Grapus [ \gra-´pUEs] is a French graphic design collective founded in Paris immediately following the student protests of May 1968. The group saw life as a field for experimentation, putting the new political, social, and cultural debates into graphic form for public discussion. At first Grapus designed posters for local chapters of the Communist Party; twenty years on, they were chosen to design the corporate identity of the Louvre in Paris. By the late 1980s, the collective’s productive days were over. In its heyday it had attracted many highly committed graphic artists both from France and abroad. After receiving the Grand Prix National des Arts Graphiques, the group decided to disband in 1990. For the book What, you don’t know Grapus?, Léo Favier set out in search of the former members of the collective. The twenty-six interviews in his book tell of the utopian working methods and heated disputes that were at the heart of this collective way of life. Launch, December 4, 2014, 6.30pm, Le Monte-en-l’air, Paris.
Offprint Paris, November 14-16, 2014, Beaux-arts de Paris, is an art-publishing fair featuring discerning publishers on art, photography, design and experimental music labels. This year’s edition showcases more than 130 publishers, from over 20 countries (all participants now announced on the website), selected by Yannick Bouillis, Charlotte Cheetham and Maxime Guitton.
Installation shot Bremen, ROMA PUBLICATIONS 1998-2012, Research Centre for Artists’ Publications, Weserburg, Bremen, 2012
Roma Publications 1998 – 2014 is an exhibition that includes over 230 books and editions published by Roger Willems and Mark Manders in collaboration with a large number of artists, writers and designers.
A publication is typically the end point of a project or exhibition; this exhibition, however, takes the printed format as its point of departure. Books, newspapers, posters and other printed matter are combined with artworks and installations relating to the publisher’s identity inside an exhibition dimension. The informal way of bringing art and publications together in a carefully composed exhibition gives clear insight into the working process of Roma Publications, which is based on a collaborative relationship to the artists. Another interesting element of this hybrid approach is that it questions the sometimes thin line between an original and a reproduction, and thus between the exclusiveness of an artwork and the democratic nature of a publication.
The exhibition aims to present the form of the book as an extended media that can involve the exhibition space. Some of the invited artists will contribute to the fading of the distinction between paper and space, image and material, original and reproduction (the print run of Roma Publications’ issues varies between 2 and 150.000 copies). Many of these practitioners use the book and printed matter as a central medium in their work, underlining not only the important role of publications to diffuse artistic production, but also in the rethinking of the book medium as an artistic practice.
The independent art publisher Roma Publications, founded in 1998 by artist Mark Manders and graphic designer Roger Willems, works in collaboration with artists, designers, writers and institutions. For the exhibition at the Fondazione Giuliani, from October 11 to December 13 in Rome, the entire in-progress list of over 230 titles will be on display, in addition to a specially created reading room in which visitors can peruse each of the publications. Several new commissions and site-specific artworks will also be included in the exhibition, together with pre-existing works, all by artists who have actively collaborated with and participated in the activities of Roma Publications. With the exception of just two artists, all of these artists will be exhibiting in Rome for the first time, some for the first time in Italy.
Curated by Lorenzo Benedetti and Roger Willems. With contributions by Gwenneth Boelens, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Marlene Dumas, Geert Goiris, Kees Goudzwaard, Sara van der Heide, Arnoud Holleman, Rob Johannesma, Jan Kempenaers, Irene Kopelman, Bart Lodewijks, Mark Manders, Marc Nagtzaam, Oksana Pasaiko, Petra Stavast, Batia Suter, Raymond Taudin Chabot, Wouter van Riessen, and may others.
On Saturday 11th October, from 11am to 1pm, the Foundation will host a musical performance by Wouter van Riessen, a reading by Nickel van Duijvenboden and an informal conversation with the curators and some of the artists in the exhibition.
The Most Beautiful Swiss Books on an annual basis recognizes excellence in the field of book design and production, as well drawing attention to remarkable and contemporary books by Swiss designers, printers and publishers.
For the catalogue, designers Julien Tavelli and David Keshavjee of Maximage took the idea of the test print to its extreme by subjecting various pages of the book to continuously changing parameters. The result is highly varied, for example, using CMYK and Sixplex printing, matt varnish or no varnish, etc. The various treatments and methods are intermixed with different screening criterions as well. Particularly attractive to those in the industry, such as designers, printers and lithographers, it will also appeal to students and anyone who appreciates visually strong books that are conceptually sophisticated at the same time.
“Hypergraphy” is an artistic practice developed by the Lettrist avant-garde in the 1950′s. They defined it as “introducing into alphabetic writing not only the art of painting, but the graphics of all people or social categories past and present, as well as the graphics or anti-graphics of every individual imagination”.
By means of a timeline drawn by artist Roland Sabatier, the exhibition Rules of Hypergraphy – a project by Paul Gangloff, September 26 to October 5, Extrapool, Nijmegen – shows how the Lettrists situated hypergraphy within the history of writing and painting. It further assembles works by turntablist Marc Matter, (typo)graphic designer Karl Nawrot, graphic designers Our Polite Society and sound poet Jörg Piringer, each of them exemplifying uses of signs and letters that goes beyond writing.
The accompanying publication works as a subtext for the exhibition. It provides further insight into the concept of hypergraphy, but also prolongs the investigation by taking a detour into the relation between the Lettrists and the punks.
September 26–28, 2014, Printed Matter presents the ninth annual NY Art Book Fair, at MoMA PS1, New York. Free and open to the public, the NY Art Book Fair is the world’s premier event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines. Last year, the fair featured nearly 300 booksellers, antiquarians, artists, institutions and independent publishers from twenty-six countries. NYABF14 is also full of programming and special events.
V. Vale & William S. Burroughs
V. Vale is an editor, writer-interviewer, historian, photographer and pianist. As publisher-editor of the 1977-79 zine SEARCH & DESTROY, V. Vale helped bring international attention to a Punk scene as prophetic as more publicized ones elsewhere. The publication was launched with $100 each from Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and published at City Lights Bookstore, where Vale worked at the time. For Vale, Punk provided a launching pad for a host of cultural-anthropological explorations, including Industrial music, the writings of J.G. Ballard and William S. Burroughs, feminism, pranksterism, studies of The Body, plus “Incredibly Strange” filmmaking and music, which he has chronicled with the RE/SEARCH series of publications that he founded in 1980.
Now lauded as an invaluable document of early punk and a graphic design rule-breaker (“We’d do a layout meeting: ‘Here’s the text. Here are the pictures. Your job is to make this interview as rad as you can’”), Search and Destroy also became a way for Vale to make critical connections between the work and thoughts generated by punk groups and those formulated by artists in other media, as interviews with Vale’s mentors Ballard and Burroughs made their way into the zine.
The RE/Search series had become the equivalent of an ever-unfolding countercultural bible: essential reading not only for Punks — all the books, Vale swears, are informed by that Revolution — but artists, musicians, cultural fire-starters, and trouble-makers of every nonconformist stripe. In turn, Vale built a bridge with his paperbacks between the cultural movers around him and the world of books that has succored him. “I learned long ago that reading is not a passive process,” says Vale. “I like to mark up my books. My books are heavily interacted with. I look at books not as books, but as conversations.”
From September 6 to 13, V. Vale will be doing a mini-lecture/workshop tour in Belgium and Holland. September 6, at Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp, Vale will unearth a rare complete set of Search & Destroy—the 11-issue punk zine about underground literary and music culture Vale produced from 1977 to 1979. Then, at 8pm, Vale will talk about how seed money from Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg led to Search & Destroy, how that led to RE/Search Magazine, and how all of it led to RE/Search Publications. More about the tour here.
Issue #30 of GRAPHIC, Publishers, features interviews with ten publishing companies, along with information about their books, which delves into the possibilities the book medium holds in the contemporary context. The ten companies introduced aren’t necessarily the leaders of their field. But each has its own identity, its own unique way of reflecting the field’s diversity.
With this issue, a number of possibilities for discussion. First, there is the overall context of the today’s art publishing market. Their community can’t be equated with the mainstream of art publishing, but they do at least have a pioneering role in art and design practice that cannot be ignored. That’s what allows the transdisciplinary bearings they forge to serve as a benchmark for understanding the contemporary art and design scene. Second, there’s the question of just what new possibilities can be found in the book medium at a time when the media technology environment surrounding it is undergoing profound changes. These companies are real-life examples showing new attitudes and patterns of practice in the area of art publishing. Their publication lists point to the direction in which art publishing is going in the e-book age. Finally, there’s the potential for publishing as a model for expanding on legacies from the past. What is the link between these companies’ activities today and the artist-led book production movement of the 1960s? Why do some publishers still view this kind of publishing as a viable model?
Ray Johnson (1927-1995) was a seminal Pop Art figure in the 1950s, an early conceptualist, and a pioneer of mail art. His preferred medium was collage, that quintessentially twentieth-century art form that reflects the increased (as the century wore on) collision of disparate visual and verbal information that bombards modern man. Integrating texts and images drawn from a multiplicity of sources — from mass media to telephone conversations — Johnson’s innovativeness spread beyond the confines of the purely visual.
The art of Ray Johnson was rooted in his constant practice of correspondence. He dispersed a copious amount of collages and other printed matter through the mail to friends and colleagues. The Museum of Modern Art Library received materials in the mail from Ray Johnson from the 1950s until his death in 1995.
The exhibition Ray Johnson Designs – July 2 to September 29, 2014, MoMA, New York – focuses on Johnson’s early printed materials, especially his promotional flyers for his work as a graphic designer and illustrator. These flyers were some of the first materials that the MoMA Library received from Johnson and they prefigure the graphic motifs and word play that remained central to his later art work. Publications that included Johnson’s design work from this period, including book jacket designs for publishers such as New Directions, The Jargon Society, and City Lights, are also featured.
Is it possible to understand graphic design as a practice beyond an object-centric approach, as a practice beyond the conception and production of well-designed and printed artefacts? Which other potentials to create a public should be considered integral to design as an activity?
The Visual Event explores the question of how such an extended practice could be thought, which graphic, spatial and temporal forms such a situational practice could take, and tests the idea of the “visual event” from various perspectives of visual culture. The project compiles numerous contributions by artists, academics, designers, architects, and students of the System-Design Class at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig.
During its fifty-four issue run, spanning nearly three decades, ARK was an influential presence in British cultural life. A magazine created by students at the Royal College of Art in London, ARK attracted international attention for its often bold and fast-changing design as well as the extraordinary cast of writers and artists who contributed to its pages, including Ralph Rumney, Lucio Fontana, Alison and Peter Smithson, Toni del Renzio and Reyner Banham, as well as college students and staff.
ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 1950-1978 is an anthology the magazine ARK. It includes original material from the magazine, selected and introduced by students on the Critical Writing in Art and Design MA programme at the RCA today. Also featured, in full colour, are all the covers of ARK and an index of the magazine’s contents. This new publication will offer a vivid overview of changing attitudes and approaches to art and design in Britain in an age of considerable flux.
Symposium & Book launch, June 25, Royal College of Art, London.
To mark the launch of Please Come to the Show, edited by Museum of Modern Art Bibliographer David Senior, Occasional Papers invites Berlin-based Bar Vulkan – June 10, from 6:45 pm, at Institute of Contemporary Arts in London – to host an evening devoted to celebrating the exhibition invitation card, a key yet often overlooked element of exhibition-making.
David Senior selected a wide range of exhibition-related ephemera – invitations, flyers and posters from the 1960s to the present (overview on pleasecometotheshow.tumblr.com ) – and presents them here as an historically overlooked but integral aspect of exhibitions. Often the first point of contact between the audience and artist, such items form part of an essential lexicon for graphic designers, curators, art historians and anyone interested in the event-based nature of showing art.
Filled with full-colour reproductions of numerous examples from the MoMA collection, the book includes new essays by Gustavo Grandal Montero, Will Holder, Antony Hudek, Angie Keefer, Clive Phillpot, David Senior and Suzanne Stanton.
“There’s more to life than books, but not much more”, says the song, with an unmistakable, ambiguously seductive, voice. Åbäke, Corinn Gerber, Laure Giletti, Jp King, Chris Lee, Anouk Pennel, Patricia No, and Benjamin Thorel, all agree with this bold statement. As artists, writers, publishers, printers, curators, graphic designers, researchers and many combinations of these disciplines, they are “making books”: engaging in the production, invention and circulation, in the selling and buying, writing and reading of paperbacks, catalogues, journals, ’zines, websites and text documents. Questioning the scope and value of this activity is what’s at the core of this book, that presents itself as a subjective lexicon, proposing keywords for contemporary publishers and book freaks.
A book about – What’s more to life than books, co-published by Art Metropole, Paraguay Press and Publication Studio, is the result of a seminar that was called There’s more to life than books, but not much more.
Multi-City-Launch June 14, 2014, at Publication Studio, 11am, in Portland; at Art Metropole, 2pm, in Toronto; at Studio Feed, 2pm, in Montreal; at castillo/corrales, 8pm, in Paris.
With the development of technology and democratization of our communication tools, new kinds of language systems are created. In order for these systems to be compatible with the existing ones, we need an understanding of their basic mechanisms, what tools are at hand and how the increased complexity of technology, as well as the abstraction level, determines how we perceive the world. Our increasingly technological and globalized world has led to re-introduction of icon-based communication. The need of clarification over cultural borders cannot simply depend on the knowledge of an abstract language, but also the shared experience.
By combining an appropriated discourse with empirical experimentation, supervisors Samuel Nyholm and Tania Prill aim to establish a Master’s Studio for interdisciplinary studies of communication that focuses on the investigation and development of visual language systems.
The two-year study program, From Aleph to Eternity, at the HfK in Bremen, will be conducted in German and English, starts in october 2014 and results in a Master of Arts. Applications are accepted until the 15th of June.
Richard Hollis dit de Pierre Faucheux qu’il est le graphiste français le plus important depuis Cassandre. Proche de Le Corbusier et des surréalistes, Faucheux fut aussi architecte, scénographe d’exposition, plasticien.
Son petit-fils Adrien Faucheux, cinéaste, présente en avant première un portrait documentaire du typographe, figure majeure du graphisme français de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle. Par ses choix, le film exprime la vivacité de cette œuvre foisonnante et multiforme, mais aussi étonnamment cohérente. Filmer “au présent” des livres, des maquettes, des bâtiments, objets inertes par essence, c’est ici retrouver le mouvement de leur création.
Projection en avant première de PRR FCHX (52′,2014) en présence de son réalisateur Adrien Faucheux, suivie d’une discussion avec Catherine de Smet, historienne du graphisme, le 16 mai à 19h, au Centre Pompidou, Paris.
The Asterisk Summer School will be back in Tallinn from july 27 and is now accepting applications from graphic designers, artists, theorists, critics, curators and others interested. This edition will focus on summer activities, taking a closer look at the relationship between work and play.
Asterisk is run by two freelance graphic designers, Laura Pappa and Elisabeth Klement who both studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. This year, tutors are designers Samuel Nyholm, Radim Peško, and Maki Suzuki from Åbäke.
Application deadline: June 1st, 2014.
Booksfromthefuture Summer School is a ten-day summer workshop in London, July 7-18, on book design that focuses on self-initiated, practice-based inquiry. Participants of the programme will each design a section of the 1884 science fiction novel Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, to be published by Booksfromthefuture in collaboration with designer Dante Carlos. In this setting, thinking and making will be experienced simultaneously rather than as separate phases of the design process. As a re-imagining of story and format, participants will discover both individual and collaborative methods that blend research and practice into a single act. Application deadline 20 May 2014.
The Jan Van Eyck Academy Alumni Association is an open platform for theory, art and design built from the assembly of former researchers and participants of the Jan Van Eyck Academy, who are dissatisfied with the debilitating nature of the institutional field, and who reject the prevailing norms of commerce. The idea is to form a mobile framework for collaboration between designers, artists and theorists, one which will bring about a radical probing of disciplines by suspending their borders and provoking their mutual subversions, affirming the need for collective work and engaging in projects which open the possibilities of different domains, whether aesthetic, scientific, or political. They understand the Association as a project continually ‘in the making’: open-ended and multifaceted.
The Association invite you to join in Justifiable Versions of Events, July 20 to 26 in Berlin. They seek experimental proposals for exhibitions, symposia, interventions, actions, workshops, papers and performances, any of which can be used as nuclei for future collaborative work.
The book Almost a centimeter is the result of Make Your Own Press, a collective effort of 5 professors and 16 students from 3 distinct academies in the Baltic and Nordic region, and 5 visiting lecturers and critics, invited because of their outstanding efforts in the field of artist book making and publishing.
The book emerged from a course that recognizes the explosion in artist book making all around the world, especially in lieu of the less than terminal death of print predicted now for many years. This resurgence of print was something the group wanted to aid, particularly in their region, by giving a younger generation a course that presented all the steps necessary in taking a book from its concept, through its relation to historical antecedents, design, paper and color selection, the printing process, and finally distribution and acting as a temporary publishing house.
Six teams made a 16-page section each reflecting on various aspects of what it takes to realize a publication: The Author, The Editor, The Designer, The Printer, The Distributer, and The Reader.
Typography Summer School is a meeting place for graduates of graphic design, wanting to bridge the gap between student and professional and learn more about typography. The school brings together leading practitioners and participants to study, exchange ideas, and investigate the discipline.
As well as running a range of projects within typography with real clients and budgets, the school acts as a think tank encouraging research and dialogue. This environment provides a forum in which to discuss what typography is, its relevance in design history and the part it plays in today’s society. The school investigates the role of typographic design across ranging mediums, from books to film credits and posters to websites.
The 2014 tutors are Julian Bittiner, Neil Donnelly, Bob Gill, Francesca Grassi, Hilary Greenbaum, Geoff Han, Other Means, Fraser Muggeridge, & David Senior. Bringing together a range of varied tutors will offer each participant a unique experience to learn from and apply to their future work.
Applications are open until May 15, 2014.