Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu


"image + language" Category


James Bridle – The Anicons


Wednesday, November 29, 2017
 
“as an artist and activist, James Bridle 1980 shows the impact of the techno-surveillance society we live in. He has converted data collected with a spy camera for his project The Right to Flight to create a kaleidoscopic animation. As a protest against this ruthless technology, he has made unusable images.” – Change Makers
 
 Skærmbillede 2017-11-29 kl. 17.10.34
 

I have always been really interested in how our community has become an  surveillance-community, the way we store images, knowledge and numbers in our cloud, for instance. How you can find an answer to nearly anything in the “cloud”. How our focus has moved from the physical to the not physical – metaphysical. How Apple would be able to place you at a crime scene if you are owner and user of an iphone with finger and face recognition. The norm is to tolerate that without questioning.

I think James Bridles project is interesting because he’s making those data unusable, data that is highly important in the way we are interfering and meeting each other today. Data which is not physical any more but have a high value in its metaphysical form.

I did a project earlier this year about how we began in some contexts to weigh the aesthetics higher then the function, and in some cases the understanding as well. And I think what James Bridle is doing can be understated in a similar way.

When you see graphical displays of books, posters or clothes etc., you begin to see a rhythm of incomprehensible elements, repeatedly one sees that a particular artist or designer chooses to use aesthetic elements like the Russian, Greek and Arabic alphabet as bearer of language. Some choose to use barcodes or gothic letters, ornaments that are clearly from another time, then the context it is viewed – used in. It is now only a matter of creating an aesthetically beautiful product, the recipient is now 100% uncritical and chooses only on behalf of aesthetics.

If you see Comme des Garcons for instance, they made a collab with russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy. In this colab there were t-shirts, hoodies etc with a text in russian. I see people wearing this without knowing anything about the meaning of the selection of letters, they are only wearing it for the aesthetics and the fact that it’s popular.

 

 

Skærmbillede 2017-12-10 kl. 20.14.07

 

The connection I see between these two is that people of today’s society, the post internet generation, have such easy access to awareness – information, facts, news etc, that we have to some extent, stopped caring about it. We are choosing, consciously or unconsciously, what to be aware of and what we want to care about.

Even though both Bridles footage and Comme des Garcons/Rubchinskiys design with the language/letters is filled with important and valuable information, the finished product in these projects is only an abstract form. Roughly said, we are ignoring the value in this information and only choosing to see the abstract result that gives us aesthetic pleasure.

The book of imaginary beings by Jorge Luis Borges.


Monday, November 27, 2017

imganiary-book_950


” I would say my design-style is pretty classic.

I try to make my designs inviting and appropriate

to the subject matter, whether fiction or non-fiction. ”

 - Francesca Belanger 

     

For thirteen years ago Francesca Belange designed the cover of  The book of imaginary beings written by Jorges Luis Borges. The only guidelines she got about how the design should be was the length of the book. The author passed away the 14th of June 1986 so communication was impossible, which maybe makes the design work different. Or easier? Because direct opinions do not really exist only the words through the editor. However the book turned out wonderful, with its old but new appearance. And there we have it, that is the reason I choose this book. I loved how it felt when I first held it, when I flipped through the pages and felt the uneven cut of the pages in the book. It reminded me of a really old storybook with a long and rich history. It felt like a book with strong words and that made me curious. I got the urge of wanting to know more about it. And the design, what was the feeling they wanted to accomplish?

20171127_003024
 The uneven pages

Belanger wanted to give the book a dreamy and exotic look. She used the Aldus text font with the Locarno light display to try to achieve it, and I must say that she has. The book look really like a dreamy and of course it is a fantasy novel, but the feeling that this book contains another world strongly appears. It’s interesting to know which font she used, believe it or not but the font says a lot about the book, its feeling, its own language and everything between that.

belanger 343belanger 22

The book also has many beautiful illustrations of the imaginary beings. They are fantastic as well as the design, I asked Francesa if she had contact with the illustrator Peter Sis, and she had. She says he was lovely but can not recall exactly what they talked about. It’s visible in the work they did together on the book that they had some kind of connection I would say, I think that is important in all work, whatever there is, that there is some kind of affection between the people. Even if they hate each other or do not speak that much to each other. It just has to be there, even if it is just a few words.
Belanger divided the layout of the book based on the placement of the illustrations, and that the imaginary beings needed to start on a new page to give the book style a flow and organization. But also because sometimes the imaginary beings is on a page itself, some times on the same page as the text and sometimes w
ithout the border that appears on the full page art, all these decisions were made in relation with the space. Belagner says that this must have been something she asked Peter Sis about. She says that she would never alter art without the acceptance of the artist.

belanger 34belanger 33
It all comes together to a strong, wonderful book with a strong expression and layout. When I hold the book I get that – I really really want to read this book – feeling. Witch book design are all about.

 

I like to say that a book jacket or cover has to grab a

reader’s attention, and my job is to invite her in”

– Francesca Belanger

 

The book of Imaginary Beings, designer: Francesca Belanger, Rietveld Library Cat. no: 855.6 bor 1

Building Blocks: De Stijl and Typeface design


Friday, October 20, 2017

video-1508250602   Spending an afternoon using an old letterpress I experienced what it would have been like to create printed text in the early 20th century until offset printing took over almost completely. This was a nice way to immerse myself into the subject of De Stijl and its relation to type design.

The Stijl movement which was founded in 1917 consisted of artists and architects who started building a new world, presumably as a result of the war that was just coming to an end. They literally started constructing their ideal world out of furniture, buildings and artwork. It seems to me that they tried to clear up the mess they saw around them by creating perfect straight lines and rigid blocks. Using primary colours, black and white, strict rules and useful functions they began portraying a ‘perfect’ world. In a way, they brought everything back to the basics while simultaneously making basic things more complex.
When researching De Stijl’s typeface design the first thing that comes to mind is the magazine published by Theo van Doesburg. The front cover, designed by Vilmos Huszar particularly caught my attention. Specifically the way the same exact rectangles create both the image and the type.
It seems to me like a practical method to create text, why not use the same structures used to create image, kill two birds with one stone kind of thing, and seeing as the spacers of the letterpress are perfect rectangles why not use those…? The Doesberg type shows this use of the letterpress spacers particularly well. One can see exactly where the spacers have been placed to create the alphabet.

alphabet-Theo-van-Doesburg-02
The same goes for Vilmos Huszar’s use of ‘building blocks’ to create both the text and image of the Stijl magazine cover. Or the logo he made for  ‘Miss Blanche Cigarettes’, again the same shapes are used to create the text and the image.

Huszar

 

This theme of using the same ‘building blocks’ to create image and text alike began to be a recurring subject in my research on de stijl’s type design. The line between image and text seems to blur and they both become the same thing, both showing information to the viewer.

Another fine example of this, is the 1941 publication of the fairy tale Het Vlas (The Flax) written by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by Bart Van Der Leck. The entire book is constructed out of straight lines, both the text and the images. One can see the strict guidelines that Van Der Leck stuck to precisely. This idea of having strict rules interests me, I find myself doing this at times with my own work, for example not letting the pen lift off the page. Although it makes sense to create these guidelines at times, I do get to a point where I’m thinking ‘I could create a more satisfying outcome if I didn’t have these self imposed rules’. Perhaps I am experiencing a similar thought to that of Van Der Leck when after disagreements with other members of the movement he decided to depart from De Stijl and create more abstract works with diagonal lines and other shapes and colours. Here is an early piece by Van Der Leck from his time with De Stijl and then one of his later works where you can see his departure from the strict guidelines.
 

Compositie 1917 no. 3 (Leaving the Factory), 1917 Abstract Composition, 1927
 
Abstract Composition, 1927 / Compositie no. 3 (Leaving the Factory), 1917

 

Going back to when he did use straight lines to illustrate the images and text for the fairytale, it seems as if this rigid rule was almost created as a challenge… To push further into the non obvious, the non default way of drawing things, the strictly abstract and to also challenge the viewer. In the literal sense as well: the text in this book is not necessarily easy to read.

Lets not forget who the audience of this book was supposed to be. If I imagine coming across this book as a child, lying among all the other softly illustrated fairy tales it would definitely stand out, I would have had to focus extra hard on each letter for it to make sense and watch as the lines constructing the letters merge into the ones creating the images. This principle, the way the image and the text is created in the same way, out of the same blocks is what stands out most about the typefaces designed by De Stijl. To take this one step further, it could be said that it is all the same, all the creation made by these artists is the same, for they use the same rules and guidelines.

The buildings, the furniture, the paintings, the typeface, all a creation from the same lines, forms, shapes and colours. This element is what I tried to explore in this little animation, the way the same ‘building blocks’ can create image and type. The seemingly rigid forms shift and transform around the page and merge into each other. Where is the line between image and text? I tried to play with this concept by letting the ‘building blocks’ move around the page and shift from image to text and then back again.

A word categorization


Friday, May 12, 2017

I chose a word (with the limitation of this website’s tagwords) and then I found an image which I connected to the word. By repeating this I created myself a collection of images. I have organized the words in categories by the logic of their images. The word categories you are seeing below are like poems and also like spells, I think.

 

1. hyper hybrid, fragile, personalized, unseen

 

2. all-round, narration, hole

 

3. perfection, endless

 

4. disturbing, comment, white, poem

 

5. symmetry, craft

 

6. still, choreography, conspiracy

 

7. body, invisible, real

 

8. concept, conversation

 

9. metaphor, control, ghosts

 

 

 

A Poetic Threesome


Friday, May 5, 2017

Words are magnets. Put two random words together, and they will enter in an (unintended) relationship. Of course in some cases it works better than others, in one case the result will be poetic, in the other criticism or humor will enter the stage.

As I was experimenting with this, using the tag words from DesignBlog, I noticed something. While combining the random words, they also started connecting to my surroundings, which were in that situation: the objects in my room.

 

Atmosphere_1100

Can random words and images enter in a “poetic threesome”?
I decided to do an experiment.

First I thought that maybe I should combine imagery from Google Image with the words, to make everything as random as possible. I tried this, but it didn’t really bring me any further. Of course some nice things happened, but it felt too general to me.

Anita_1100

ArabicArt_1100

I liked the personal, intimate side of my first observation.
I made up two guidelines for myself
:

1. use 26 tagwords from designblog starting with an “a”

2. use personal objects from your direct environment

 

Asian_1100

I wanted to know what would happen, combining the random with the personal. The personal intertwined twice in the process: combining the random words.
I think I unconsciously made choices according to my own taste. Even though I tried hard to combine the words randomly, I couldn’t help seeing the connections that might happen. In the end, I’m a person, not an algorithm, and I decided to embrace this.

ArtistMind_1100

anxiety_1100

Also, the objects are personal. I chose objects that were personal because I got them from someone important to me, because they were mine for a long time, or because I use them daily.

aboutabsence_1100

I made may own small home-studio and started making the words and the objects literally interact.

Americans_1100

Some interesting things happened:

Affection_1100

- The impersonal words became more personal, and more meaningful, simply because they were combined with my own belongings

Artichoke_1100

adidas_1100

- The objects, that I’d always looked at in one way, became something else, the words created gateways to other meanings

Klaas_1100

 I think also the white background allowed the object to break with their original context and start forming new connections.

Plant_1100

I found myself looking at my plant in a different way this morning.
Normally I barely notice it.

Am I living an automatic life? Or is the plant living an automatic life?

activism_1100

I wonder if there’s a third personal side to this: the connections we make when we see the random combinations. I make specific connections, someone else as well. We all have different imagery in our minds and different associations to the words used.

Vis_1100

What will the objects think of all this?
I don’t think people would like to be put in a random context. I wouldn’t like to be called Amusement or About Absence.

Maybe someone will invent a way to give objects a platform for their opinion. Objects have rights too.
Until that moment, humans will have to give the objects meaning. And I think sometimes it’s good to re-evaluate this meaning.

Why should a fish be food and not amusement?

Can’t avocado’s also be animals?

Why should pepper never be afraid?

And why is Anita no hero when she’s standing in the kitchen all day?

 

The Infinite Script


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

 

the infinite script_screenshot_1100

“The infinite script” (2016) is an alternative way to look at a human being. It is an uncommon representation of a nature and specifics of mental and behavioral algorithms.
This work is an attempt to visualize a functioning organism as a mechanism supplemented with a human intelligence that uses algorithms. The visibility of the algorithms is created by a computational language and visual information, which are united in one endless artistic research.
A self-development of an artist is a key point of this audible script. It has been performed as a visual monologue of the artist together with the video projection.
 

Thesis by Kateryna Snizhko as a video/animation artwork, presented at the 2016 graduation show as part of the department of photography

 

all rights to this thesis are property of Kateryna Snizhko © 2016

for more information check out Kateryna's website : http://www.experiolation.com//

 

Faux Mucus Vases


Monday, February 27, 2017

 
Wanders Wonders Wanders Wonders Screen shot 2017-04-29 at 12.43.46 PM

'Ozaena, Sinusitis and an other vase from the Airborne Snotty series

 
This collection of vases is an example of the creative possibilities of digital production methods, such as 3D scanning and printing.
This series is a materialization of human sneeze, and they’re all called after nasal cavity diseases. The products are made out of enlarged three-dimensional mucus particles emitted during a sneeze. They’re constructed from layers of polyamide powder.
The holes to hold the flowers were made during the process of fabrication to give utility to the object and make it functional.

Trying to relate this with the subject of ‘surface – Act III – faux’, nothing is what it seems. Nobody would ever expect these vases to appropriate the form of mucus and human sneeze, and nor either to be a vase, that holds flowers.
The surface in this case is important due to the fact that it would have been impossible to create such form with another material, like clay, wood or metal.
The fact that is microscopically scanned and printed after it makes it precise, an exact copy or big reproduction of a molecular substance.
 
The Airborne Snotty Vases names and where they come from.

Ozaena: A discharge of fetid matter from the nostril, particularly if associated with ulceration of the soft parts and disease of the bones of the nose.

Coryza: A runny nose. The word coryza came from the Greek koryza thought to have been compounded from kara, head + zeein, to boil=boiling over from the head.

Pollinosis: An inflammatory response in the nasal passages to an allergic stimulus. Often includes: nasal congestion, sneezing, runny or itchy nose. Also known as Hay fever.

Sinusitis: Inflammation of a sinus. The condition may be purulent or non purulent, acute or chronic. Depending on the site of involvement it is known as ethmoid, frontal, maxillary or sphenoid sinusitis.

Influenza: An acute viral infection involving the respiratory tract. It is marked by inflammation  of the nasal mucosa, the pharynx and conjuctive and by headache and severe myalgia. Fever, chills and prostration are common.
 

The making off : Airborne Snotty Vases : Marcel Wanders Studio 2001

 

To sum up, both of the text I wrote relate somehow to light. Light that tries to imitate the original. You can also read it in my first text here [x].

 

I wish I could read


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Write me something

and I will try

Try to read

Corrie_de_Boer_borduurwerk_op_linnen_3

 

Gekleurde brieven (Coloured Letters) is a work from Corrie de Boer made in 1977 and exhibited in the Stedelijk Museum, as part of the permanent design collection.

9 letters_small

Corrie De Boer, colored letters (detail), 1977, embroidered linen

The work is called nine letters hung next to each other. Embroidered letters on white a4 linen in different colours. None of them actually readable, but giving the intention something was written. This was a work that talked to me a lot. The colours give their own feeling to letters, even though there is no content. Each letter has got its own colour. Dark green, light green, yellow, orange, red, burgundy, purple, dark blue, light blue. Emotional content.
There is always an intriguing relation to text and the surface. Is the ink in or on the surface?
I wonder what happened  if I would be allowed to touch the letters with my fingers, that could maybe make it possible to read the letters, like a blind person. Since these letters only seem to be real, but looking closer nothing is actually readable, no real word is used in the embroidered letters. The empty whiteness inside of the embroidery becomes an imaginable type (a letter).
A similar situation takes place in the catalog accompanying the exhibition Surface.
In this case the embossed text, white letters on a white glossy paper, is clearly part of the surface, although it is also tangible or touchable. The texture of the letters is enabling the observer to read the title of the catalogue. The play with floodlight makes it visible and forces you to play with that surface in the light to read.

 

I like to sit on a bamboo chair ActIII_FAUX

Cover with embossed text and content page in which the inverted text is the surface too. catalog designed by OK-RM. • Chapter ActIII - FAUX, where the inverted text is the surface itself

 
Surface and Subject-matter are each others equivalent as the inside of the booklet was also not a clear description of what happened during the exhibition. It became a work on itself. It was a poem a theatre play.

 

Not how but why it’s been made like this


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Designed by COMA (a Dutch graphic design team working in Amsterdam and NYC)

Why ? First impression

Because of the colors. The weight. The shape of the cover. The transparent papers inside. The size of it. Maybe also because it looks like the books my mother used to have and read when I was little.

 

Why ? The object itself

hella copie

Physical aspect

Facing it, the object is shiny, composed of a large not centered title, a long and wide color picture placed horizontally in the middle and a silvery text at the bottom. The object looks humble, not pretentious. You easily guess it’s about a woman but the only thing you can see is male bodies holding red vases. The object wants to be complicated. By framing it’s cover with lines neither the text nor the picture are following, the object seems in a paradoxical state, containing without holding, focusing while spreading.

The object seems to feel comfortable on a table, it adapts to its surrounding. When you get in contact with it, it’s mostly homogeneous cold. At one point, the object asks to be touched further more.

After a week, the object seemed to reject the room I gave it on the floor. The colors of the book didn’t agree with the contact of the blue lino my room is filled with.

d5

Many try outs showed that the object is not cooperating with any of my pockets which made me think that it’s not the type of object you can easily bring with you. Maybe it doesn’t want to be shared.

The investigation on the book and its environment led to the idea that design make an object belong to a place. A shape could apply to many structures. For this case, I could say that the addition of the table and the hands are comfortable for both the user and the book.

It felt like the design of this book is a communication between vanishing in its environment (this conclusion came with experimenting the book placed next to the toilets for few hours) and being dedicated to a specific situation (open on a 75cm height table, in contact with both glances and hands).

 

illudesign

Why ? What does the contact of this designed book to a non-designer person ?

 

Non-Designer Person (NDP) : It’s a book.

Hypothetical Designer Person (HDP) : Yes. Can you guess how it was made ?

NDP : It has a blue wire that connects all the pages and the cupboard cover, so I guess it was industrially sewn. The pages are smaller than the cover.

HDP : Do you feel any rhythm in the layouts ?

NDP : Yeah, you can feel a harmony in the structure and links between texts and pictures. Sometimes the presentation wants to show an evolution, the composition is a bit repetitive. Maybe because of the grey frames that are always at the same place on each page.

HDP : How many colors do you see ?

NDP : Six. Blue, red, grey, black, yellow and white.

HDP : What do you think the colors are based on ?

NDP : I guess that the pictures taken for the book were inspiring for the designers, so the colors must belong to the topic.

HDP : How can design tell something without any words ?

NDP : In this case, you can follow a conversation between how the images and the texts are placed. There are smaller and bigger images, just like the text. The parallel is made by the composition and the sizes.

HDP : Without knowing what the book is about, can you guess the subject ?

NDP : The rhythm of the book is carried with transparent mat papers,  dividing the object in multiple parts. It feels like your are transported from a place to another in a spatial way. You also feel that the positions of the pictures are showing an evolution. As if the book is built through its topic.

HDP : Now that you wondered how esthetic can lead your glance, how do you meet the content ?

NDP : Content can be shown in so many ways. You can say something, and act in a way that says something else. Opening a book that you find esthetic, a book that attracts you and, then, realize that the content is disappointing, you feel like you’ve been cheated. Esthetics can fool you, because design is the structure of the content, it’s what make the content accessible.

HDP : How would you apply these ideas to this specific book ?

NDP : This book lied to me in a way. Because I felt like the content wasn’t worth the design.

 

Why ? How to meet a book without reading it ?

 Defining taste, instinct and anticipation

 

Either you hide your eyes, or you empty your brain.

The first part of the book that you notice is the spine, which is always trying to attract you. Showing all the information you need. Since I have to focus on the object, I blurred my vision to only see color spots on the shelves of the library. What is easily attractive to me is simplicity.

But then, the question that comes to me immediately is « How design can please me and others ? How can a designer can discuss beauty and attraction ? How to anticipate the singular tastes of people ? »

My instinct led me to this book in its visual aspect, and what I define as beauty could lead me to another interest, the topic. Beauty or visual statements can be the link to knowledge. It’s just like meeting someone in a club. First of all, you’re attracted by the spine, then by the cover, and, finally, by what’s inside (if you dare opening). Design is maybe about meeting an appearance to then go further, what makes you want to understand the attraction of what we define as « beauty ».

I’d say that design is the body while content is the mind. As your esthetic cannot please everyone, your mind is flexible, and the information you can get in a book won’t ever sound the same. Both esthetic and content can evolve but the link between how you show and what you show always works as parallel.

In fact, the book says something. The way you edit a book makes the object a story on its own. When you see the evolution of the images and the process Hella is going through, the discussion bellow the pictures emphasize this specific process. While the project is getting bigger, the information on the book are moving. Even though I feel like the book has a repetitive aspect, the pictures taken by Joke Robaard are a link between the content and the visual aspect. Esthetic is built but content is the starting point, so that’s when design has to adapt.

« [Maybe] Graphic Design will need to become a part of the thing and not the thing itself »

Michael Bojkowski

 

What seems interesting, reading back the first impressions I had, is that Graphic Design evolves with technologies. To me, this book can stand for a specific time of the book’s History (the 00’s) as Michael Bojkowski made me realize, questioning « Why graphic design ? ».

Hella Jongerius by Hella Jongerius / Rietveld library catalogue no : jonger 1

Wimble click crumblechaw beloo


Thursday, September 15, 2016

650-ANDREEA_PETERFI_ANNELAKEMAN

Umberto Eco in his Six Walks in The Fictional Woods is referring to the idea of an optical illusion, for explaining how we are perceiving the fictional novels. Throughout his essay we are being shown, several illustrations with which he is visualizing the concept behind his es- say. Although it is not a children’s book, he is adding the illustration for the means of having a common understanding on the topic he is referring to and the concepts he is presenting.
While in children’s books, unfortunately, the freedom of the child using his fantasy is taken away, by – and thus imposing the fantasy of – one or more grownups, directing them in what they must see and understand as to have a common memory. I will come back on this subject later.
In Eco’s book though it is necessary to have the same understanding of the concept he is proposing. He is pointing his finger, saying “this is what I mean and not other”. Being able to maintain a certain common understanding, while using words, either in speech or writing is very difficult, as De Certeau is pointing it out in The Practice of Everyday Life:

“The readable transforms itself into the memorable: Barthes reads Proust in Stendhal’s text; the viewer reads the landscape of his childhood in the evening news.”

 

650-ANDREEA_PETERFI_ANNELAKEMAN-2

Simply because we have agreed that, say: cup is a cup it does not mean that we are talking about the same subject/object. Each of us are having a specific memory of the word, being related to either the time we have learned it first, space, surrounding, atmosphere, mate- rial, color, size or form, are additions to the experience we are relating the word to.
When we say the word cup we refer to all the cups from everyone’s memory, and to the only one cup we relate to personally, all the cups we have happened to see, and even the ones we do not yet know about.
Here I will make a short parenthesis for coming back to what I have said above, about the common memory of the children, whom have shared the same book in the past. Clearly there are a few objects in each generation (related to time) or cultures (related to place) we can think of, that are bringing a sudden nostalgia. Referring to one of these objects from our common memory, has the power to affirm and acknowledge the ground where one that stands facing the others. Thus sharing a specific memory of a specific object can be decisive for taking or not part of the group.

650-ANDREEA_PETERFI_ANNELAKEMAN-3

Once this idea is settled there is no need for other words to explain ourselves. We now can trust each others understanding on a number of other discussions, that we do have similar experiences.
Let’s take the 90’s generation as example. We might have experienced objects as Tamaqotchi, Nokia Querty, Pokemon and Dexter’s laboratory even though we come from all different countries and cultures. Recently I have participated in a some similar talks in a few different settings about Tamaqochi. It seems that somehow the memory of this object, keeps reoccurring. There are exactly a few specific answers to the question: “Oh! And do you remember Tamagotchi?!” that represent the object at it’s best and everyone understand their meaning.With or without the additional -
annoyed : “Oooh! Noooo, please….(it was such a stupid game, it would always die during the class)” .
and the enthusiastic : “Yes Yes! (I actually had a few)!”.
Whether one remembers more the annoyance or the pleasure, in the end both sides know exactly what it all meant or felt like. Thus trough sharing a common reference point they are becoming ‘a group’. They can now feel closer by the fact that they have shared a common/similar experience. Trough sharing a common experience the ‘other’ becomes ‘we’. While the ones that did not share the experience have a harder time to relate to the word and the meaning it carries with it.
This of course is a simplistic example and as such I am here not discussing the importance of sharing the idea of the Tamagotchi persé as an object/name, or as an experience, but replace it with something of a bigger importance – and that is where we, although having developed language to be able to transmit thoughts, can not get over the struggles of truthfully understanding their meaning and in some cases we overlook their importance by not being able to relate to other people’s experiences only trough words.

 

Cover_shaded download this thesis by Andreea Peterfi
all rights to this thesis are property of the author © 2016

 

Breakdown of book bricks


Monday, April 18, 2016

you enter

the room

the walls

are books

their backs

turned on you

the books

won’t share a word

unless you take one of them

one brick from the wall

but the wall they form

can’t be broken down

they turned their backs

on you

you have to turn your head

sideways

to read what their names are

even when it is your own room

your own wall

it can feel like the chinese wall

in fact

it’s all chinese to you

so you give up

a big bookcase

is not in favor

of the books

nor you

the renovation of an ancient building 

now

this is

what i’m going to do

 

i’ll break down the wall

brick by brick

book by book

 

what do i feel?

which book belongs

to that

what i feel

?

 

and

what do i want?

which book belongs

to that

what i want

?

 

where am i

with this feeling that i have

and the book that i want to read

?

 

for each feeling

and each desire

a book

and a place

so i took all the books

out of the room, now it’s empty

like the first page

 

i put the books on piles

piles of feelings and desires

piles of knowledge

books can give you everything

if you take care

 

now this is what i’m going to do

i’ll start to write

first pile

epilogue

learning

i want to learn things

i am curious

big books

history

the atlas

FullSizeRender (7)

dictionaries

encyclopedia

next to notebooks

and dummies

and books for dummies

how to

cut

paste

sew

read

draw

think

find

go

the place is ready

for reading

as well as doing

the worktable

 

second pile

FullSizeRender (6)

introduction

loving

i want to read

about the love in the world

and want it sometimes i feel without love

sometimes i feel in love

and want it

there is a note written inside

with love, for you

i’ll read to you and to myself

poems of love

bed side stories

books that keep a place warm in

 

the bed

 

FullSizeRender (5)

third pile

first chapter

you can’t read

on an empty stomach

stained and smelling books about food

and cooking

world dishes

when we sit here we always talk about food and share ideas for dishes and tastes on our tongues

kitchen table

 

 

 

FullSizeRender (4)

 

forth pile
dreaming

second chapter

fantasies

fiction

stories

to disappear in

 

when you think you want

to watch the television

or when you are bored

you sit in the chair

and lean sideways

then you grab a book

and start to read

and to disappear

 

a good chair

 

 

 

FullSizeRender

fifth pile

books with mud and sand

third chapter

flowers between the pages

encyclopedias of plants

latin names and hours

of drawing

books of gardening

the hammock or the garden chair

 

 

 

sixth pile

forth chapter

dreams of traveling

flora and fauna

nature and travel books

national geographic

capitol guides

next to the computer

to book a flight

 

computer table

 

FullSizeRender (3)

seventh pile

fifth chapter

when you’re an art student

art is everywhere

also when you’re a normal person

there is an art way of looking at things around you

it is nice to have books to leaf through

or read carefully

monographies

biographies

auto

biographies

art

philosophy

theory

catalogues

magazines

fanzines

on the easel

on the bench

on the work table

in the bathroom

in plastic jackets, shower-and-bath-proof

in on behind the closet

everywhere

the rest of the books

many thanks to-

FullSizeRender (8)

ideas

pleas

novels

 

books are a part of life

but a wall of books

is too far away

 

to bring the books close

 

to accompany to your tea

and your company

to show pictures and lines

for your eyes only

 

the books can travel with you on vacation

or on a rolling table

through every wall of the house

 

 

 

a book as a bookshelf

Schermafbeelding 2016-04-18 om 21.42.35

books forming a bookcase

holding other books

showing their faces,

finally

when you break down the book wall

you will

discover books

in places unexpected

finding them back

after long loss

a rose

and its smell

between pages

a postcard

a letter

a bookmark

notes, lines, circled words

a younger you

wrote a letter

 

 

surprise yourself and others

with books as gifts in corners

and between the pillows of the bench

 

books say something you can’t Schermafbeelding 2016-04-18 om 21.42.00

put into words

books that you know

that will always be there

next to your bed

or under it

on the closet

standing on its small edge

facing you

with a different page each day

 

books that you carry

that carry your thoughts

a small book in

a small bag

book size, pocket size

with you

 

FullSizeRender (9)

body books

big books

book hats

big bags

hat books

a book in a hat

a book in a sock

smelling a little of sweat

sock-pockets for books

follow your steps

some say the library is unnecessary

some say it has already gone

words are everywhere

the library

is the world

form your library

from the words in the world

Physical letters


Monday, February 22, 2016

 

 

A

 

large_Curtain_2

 

This image is from a project of an hanging typeface that René Knip developed with Janno Hahn for the art academy in Istanbul, Turkey. I thought it was quite a beautiful image regarding typefaces and it got me curious with this idea of building curtains through the act of connecting letters.

In the first place I think it is interesting that we are speaking of objects now. Even though this typeface can and does work in an independent way when printed on a flat surface or on a digital platform, its design was developed based on the fact that it needed to work as a physical thing. The letters needed to be able to be hung and to connect between themselves.

 

BLOG1

A drawing is a different mechanism and makes use of a wider freedom while when you need to construct or build something it is dependent on a big set of criteria. Not everything is possible and it is ok. :-) The material, the craft and the limitations of earthly conditions give some direction on the process of making the design. Possibly they add a new layer or content and richness.

 

There are two artists about whom I can speak shortly in this sense.

 

BLOG6 BLOG2

 

 

Karl Nawrot (x) is a french graphic designer based in Lyon, France. We can say he has a very hands-on approach on the process of developing his designs. The  b&w image above shows two fases of the research for the typeface Lÿno that he designed in coöperation with Radim Pesko: first a sketch of cutout shapes made out of Albert Heijn packaging boxes that were later translated in a flat design. It is indeed a very experimental way of dealing with drawing, to try to find two-dimensional shapes through the making of three-dimensional sculptures.

 

Hiroaki Ohya is a Japanese fashion designer that has been working on the issue of clothing through a more artistic perspective. She transformed old t-shirts into letters (second picture above), keeping recognizable elements of the t-shirt, as neck and arm holes, and making letters that are readable.  They are intriguing pieces to look at, I feel, one doesn’t know if they are in fact still t-shirts or letters already.

 

~-~-~

B

 

 

96662_original

 

 

Going a bit further I wonder what does it mean for a letter to become an isolated object…?

Look at that little G lost on the sidewalk…

(Probably nothing very important but) I cannot help myself from feeling a certain fascination, seeing them out of their context and physically engaged in my world. One thing about symbols and language is how abstract and mysterious they seem to be when you don’t know how to read them. And when they are taken out of their function of communication they get some of these qualities back and open up a space for poetic understandings.

 
printing-press-letters

 

One of the first times it did happen was probably with the invention of movable types on the Gutenberg press. Even though as stamps they were not meant to be read themselves, letters started to take up space and had to be organized by shape and volume, not as a message.

Representative of the democratization of books, letters as objects are also very representative of the alphabetization. It only makes sense to shape so many things in the world as letters because so many know how to read. And actually primary schools are one of the places where you are going to see more letters-objects and to hear the actual speaking of the A, the B or the C as individual entities. This is done in certain schools for pedagogic reasons to get the students familiarized with the alphabet before starting to make words and sentences

A possible association of meaning that one can make of letters as things is with the playfulness of childhood and all the memories of the beginning of education for those who can read. There’s quite an abstract feeling in learning and schools if one thinks of it…

 

“Do you know what ‘A’ means, little Piglet? It means learning,
it means education, it means all the things that you and Pooh haven’t got”

Winnie The Pooh

I found this quote in the book  ‘One letter words, A dictionary’,  by Craig Conley, in which he tries to find the possible meanings that each letter can have when used by itself. It is quite interesting to find out a letter can be or mean so much. However I also like the possibility of a more poetic and abstract meaning.

 

 

~~

 

 

João Vieira (1934-2009) was a portuguese artist very much interested in the alphabet as a theme and on the idea of using letters as objects for their poetics possibilities. Like the situation of the second video above: “a runway of letters”. Which latent meanings are at stake? Or is it a formal exercise?

 

joao_vieira_uma_rosa
uma rosa é

Mainly known as a painter of letters,
he said in 2006 “I started to paint letters because I wanted to make poems with painting”.

 

Quite curious to see the way how this Portuguese artist dealt with the canvas since there is not so much tradition of painting in Portugal. There is a lot of literary tradition though. His first paintings were abstract and gestual and depicted simple shapes;  later he started to work also with quotations from famous writers and with the form of the alphabetical letter by themselves. His interest by letters grew into sculpture and into performances. In his first performance The spirit of the Letter (1970) he built several letters in wood that were later destroyed by himself and a group of kids. It was the next year he did the performance Expansions (first video above) where he made giant ones out of foam, plastic and leather and used them to interact and play with the public.

 

BLOG7_1100

 

~~

C

 

The Latin alphabet is based on sounds, the signs are phonographs, and I think it is where some of the interest of the topic lays. Each letter only refers to a sound that is a small fragment of a message. Without that it is a very vague and abstract form or thing and we are attributing to it the materialism of a physical thing. What does this object refers to anyway??

These letters are objects that can get old and used, they can be torn apart, they have a space in our bowls and stomachs. You can touch them, kiss them if you like, throw them in the thrash.

The same way that we animate objects in our imagination – as in filling them with life and identity – we do the same with this letters which is a kind of complex thing at this point. A mute symbol of a sound playing its life again.  Yes, complex situation but only an ordinary detail of daily life business.

..

 

 505944e557527f33c872008fa3254eca – 

BLOG4

zzZzee you aroud

A wide variety of books and a bride with no groom


Sunday, February 21, 2016

notebooks  

- – - – - – - – - – - – -  - – - - – - – - – - – - – - – - - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - - – - – - – - - – - – - – - – - – - – -

A WIDE VARIETY OF BOOKS
AND A BRIDE WITH NO GROOM 

(Roughly about emojis)

 - – - – - – - – - - – - – - – - - – - – - - – - – - – - – - — – - – - – - – - – - – - – -- – - – - – - – - - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - - - – - – - – - –  - - 

Bride with no groom

 

 

The first time I saw Emojis  was 4 years ago, around 2011. I had done that big investment and changed my Blackberry for an Iphone. Coming from the Blackberry world it was very important for me to be able to chat for free so I downloaded Whatsapp, which was gaining popularity in my Ecuadorian chatting circle of life. But coming from the Blackberry world I was also missing to be able to send their super cute “Smileys” (how I called them before calling them “Emojis”, by the way my grandmother calls them “caritas” which means “little faces”).

Smileys, Emojis, or Emoticons where not included in Whatsapp and apparently they were not in my super new and slick Iphone neither. A friend recommended me to download an app called Emoji Emoticons, this applications was going to somehow make a Emoji Keyboard appear in my Iphone. So I did Sparkles on Apple iOS 9.3

remember finding very strange the fact that this Emojis will appear in my keyboard as another language. Between the options I had I could either write in Spanish or write Emoji. Technically I couldn’t do both in the same time. Emojis in Iphone interface at that time weren’t categorize as a complementary element to written words, as they appeared in my BlackBerry. Rather they appeared as a whole new language. The Emoji pack for the Iphone was also a lot wider than the Bb Smiley pack. Suddenly having so many options made me question my real need for them. They were all new so I was not used to them and they all seemed not suited to my usual way of communication and a bit arbitrary. Somehow because they where not the Emoji I was used too, they also felt “un-official”. I knew I could demand them to be official and that I couldn’t defend that the Bb smileys were official indeed, but I think it was an interesting instinctive (?) reaction.

I asked myself for example if I will ever need 4 Volumes of books (each one with their own color) and 3 types of notebooks.Where was the ecuadorian flag? And why was there a Bride and not a Groom? What happened with him? Is it the hat? This little and easy remarks (maybe a little bit too easy: Pseuo-Nationalist and Pseudo-FeministFace Throwing a Kiss on Apple iOS 9.3) catch my attention. With the time Emojis started to be used more and more and they started to feel like a some-how “official” thing. Despite this the arbitrary feeling to it was still there. They were being used for a lot of people but were they representing this people need of communication? (AND NOW OMG, MY QUESTION HAS BEING HEARD BY THE GOD OF ADVERTISING AND AlwaysG is also bitching about Feminist-Emoji-Rights…Face Without Mouth on Apple iOS 9.3: Always #LikeAGirl – Girl Emojis)

The ancestor of the Emoji is the “Smiling face”, even though earlier versions are known, Harvey Ball is recognized as the official designer of the smiley, he did it back in 1963. Emoji were born in the late 1990′s created Shigetaka Kurita, an employee at the Japanese telecom company NTT Cocomo. Kurita came up with the idea to add simplistic cartoon images to its messaging functions as a way to appeal to teens. He draw them using a pencil and a paper in a 12 by 12 pixel grid. This is how he came up with 176 crude symbols representing from faces to music notes. This emojis were a hit in the Japanese market, and other mobile providers adopted this feature. In 2007 when the Iphone appeared Apple and Google realized that they had to catch up and they added their own Emoji keyboard in the Iphones. This feature was hidden in the US Iphones, but we soon discovered that we could download an app to make them appear. By this moment the propositions given by provider were partially overlapping symbols and had its own way of coding. Emoji from a different provider often could not be displayed between them. Also emoji via email was a problem. 

 

 

National Park on Apple iOS 9.3
(This is a landscape painting hanging in the wall of this article for decoration and recreation purposes)

 

 

So Emoji added to the Unicode Consortium in 2009.Unicode which was founded in 1990 is a network of contribution members. This is the organization who punctuates, encodes, names and sketches Emoji to make sure that each platform (e-mail, iOs, Android, Google, etc) shows the same character. Then each platform can design their Emoji.  Since then the Unicode Consortium adds new Emoji features each year. This emoji features are held by employees from Apple and Google…Man in Business Suit Levitating on Apple iOS 9.3

In June 2015 there were 37 Emojis added, including an upside-down smiley, a nerd, a robot, a taco, a cheese, a hot dog, a mosque, a synagogue, etc. They also enabled, understandably, the option to change the skin tone of certain human-emoji to different hues on the FitzPatrick Scale, a “recognized standard for dermatology”

Looks quite hard to determine what Emojis are needed to represent all the Emoji-users needs for communication, it is clear that we are looking for solutions to be more expressive via text, but in the same time it also sounds too-easy easy to ask for emoji-representation of everyone. Tyler Schnoebelen lingüistic-related man has done some observations. As he says, “we’ve learned to talk, and we’ve learned to write, but we’re only now learning to write at the speed of talking (i.e., text), sending messages over vast expanses, absent any physical contextual clues. If you are talking to someone face-to-face, you don’t need an additional word or symbol to express “I’m smiling” because you would, presumably, be smiling.” But when we text between each other we loose all the non-verbal faculties like vocal intonation and body-language. Thinking about texting in this way makes very clear the necessity of a body-related language to emerge among chatters to leave intentions clear in a fast, casual way as easily as making a gesture.

But Emoji are not as limited as body-languageMouse Face on Apple iOS 9.3. Because among this very understandable body-expression conventions we also find other pictograms. Pictograms that seems to represent objects, actions or just words. And that have no defined meaning. This is the shady part of emoji. One of the reasons for which we cannot communicate solely with Emojis. With the times though there are some interpretations that have been stablished among certain people for example the girl with hands up in her head is in Japanese context a gesture for “OK”, but in other contexts is mostly interpreted differently. Each Emoji is still very much open for interpretation and I guess with time this language will be shaped to fit our needs for communication. We will add emojis we need and the existing emojis will be filled with the needed meanings. Until then I guess we will keep playing with this pictograms in this shady zone trying to scape from the limitations they offer and trying to use them our way. Hoping also that Emoji will find its way to make us all Smile and will not create any sort of discrimination feeling to start a war, or a second feminist revolution. 

senorita

 

Thats all I have to say. But I have also this emoji-related links to recommend: 
emojipedia.org
Tearsofjoy.nl
emoji.ink
emojiliteracy.com
emojitracker.com
emojinalysis.tumblr.com/
emojicate.com/

And things to read: 
nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/11/emojis-rapid-evolution.html
time.com/2993508/emoji-rules-tweets/

“What can I say?”


Saturday, February 20, 2016

The world is pretty big, it’s cool we fit on it. Beat Muller and Wendelin Hess also noticed that the world indeed is pretty big. They were asked to do a visual essay for the Eye Magazine with their opinion about the neutrality of a country in a global world. They answered pretty clean cut clear with:

“Die Unmöglichkeit der Neutralität”

 

Muller-+-Hess_1500

 

They put together an image-based alphabet,    mixing Swiss mountains,    portraits of the pope, bloody guys, sports,     porn and by this stimulating the     uncontrollable    visual    stream of today.

                                                                                                            We are very visually orientated animals; from cave paintings to computers. We did not start communication with words. Homo sapiens first attempts at passing information took on the form of cave paintings. A small child first learns to draw before it is able to master more complex communication.   28.000 years after the first cave painting the alphabet emerged in Ancient Egypt. From then on communication in written word gradually took over. When you look at newspapers over 100 years old you see a large amount of text and an absence of pictures. Compared with newspapers from today they look like a dry toast morning read. In The Netherlands the best selling newspaper would be ‘De Telegraaf’. When you compare their percentage of image use with other papers they have the highest. It seems like visual language is gradually taking over written words, like we are going back in history.

 

Naamloos-22

 

The origin of text and the origin of visualizing seem to have the same goal: communication. Somewhere between the two lay contradictions and overlaps. We often need one of the two to translate the other of the two. For example on your computer; The computer used to be a very complex machine that could only be used by trained experts. Only when the Graphical User Interface (GUI) was introduced did computers become everyday appliances. This means that the computer actually is a big bang bomb of information, codes and things we don’t really understand. This GUI translates all this information into images, metaphorical images we recognize and know the means of. It is an international language, all over the world people from different cultures use the same icons, folder buttons and trashcans.

Naamloos-2Amsterdam_Lawrence_Weiner_Translation

We are constantly translating things we want to say into something other people can understand. When the Dutch artist, Bas Jan Ader made ‘too sad to tell you’ [x] he was too sad to tell you. He communicated visually rather than with words. When I feel too sad to tell you I send you a Crying Face Emoji. Like caveman, like baby, like Bas, we reach out for visual communication.

 Naamloos-3

                                                              Image and language need each other, sometimes. Sometimes they become each other: like slogans. Slogans balance on the edge of image and language. The words in a slogan are not working as a neutral informative tool. The words in a slogan become images loaded with suggestions. Reading becomes looking and looking becomes reading. We become image readers, because we understand images more rapidly.

An artist who works with the tension between words and images is Ed Ruscha, an American artist born in Omaha, Nebraska. His interest in words and typography are the main subject in his paintings, prints and photographs. The words, sentences and phrases in his work often radiate more than only a neutral meaning. When I look at the word “The” in the image below, it no longer looks like a word but becomes a picture, leaving its body, getting new meanings and becoming a word again.

12am215ed-ruscha-ooo

The combination of a (background) image and a ‘word’ provoke a lot of suggestions that ask for multiple interpretations. You could say that these text-images explore the possibilities and limitations of non-verbal communication. Ruscha is aware that letters, as well as words can speak. Different forms of lettering can change the meaning of a word. About his liquid letters he claims “I could make an “o” stupid or I could make it hopeless or anyway I want it to be and it would still be an “o”. He wrestles with the question “What can I say?” and “How can I say it?” Language is like a loaded gun, and we shoot, so what can i say?

 

The Impossibility of Neutrality


Friday, February 5, 2016

Neutrality. Growing up in Sweden, the term has been a part of me since I was born, and a part of my country since before any of the world wars. It is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the quality or state of not supporting either side in an argument”. It is used throughout society in everything from neutral tasting yoghurt to neutral states in politics. But what does it mean? And is it even possible? I chose to explore and discuss a part of this which is dear to me as an art student, image making.

I started exploring neutrality through a work of Swiss designers Müller + Hess called The Impossibility of Neutrality, which is a commission by the English graphic design magazine Eye. It is an attempt to create an alphabet consisting of imagery instead of typography. Each letter in the alphabet has been replaced by multiple images. They chose multiple images because different people have different perceptions of what an image could represent. So to make this more precise, the viewer can look at multiple images to understand which letter the sender is trying to convey. The work deals with typography, text and photography, and how it is impossible to be neutral in imagery.

Impossibility-neutrality_1_1300

The Impossibility of Neutrality ©1999 by Müller + Hess, first published as Max Bruinsma's article Reduced to the Max in Eye-mag #32

From this work I went onward to The Photographic Dictionary by Lindley Warren. The Photographic Dictionary is a website with photographs representing words. Each word in the dictionary is represented by a photograph. The word that is represented by the photograph below is the word embrace. What happens in this work, just as in Müller + Hess’s work, is that the impossibility of neutrality becomes very apparent. The representation of the word becomes very personal, and in every image there are many messages that the viewer can read into, and every image can be interpreted in many different ways. An image can not show something neutral, as text can. Or can it?

bgk 007

Embrace by Brendan George Ko through The Photographic Dictionary

Stock photography is often used as an image that can just be interpreted in one way. It is a photograph showing something in a very non-personal and mostly objective way. It is used widely by, for example businesses, who in this way can acquire quality imagery for their business at a lower cost. When using a stock photography service, the user searches for a word or a phrase, and the matching photograph appears. For this to work, the image has to be non-personal and work for a specific use within many different contexts. Does this mean that the image is neutral? And does it apply to all types of images? Images showing people can hardly be neutral I think. Most of them show an accepted norm for the human being which they send as a message. But let’s take something else as an example. Let’s take this image of U.S. dollar bills. I believe it is more or less neutral. It portrays the dollar bills as they are, no more and no less. I feel it is not carrying any messages more than the concept of U.S. dollar bills. But then again the concept of U.S. dollar bills holds a lot of messages in itself, within everything from geography to economy and politics. And also, the bills are stacked irregularly and have creases on them, which makes me think of money that is earned in illegal ways, passed on in duffel bags.

_3LITEN

Dollar bills by iStock

Another type of neutrality which I think is interesting is when an image or a message has been used so many times and in so many different contexts that it has lost its original meaning and doesn’t really say anything anymore. An example is the art sold at IKEA. It has been bought, sold and shown so many times in so many different contexts that the original context or message is completely lost, and it now doesn’t really represent much at all. Maybe this isn’t neutrality, but more some kind of visual confusion or loss of context. But just like the stock imagery, these images are often just used to replace one word, which in this case is decoration and/or art. This makes these images neutral in the way that most people don’t really experience or see anything when looking at these images, but instead just see a materialization of the word decoration or art.

Ikea_Art_Liten

Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's by IKEA

Something that I think fits very well into this discussion is the word perception. Perception is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the way you think about or understand someone or something”. People will always have different ways of perceiving things, and when looking at an image, the image is always interpreted regarding to the perception of the viewer. Perception connects to what the viewer has seen, heard and experienced before. This is why the portrait of Audrey Hepburn from IKEA has lost it’s original context. Because it has been seen more often at IKEA or as a decorative art piece, than in its original context. This is also why we are able to find different messages and meanings in what at first glance appears to be a neutral image of dollar bills shown above. If the bills would have no marks and stacked in a perfect order, then the assumptions and the messages we are able to read into the image would still be there, just that they would be other messages and meanings. And because of perception, my conclusion in this essay is that it is impossible to be neutral. Whatever image is presented, the viewer or user will always be able to see one meaning or another in an image, and an image will always be able to be connected to something in the life of the viewer and therefore be interpreted through this experience.

On a side note I also believe it is a bit funny that Müller + Hess are Swiss, from the viewpoint that Switzerland is supposedly the oldest neutral country in the world. I wonder if any of their government officials read that issue of Eye Magazine.

Ceramics with Émilie / Ceramics with François


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

650-Emilie_Ferrat_and_Francois_Girard-Meunier_RV_lowres_1 Rietveld Graduation Show

Émilie Ferrat [x] and François Girard-Meunier [x] graduated from the Department of Graphic Design. As part of their graduation show they presented a collaborated project ‘Ceramics with Émilie / Ceramics with François.’ This project was chosen by an independent jury to be nominated for the Design Award and was for that reason part of the exhibition ‘Selected Gerrit Rietveld Academyie Awards 2015’ organized in Castrum Peregrini [x].

Screen shot Peregrini-show

Castrum Peregrini Presentation

 

Ceramics with Émilie / Ceramics with François

‘The medium is the message.’ These words of Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan still offer room for artistic exploration. Because how exactly the message changes when the medium, or the material, is changed remains shrouded in mystery. In their collaborative project, graphic designers Émilie Ferrat and François Girard-Meunier use a classic yet surprising approach: dialogue.
 
Screenshot_Selected-images1
 
    The installation consists of a video of the two designers conversing and a number of glazed clay models –a mobile telephone, for example, and shot glasses, jigsaw pieces and some undefinable models– with which Ferrat and Girard-Meunier stretch the boundaries between form, material and meaning. A new plain field is established. The video shows their fresh and resolute debate on their progress in working with ceramics – a new material for both of them. The dialogue is explicitly overacted, which stresses the artificiality of the form (a recorded conversation about models they made earlier). The overacting harmonizes nicely with the glaze on the clay models: a shiny layer upon robust content. The spoken and material form are one.
 
Screenshot_Selected-images2
 
    ‘Do you think it’s the ceramics that is giving meaning to our talks,’ one of them asks, ‘or rather that our talks are giving meaning to the ceramics?’ The relationship between words and things is a complex one. It is a relationship that has puzzled many philosophers, artists and linguists. By deliberately speaking as amateurs, ferret and Girard-Meunier open up a new perspective on this relationship.
    The material prompts conversations that lead beyond just ceramics: design in a broader sense, a philosophical ‘brain in a vat’ argument, personal insecurities and the history of art, these are all subjects that lay hidden in the material. The ceramics function as a conversation starter: the medium turns out to contain many messages.

text by Thomas van Huut [x]

 

for full length video [19 minutes 54 seconds] contact François Girard-Meunier

 

matter of drawings


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Finding your way in the Designblog, we all do it in a different way. What catches our interests? What do we remember of it and how do we connect it to other links, artists, events, books etc? I was browsing thru the Designblog and ended up in the category ‘Beeld en Taal’ (image and language), went into the illustration part and found this post: Considerations on the matter of drawing.  Luca Carboni is explaining his fascinations for drawing and asks himself if drawing is one of the oldest way in which mankind is expressing itself, is drawing a medium in which the Zeitgeist is always an important part.

In drawing you can see the influence of the time. Luca says: ‘As an expression of time it’s the best medium to communicate something of that moment, every idea, process, image.’

8e90d8fe-ab97-11e2-9637-ae88113b62bc    Luca connects this with the book “The New Yorker Album of Drawings 1925-1975” from the Rietveld library. The book exists out of different cartoons from “New Yorker” magazine in the period 1925 till 1975.  Cartoons made by: Saul Steinberg, William Steig, Richard Taylor, Peter Arno, Charles Barsotti, Geoge Booth, Barney Tobey, James Thurber, Charles Saxon and many more. One of the best known is Saul Steinberg who worked for almost 60 years for the New Yorker. The magazine is a combination of fiction and journalism. The cartoons in the magazine have always played an important role. Above that, until the 1990s they never used photographs but only illustration.

Pantumblr_md4nqoNce51rfltouo1_500

When I read the post for the first time, I immediately made the connection with the artists Brecht Evens (born in 1986). He is a Belgium artists who makes a lot of cartoons, illustrations and strips. I think in his beautiful watercolor drawings  you can see that the time we live is an import aspect, just like in the album of drawings from the New Yorker. Evans worked for the ‘New York times himself. A part from that he published two books. Most recent: “De liefhebbers” [The Making Of] (2011) and before that “Ergens waar je niet wil zijn” [The Wrong Place] (2009).

10411139_747114228683909_110301245057733465_n

In the cartoons of the New Yorker the zeitgeist indeed plays an import part. And it is this what makes those drawings so smart and funny. Is this all that matters?  Was it only the time we lived in, that played an import roll. We still do admire the drawings and cartoons these artists made. The drawings still speak to us.

Brecht EVens2

The same goes for Brecht Evens. There is something mysterious about these drawings that always holds our attention, regardless of the time in which we live.


Log in
subscribe