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.
Rietveld Berlin is a temporary school, organized by the Graphic Design program of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. Since the beginning of March, the students of Rietveld Berlin have discussed, evaluated and defined what their workspace could and should be, and have set it up accordingly. To present these accumulated thoughts and results, they will open up their studio to host an evening themed around the designer’s/artist’s workspace this coming Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
To go along with the presentation of their studio, and to open up the discourse, they have invited several designer’s/artist’s to participate with “studio-selfies”—small videos of their studios.
The one-day event Art-Information: Editorial Strategies, Text-based Formats, Publishing Contexts, April 26, at ICA in London, looks at acts of publishing within contemporary art and curatorial practice. Guest contributors Stuart Bailey, Dr Ruth Blacksell, Dr Jo Melvin, Dr Lucy Mulroney, and Alun Rowlands will draw on a rich variety of engagements, setting current practices against the alternative lineages of Pop and Conceptual Art. Presentations range from considerations of the various format and distribution strategies used by magazine editors and curators, to discussions of publishing, editorship and layout in (and as) practice.
Through these, contributors will highlight specific issues such as the appropriation of trade publishing channels and editorial design vocabulary; the significance of typographic layout in progressions from passive ‘looking’ into active ‘reading’; requirements for reader participation and responsibility; and the shifting notion of archival and open work within the interactive and networked platforms of digital publishing.
The Fernand Baudin Prize is awarded every year for the most attractive editions and beautifully crafted books in Brussels and Wallonia. This is the fifth time the prize has been awarded and now a new, additional concept is being introduced: a book club.
Once a month, at various cultural locations, the Fernand Baudin Prize provides an opportunity to share and exchange ideas and opinions about books. The idea is simple: bring along a book and introduce it to the others. Give a short presentation, exchange opinions about the design, read an excerpt aloud, add a personal anecdote or an in-depth analysis: all stories and contributions are welcome. The book club embraces everyone: every reader or booklover, professional as well as amateur writers and all manner of book producers. Upcoming rendezvous, April 23, 2014, 6.30pm, Beursschouwburg, Brussel.
Everything is About to Happen – An ongoing archive of artists’ books selected by Gregorio Magnani, March 14 to April 26, 2014, Corvi-Mora, London – presents circa 300 books in an attempt to offer an overview, and initiate an archive, of recent artists’ books. It focuses on publication as a medium and context for art practices. It looks at the ways in which artists use the format of the book as an artistic strategy exploiting, and often expanding upon, its nature as a fixed but randomly accessible sequence of words and images.
All the books selected are either self-published or participate in a minor economy of small publishers. Their modes of production and circulation, as well as the conditions under which they are experienced and stored, strengthen their content.
The exhibition attempts to address this through different modes of presentation: a vast communal display table, a more concentrated reading station, and an exact catalogue. A certain surplus of vitality, a metaphoric, affective and social overflow of the codex structure is underlined.
With books by AND Publishing & Åbäke, Kasper Andreasen, blisterZine, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Mariana Castillo Deball, Paul Elliman, Arnaud Desjardin, Michael Dean, Karl Homqvist, La Biblioteque Fantastique, Louis Lüthi, Jurgen Maelfeyt, Dan Mitchell, Sara MacKillop, Sophie Nys, Simon Popper, Preston is my Paris, Alessandro Roma, John Russell, Izet Sheshivari, Erik Steinbrecher, Triin Tamm, Erik van der Weijde, Jean-Michel Wicker.
Since five years, two schools with a course in Graphic Design, Werkplaats Typografie (ArtEZ), Arnhem, The Netherlands and ISIA Urbino, Italy, joined together to set up an international Summer School. The sixth edition will take place from July 20th till August 1st in the renaissance town of Urbino.
The supervisors during the two week workshop will be Karel Martens, Armand Mevis, Maureen Mooren and Leonardo Sonnoli and the call for application is dedicated to (young) professionals and students in the field of (graphic) design, and surrounded practices (like writing, photography, illustration, publishing), or art, architecture and theory related practices.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re from, what your background is, what your interests are, how much experience or education you had. This Summer School offers an opportunity for anyone who is talented, inspiring and a non-conventional thinker and maker. Candidates, with an authentic, open and critical mind, who are interested to learn, to explore and re-think their own work in a unique context and who don’t mind working over summer are welcome to apply.
Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986) was an artist, teacher, philosopher, political activist and possibly one of the most innovative and unusual pop artists of the 1960s. She was a nun in the Catholic Church until 1968 when Sister Corita sought dispensation from her vows. For over 30 years, in the heart of Los Angeles, Corita produced a variety of serigraph or screen-printed images. The retrospective exhibition Let The Sun Shine In – until May 10, 2014, Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin – documents Corita’s practice during that time.
As a pop artist, Corita primarily focused on text and vibrant color, manipulated type and images appropriated from the newly burgeoning consumer culture of her era.
After leaving the church in the late 1960s, Corita’s works took a grand stylistic turn. She all but abandoned the neon-soaked Psychedelia of her previous works, and opted instead for a more subtle, nuanced approach to art making.
Corita first taught, and subsequently became chair of the art department at Los Angeles’s Immaculate Heart College, where she became famous for her novel pedagogical methods. Her students helped produce her serigraphs, and her inventive teaching practices encouraged them to look hard and work harder, leaving a lasting impact on the way they encountered the world. With fame also came the opportunity to invite her contemporaries to speak at her lectures. Illustrious speakers including luminaries such as designers Charles and Ray Eames, composer John Cage, graphic designer Saul Bass and film director Alfred Hitchcock.
Upcoming exhibition, But, there is only one thing that has power, from March 12 to April 19, 2014, Galerie Allen, Paris.
The lecture series Common Grounds, Common Practices is dedicated to how contemporary graphic design actively influences and benefits from related disciplines. By inviting a variety of speakers for conversations about their work and their relationships to working itself, this series celebrates shared ideals and collaborative practices within fine arts, moving images, new media, and editorial and graphic design. At the core of this lecture series is the suggestion that basic principles of graphic design can be found within various disciplines, whether or not these are connected to conventional methods of print or digital reproduction and communication. Starting from the premise that graphic design is a discipline that “connects and communicates,” the series inspires a discussion about how graphic design may be understood as a more influential factor than generally acknowledged, and as a common ground for other disciplines, which could be considered as graphic design’s most relevant role today.
The third edition of the lecture series – April 4, 2013, 7:30pm, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam – features the internationally renowned researchers and Artist and educator Luis Jacob and artist Glenn Lewis. During the talk, both Luis Jacob and Glenn Lewis will present their practices. They will also discuss the rich history of collaborations, artist groups, correspondence networks and alternative means of dissemination and presentation of art works in the past and today.