was a fire on Sealand a few years ago, so it’s in a bad shape.

DV: People also know that their idea of turning Sealand into a data haven is not working. The P2P file sharing platform,the Pirate Bay, tried to buy Sealand a couple of years back because it still is this kind of internet anarchy symbol. But it’s not working, and I think we predicted that in our essay ‘The Network Ruin.”

KC: Totally, the ruins of the failed utopia are a visual archetype. Through Metahaven, you’re taking on projects that are niche but remain very relevant. How did you develop and run the studio practice.

DV: We are interested in ideas and concepts that require not just visualization but also research. I think that when we decided to we wanted to collaborate further on these things we also were struggling with how to set up a studio. I gave up another practice that I had at the time, which had many clients, in order to completely focus on Metahaven, so we started form scratch — we had nothing. We also had to find clients to sustain this practice. You can’t run your practice on something like Sealand alone. So the first few years were spent on getting that model together, of having commissioned work, combined with longer and shorter term research projects.

VK: I think working on Sealand as a topic was very important because there were so many themes in there that we have continued working on since, in different projects. We started to write much more, we organized conferences. We started working issues like the use of totalitarian architecture in Europe, and how such buildings were re-appropriated as symbols in capitalism. Still architecture, and identity were things we were working on.

KC: It’s interesting that on one hand, there is the commercial need to survive and take on projects and clients, but you also have a split between client work and research projects. How do you guys feel about Metahaven as kind of a business entity?

VK: We don’t really separate it — it’s not like we work on a commission for a client and the next day we do a research project. It very much overlaps, and also the way we talk with clients about commissions is very much how we talk in the studio about how to continue a research project.

DV: I think the notion of proactivity is really important, the notion that you can initiate stuff yourself. It can actually be a project that involves a client. There is the old notion of “pro-bono” work, which is the supposedly ethical counterpart to commercial practice, but in our case you could say that we dedicate a certain amount of research and resources to a potential client or partner that we feel could benefit from that.

That’s how we approached WikiLeaks, for example. Just before their global notoriety, so they were actually still approachable at that time.

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Installation view of “Metahaven: Islands in the Cloud” at MoMA PS1 featuring Wikileaks scarves (Photo: Matthew Septimus)

KC: Wikileaks blew up pretty quickly in terms of global notoriety. Do you mean working on topics that have more real-world impact?

DV: Nobody could have foreseen what happened to WikiLeaks, and the events that unfolded. Of course, it’s impossible for an identity to keep track of all this, so that’s also why we had to change the central question of the project, moving into something that was much more about products, merchandising — because what they needed most was money. Then of course we solved that in a completely non-straightforward way. We did stuff that obviously was very different form what they had in mind originally.

KC: What kind of things did Wikileaks have in mind for themselves?

DV: The sort of stuff you see in their official merchandising store.

KC: Instead, you made some more upscale items for them, like a Chanel-style scarf. What’s the story behind that?

DV: The notion of the scarf talks about opacity and transparency, which is exactly what they are about.

VK: Something that’s kind of glamorous, and you could wear it both as a luxury item, but also use it to cover your face.

DV: There’s also the cheapness of glamour. There is something about WikiLeaks that echoes cheap, fake imports—like a revolt of the means of production over the brand image. That’s why we had that Louis Vuitton play with the “WL” logo in one of the earlier scarves. WikiLeaks is about a notion of democratic access to value. This is something that we wanted to bring out a little bit.

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A Wikileaks scarf by Metahaven, featuring their logo (Image courtesy Metahaven, photo Meinke Klein)

KC: How difficult was it to actually communicate with Wikileaks, given their secrecy? Did you have any contact with Julian Assange himself?

VK: It basically started with us sending them an email in mid-2010 saying, “Hey, we would like to work on your identity, would you be up for it?” We got a reply back two hours later. The email said, “Great, we have a shortage of such things.” The e-mail was signed with “JA.” So that was enough for us to get started because they opened up the possibility to do something.

Then they started releasing the cables, and communication became very difficult. It took some time to get back touch with them, which eventually happened. We met with them and showed what we had done.

DV: Then, in that meeting, what we had been doing was sort of brushed aside, which was completely predictable. Some of the stuff we did which was brushed aside is in the show.

KC: Which parts?

DV: The identity part basically. Then we decided that pursuing tee shirts and mugs was really the way to go. We had a dialogue over the specific designs later on that was very productive.

VK: What we really understood during that meeting was that they have a problem surviving financially because of a blockade by MasterCard, VISA and PayPal. Selling merchandising is an important way for WikiLeaks to raise money, so basically that was the only thing they felt they needed designed.

DV: There’s a lot of criticism about this. They seem so focused on money sometimes that you feel it’s actually not benefiting the people who care for Wikileaks. These are not necessarily people who have lots of money. So if you force someone to support an organization by buying a mug you’re basically molding that person into a consumer role.

We found that the leaks are to WikiLeaks what tour dates are to a band, so basically our t-shirts present different important leaks, one per t-shirt.

Part two of Hyperallergic’s interview with Metahaven was published on Friday, February 15, 2013, “Graphic Design as Political Practice: A Conversation with Metahaven [Part 2].”

Metahaven: Islands in the Cloud runs at MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City) through April 1.

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Who Do You Think You Are?/Don’t You Know Who I Am?

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For this written text you will become the interviewer/storyteller/narrator of a fictional event. You will create a scenario where the person from the 19th/early 20th centuries that you have already been assigned to research/become will meet a “post-modernist” designer/artist/thinker and if you so wish one or two other characters of your own choice.

You will be assigned a producer or critic of post-modern culture to begin with. You will then be able to choose another person from a list of people from the later modernist period and/or someone of your own choosing, who you may already know something about or are a fan of theirs and their work. They could be a; musician, fashion designer, artist, filmmaker, poet, etc.

This brief is about being able to ask the right questions when writing a text. These questions will have to be based on extensive research of your characters and the worlds they inhabit(ed). Without high quality research your questions will lack the depth for you to elicit quality answers. (You will of course be answering your questions on the behave of your characters.)

The first thing you will need to decide if you are going to stick with a three way correspondence/conversation or go for the more complicated but possibly more rewarding four or five way debate.

 So your options are:

1. You + Your Person from Modernity + Your Given Post-modernist.

= 3 people in the conversation.

2. You + Your Person from Modernity + Your Given Post-modernist + A Modernist from the given list OR and person of your choice.

= 4 people in the conversation.

3. You + Your Person from Modernity + Your Given Post-modernist + A Modernist from the given list AND and person of your choice.

= 5 people in the conversation.

Once you have decided on which option you want to pursue, you then have to think about a scenario where they might all might meet up or correspond with each other. This will be a fictional event or process and it is much more than likely that they never met in real life. Will you invent a machine that sends you back in time and collect all your characters for a Radio/TV special on their lives? Will it be a ‘This is Your Life’ type event? You may wish to have them casually bump into each other in a coffee shop/bar/swimming pool and start up a conversation. You may want to do all the correspondence between your characters by post-card/letter/e-mail/twitter/SMS. You could create a fictitious play where they all appear in. You can be as creative as you wish with this element and take them to Mars if you fancy….

You will be the person you initiates the first questions to your characters and you will have to introduce them to each other. From then onwards you will be the narrator/interviewer and they will also want to speak to each other. This might then start a debate about the merits of modernism/post-modernism or any other issue the may have a bee in their bonnet or issue with.

You must start investigating and researching into your characters straight away, as this will be what you will base your questions on and will help you create and exciting and dynamic story. It is a flight of fantasy and is not real but will be based of the facts, works and words of your characters lives. You will create an extensive bibliography, which will be attached to this written text, as you WILL look for as many books/websites/films/journals articles about your characters and their lives and the worlds they lived in.

You MUST include in text referencing in this work. So you would say: (YOU) Dear Marcel Duchamp many thanks for being here today in is a great honour and pleasure. My first question is that, according to your friend and writer, Pierre Cabanne (1987) in his fascinating book Dialogues With Marcel Duchamp he asks you what your greatest regret was? Can you remember what you said” (MD) Yes of course I can remember as if it was yesterday day, I said, ‘I don’t have any. I’ve missed nothing.’ (Cabanne 1987 p15)

You must find a way of incorporating as many images of your characters work as possible into your chosen scenario and therefore the written text. If you are sending postcards for instance, send them images of your own work and they will then send you and each other images of their work. If in a café/bar they may have their portfolio/smart phone with them and they can introduce themselves through their work. They and you can then critique this work and a heated debate might arise. These images also must be referenced in full in a list, which can go wherever you like in this text. Your scenario might end up in an argument and one of your characters flouncing out in a huff.

 The elements of this text will be:

1. A title. It should be a hook and make the reader want to read your story.

2. An Introduction by yourself to the scenario you have imaginatively chosen for you people to come together and converse and a short introduction to these people and their lives.

3. The main text written as a continuous narrated dialogue between you are your characters and between each other, whether in the form of a script, letters, novel dialogue. As the narrator you are the questioner/interviewer/referee and the person who describes what is happening.

4. A conclusion where you sum up what happened and your thoughts on the events that have just ensued. A good ending is always important.

5. A list of illustrations which tells the reader exactly who took/made the image the date it was made where you got it from and when you accessed it, if in was from and on-line source.

6. A bibliography, which has FULL references for each source of information, you have used or looked at during your research. You MUST not just include an URL, there should be an author, date, title, site, URL, when access information included.

If in doubt look at: Guide to the Harvard System of Referencing http://bit.ly/12eP1Wt

You will be graded using the Undergraduate Marking Criteria Matrix: http://bit.ly/Z9L58o

 HAND IN DATE: Wednesday 24 April 2013 by 4pm.

You will hand in a hard copy to the Student Office in E-Block AND email me a single PDF file to m.ingham@arts.ac.uk

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PDF of the Brief: Who Do You Think You Are?

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Who Do You Think You Are?/Don’t You Know Who I Am?

Your Characters: 

You + Your Modernity Character Your Post Modernist Character Your Other Choices
Akemi Nagaya = Florence Nightingale Stefan Sagmeister
Alexandra Compton = Suzanne Valadon Neville Brody
Andrew Morris = Richard Wagner April Greiman
Anna Gordon = Hubert Henry Harrison Paula Scher
Alex Heron = Julia Margaret Cameron Robert Mapplethorpe
Alice Lees = Charles Darwin Jean-Michel Basquiat
Akshitha Victor = Peter Behrens Marian Bantjes
Alexandra Joan Whiting = Alice Meynell Wolfgang Weingart
Benjamin Brookes = Pablo Picasso Janet Allinger
Benjamin Greehy = Dorothy Richardson Jeffrey Keedy
Carl Bresnahan = Marcel Duchamp Cady Noland
Celeste Morton = Natalie Barney Dan Friedman
Callum Pepper = Jeanne Paquin Willi Kunz
Charlotte Pruce = Guillaume Apollinaire Ellen Lupton
Cassia Soper = Sonia Delaunay Andy Worhol
Danielle Field = ? Valentina Grego
Derrelle Goodhall = ? Peter Saville
Elvn Seet Seet = Emily Carr Malcolm Garret
Emily Hicks = Édouard Manet Kara Walker
Emma Williams = Max Ernst Kristen Nikosey
Florence Fairweather = Käthe Kollwitz Barney Bubbles
Francine Oliver = ‘Nella’ Larsen Jamie Reid
Declan Farrell = Jan Zrzavý Louise Fili
Georgia Coleman = Berthe Morisot David Lachapelle
Georgina Marot = John Ruskin Louise Bourgeois
George Selwyn-Brace = Gertrude Stein Cliff Roman
George Farrell = Francis Picabia Tracy Emin
Grace Arnott-Hayes = Xul Solar Deborah Sussman
Grant Schofield = Charles Baudelaire Rachel Whiteread
Harriet Leyden = Stéphane Mallarmé Katherine McCoy
Henry Lloyd = Friedrich Nietzsche Liz McQusiton
Hannah Wadham = “Coco” Chanel Edward Fella
Hannah Williams = Nadezhda Udaltsova Jonathan Barnbrook
Isabella Campbell-Pepe = Natalia Goncharova Rick Valicenti
Imogen Farrell = Vanessa Bell Tibor Kalan
Imogen Stanley = Mary Jane Seacole David Carson
Irina Wang = Charles Rennie Mackintosh J. Abbot Miller
Jasmine Bradley = László Moholy-Nagy Sophie Calle
Jackson Griggs = Henri Bergson Yayoi Kusama
Jingwen Zhu = Paul Gauguin Marina Abramović
Joshua Kwan = Sigmund Freud Teal Triggs
Kentaro Takeda = Nina Genke-Meller Jake Tilson
Kimberleigh Phillips-Page = Madeleine Chéruit  Robert Rauschenberg
Joyce Wang =  El Lissitzky Jenny Holzer
Jay Joo Kim = Henry Van de Velde Cindy Sherman
Lily Biswell = Giorgio de Chirico Yoko Ono
Louie Isaaman-Jones = Carl Jung Annette Messager
Louise Nyborg = Edward Johnston Annie Leibovitz
Lingna Yuwen = Jean Rhys Bruce Nuaman
Marilyn Baker = Georgia O’Keeffe Keith Haring
Mika Shahabudin = Henrik Ibsen Barbara Kruger
Miranda Bene = Pan Yuliang Judy Chicago
Rosa Min Jung Kang = Rosa Luxemburg Francis Alÿs
Nanna Goransson = Lou Andreas-Salomé Gabriel Orozco
Natalie Ridge = Eric Gill Sarah Lucas
Penny Whitehouse = Marie Curie Joseph Beuys
Phoebe Willison = Harriet Powers Jasper Johns
Richard Sanderson = Karl Marx Janet Cardiff
Roman Cadafalch = Albert Einstein Vanessa Beecroft
Riona Moore = Ada Lovelace Dan Graham
Rachel Tweedy = Hannah Höch Robert Smithson
Sophie Bosworth = Georges Seurat Mariko Mori
Sophie Cliffe = Elsie de Wolfe Christo
Stella Murphy = Virginia Woolf Nam June Paik
Stacey Tianyi Ran = William H. Bradley Eva Hesse
Veronika Cesalova = William Morris

Viicke Biggs + Olga + Paul Macarthy

 

Ana Mendieta

William Horne = Ogura Yuki Lothar Baumgarten
Woosung Um = Mary Cassatt Ed Kienholz

Modernists you may also choose from and anybody else you wish

Marcel Breuer, Serge Chermayeff, Theo van Doesburg, Naum Gabo, Hannes Meyer, László Moholy-Nagy, Anna Akhmatova, Mário de Andrade, Ivan Cankar, Constantine P. Cavafy, Joseph Conrad, Alfred Döblin, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, E. M. Forster, Ernest Hemingway, Max Jacob, James Joyce Franz Kafka.D. H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Thomas Mann, Eugene O’Neill, Fernando Pessoa, Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Ezra Pound, Marcel Proust, Rainer Maria Rilke, Wallace Stevens, Paul Valéry, Frank Wedekind, Virginia Woolf, W. B. Yeats, Billy Apple, Evelyne Axell, Sir Peter Blake, Derek Boshier, Pauline Boty, Patrick Caulfield, Jim Dine, Rosalyn Drexler, James Gill, Richard Hamilton, Jann Haworth, David Hockney, Dorothy Iannone, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Allen Jones, Alex Katz, Corita Kent, Kiki Kogelnik, Yayoi Kusama, Roy Lichtenstein, Marta Minujin, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Claes Oldenburg, Julian Opie, Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Phillips, Sigmar Polke, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Niki de Saint Phalle, Peter Saul, George Segal, Colin Self, Marjorie Strider, Aya Takano, Tom Wesselmann

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