Dear Manystuff followers, I created manystuff.org 10 years ago and now its time for me to take a break and redefine the project. manystuff.org will stay online, as an archive, which I hope will be useful. Thank you for your loyalty and I hope to see you very soon. I wish you a Happy New Year. Yours sincerely, Charlotte Cheetham.
Au printemps 2012, Thomas Bizzarri et Alain Rodriguez conçoivent l’identité graphique de la maison d’édition Le Feu Sacré. Pour ce faire, le duo réalise deux caractères : le Feu, un alphabet au dessin géométrique original dont l’usage se limite aux couvertures des ouvrages, et le Thermidor, employé pour les textes courants des éditions.
Suite à la parution des trois premiers ouvrages de la maison, Fabien Thévenot (directeur de publication) envisage de publier un spécimen relatif au Thermidor — c’est-à-dire une démonstration des possibilités offertes par le caractère ainsi qu’une mise en valeur des enjeux formels et techniques qui l’accompagnent. Le studio de graphisme propose dès lors à l’artiste Ève Chabanon d’imaginer comment dépasser la vocation purement formelle d’un spécimen typographique, inversant au passage les rapports conventionnels établis entre leurs professions.
Conçu à partir d’un alphabet préexistant, le Thermidor relève d’un genre de caractère habituellement désigné sous le terme de « revival ». Les enjeux de sa conception induisent des notions de temporalité, d’appropriation et d’actualisation. Devenu sujet, le Thermidor est dès lors prétexte à invitations. Différents auteurs issus des champs de l’art ou du design se prêtent ainsi à l’exercice du Spécimen, permettant au caractère de revêtir des formes diverses en fonction des domaines invoqués. Parfois, certains auteurs franchissent les frontières présupposées de leurs disciplines, permettant des détours tant théoriques, littéraires qu’artistiques.
Le Spécimen n’est donc pas à proprement parler un ouvrage spécialisé sur la typographie ou sur la question de la « reprise », mais bien plutôt un recueil de textes que le lecteur est convié à ouvrir en fonction de ses propres points de curiosité.
Lancement le 16 décembre 2015, 18h30, Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Offprint Projects is an independent publishing fair and forum that focuses on specific thematic areas in numerous locations; featuring publications on art, photography, design, experimental music, open culture and activism. Focusing on discerning practices in these fields, we aim to offer members of these communities a context in which they can maintain their integrity, their critical voice and their social role while dealing with external factors (the market, urbanism, press and communication). Acknowledging the qualitative and unique publishing practices, Offprint also seeks to bring a larger and dedicated audience into contact with these publishers, both online and offline. Crossing over between disciplines is an integral part of this process. From its origins, as an arts organization supporting artist projects as well as mounting the annual Offprint Paris publishing fair, Offprint stands for the legitimacy of our field and its discourses. At the same time, however, it aims to reconnect the arts with society; putting aside a market imperative for novelty in favour of art-based projects with broader social concerns. We strongly dismiss any use of art as a strategy for social discrimination. Finally, Offprint operates chiefly as a non-profit, with participants motivated by ideals, in order to promote invention and experimentation within the art world – and beyond.
Offprint Paris 2015 showcases more than 125 publishers from some 20 countries, from November 12 to 15, at Beaux-Arts de Paris.
Statement and Counter-Statement is the first-ever publication on the work of Experimental Jetset, documenting almost two decades of graphic design praxis. A pocket-sized paperback counting over 570 pages, the book should not be seen as monolithic monograph, but as a very loose, personal archive.
At the heart of the book are three textual contributions by Linda van Deursen, Mark Owens and Ian Svenonius. Linda van Deursen’s essay consists of a series of short observations, contemplating three historical photographs, while reflecting on the friction between modernism and the everyday. Meanwhile, Mark Owens explores the format of the three-piece rock band, mapping the formal and conceptual dimensions of the ‘power trio’, with a particular focus on post-punk aesthetics. Added to that, Ian Svenonius delivers a piece of pop-art fiction, starting with a 13-point program to destroy language, before derailing into a psychedelic interlude, ending with some notes on the appropriation of ‘cool’.
The book also contains two photographic chapters, both featuring a selection of work by Experimental Jetset. The first section (titled ‘Ex Situ’) shows a succession of printed matter as captured in actual size (scale 1:1) on the studio’s flatbed scanner, while the second section (‘In Situ’) documents site-specific pieces as installed in different environments around the world.
The paperback concludes with a index/glossary-like anthology of texts previously written by Experimental Jetset, as selected, edited and introduced by Jon Sueda. Consisting of short fragments from interviews, lecture notes and personal correspondence (including numerous never-before-published texts), this chapter functions as a cut-up collage of ever-changing (and ever-contradicting) ways of reasoning.
Scroll down and keep scrolling – October 10, 2015, to January 17, 2016, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham – is the most comprehensive exhibition of Fiona Banner’s work to date, re-presenting key early projects alongside recent and unseen works that span a period of 25 years. “It is not a survey – more of an anti-survey,” says the artist, “A survey suggests something objective, historical, and fixed. This is subjective; nothing else is possible.” Throughout the exhibition Banner revisits her work with intensity and humor.
Publishing is central to Banner’s practice and she often produces books through her own imprint The Vanity Press. For the artist the act of publishing is itself performative, and this exhibition at Ikon will display a wide archive of previously unseen publications and ephemera. In addition, the artist will also publish a major new book to accompany the exhibition, typeset in a new font created by the artist and entitled Font. Font is an amalgamation of typefaces Banner has worked with previously, and will be used throughout the museum for the duration of Banner’s show.
From September 18 to October 31, 2015, Font will also be on view at Frith Street Gallery in London, and will be available to download on www.fionabanner.com from 17 September.
From Life’s a Beach by Martin Parr, Aperture, 2012
The London Art Book Fair 2015, September 10-13, Whitechapel Gallery, London
WIELS Art Book Fair 2015, September 11-13, Wiels, Brussels
Artists Print IV, September 11-13, Brass, Brussels
VOLUME 2015, September 11-13, Artspace, Sydney
NY ART BOOK FAIR, September 18–20, MoMA PS1, New York
The Tokyo Art Book Fair, September 19-21, Kyoto University of Art and Design, Tokyo
2015 Vancouver ART/Book Fair, October 17-18, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
Offprint Paris, November 13-15, Paris
Friends with Books, December 11-13, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
A Circular 3, edited by Pedro Cid Proença with Fatima Hellberg, features Xavier Antin, Patrick Coyle, Helen DeWitt, Maël Fournier Comte, Charmian Griffin, Will Holder, James Langdon, Roger Laporte, Isla Leaver-Yap, Lisa Maruca, David Morris, Jean Shepherd, Rosalie Schweiker, Stefan Themerson, and Alex Waterman. Launch June 11, 6.30pm, Cubitt, London.
InOtherWords imprint was founded by Oliver Knight & Rory McGrath of design studio OK-RM. InOtherWords creates books as collectable objects in close collaboration with artists, writers, institutions, galleries, and other cultural ventures.
Their first publication, One Language Traveller, accumulates objects created by Danish artist FOS, as if the book were a cabinet of curiosities. United on the pages of the book, the sculptures speak to each other in a new vocabulary of form. One Language Traveller is ring bound, sits in a reflective slipcase and is finished in an array of paper.
Launches, May 15, 6pm, at Printed Matter in New York; and May 20, 7pm, at Donlon Books in London.
Know-How / Show-How Summer School in Sofia, June 29 – July 10
Booksfromthefuture Summer School in London, July 6-17
Werkplaats Typografie Summer School in Urbino, July 19-31
Typography Summer School in London, July 20-24
Asterisk Summer School in Tallinn, July 28 – August 6
GDA Summer Sessions 2015 in Detroit, August 1-16
Travelogue Summer School in Porto, August 3-8
Typography Summer School in New York, August 10-14
The Ventriloquist Summerschool in Oslo, August 10-15
Van Eyck Summer Design Academy in Maastricht, August 20-24
TELLS US WE’RE NOTHING. TELLS US WE’RE EVERYTHING. FLOWS IN BETWEEN is an exploration by design & art studio RO/LU and graphic designer Dante Carlos on themes about meditation, objects, and space. March 28 to April 26, 2015, The Center for Ongoing Research & Projects, Columbus.
“RO/LU: It seemed really easy to talk to you about the connections between spirituality and art. Sometimes it makes me uneasy to talk about this because spirituality has a lot of baggage as a term? Because it’s easily conflated with religion but, it doesn’t really have anything to do with that for me. There’s not a lot of separation between meditation and the work we do. They are different but, it’s nice to explore.
DANTE: The blurrier those distinctions are, the more interesting it becomes, but that’s the Gemini in me talking. But maybe we’re both comfortable and interested in talking about it because the projects we take on bleed into each other and the way we make work absorbs all the influence around us. Why should there be a distinction between something that is productive and something that is meditative or spiritual; or distinct from the rest of the universe rather than framing a part of it?” (…)
The Thing Quarterly is an object based publication. Each issue is conceived of by a different contributor. The object is reproduced, wrapped, and shipped to the subscribers.
Artist and graphic designer Brian Roettinger‘s issue 25 for The Thing Quarterly, Reproductions, is a massive catalogue raisonné that collects, documents and indexes the majority of his design work produced to date. The works, which are reproduced in black and white from photocopies, are not presented chronologically, nor is it clear, upon first inspection, which project is which: an early version is shown, sometimes just a sketch, and in some cases, the final printer proofs. Unlike a traditional monograph, Roettinger’s reimagined interpretation is a testament to the process itself, and underscores the poles of his approach, which is both visibly chaotic and meticulously organized. Launch, January 30, 8.30pm, Ace Hotel, Los Angeles.
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.