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


"conditional" Tag


ATTEMPTS ON A RESEARCH ESSAY, COMPLETE SERIES


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

 

claesfrontcover

 

1:
The designer of this book is unstated and unfindable and probably dead.
But that’s no good, so lets start again.

2:
During this assignment we were asked to chose a recent edition in the library based purely on its design, in order to research it for the coming weeks and write a publication on it.

Narrowing down my choices to 2 books Henk advised me one was a classic (he owned 4 copies) and the other he knew nothing about. Which was which he wouldn’t tell, so I followed my instinct. I settled on “Skulpturer och tecknigar 17 Sept.- 30 Okt”: a catalogue of Claes Oldenburg’s work from Moderna Museet in 1966.

Safe to say Henk doesn’t have a copy at home.

3:
Emailing Moderna Museet led to nothing fruitful.

4:
The librarian at the Rietveld Library said he would help me research.

He told me:
“Many designers in the 60s weren’t credited at the time because being a designer was so applied. who cares about them? Its all about the artist”
“Claes’ partner was actually dutch… but that doesn’t help you. Fuck.”
“I bought a Claes Oldenburg book last week.”
He said some things about the Moderna Museet but, again, “It’s no use to you. I don’t know”
He wished me luck.

5:
The librarian at Rijksmuseum told me:
“What is your question? I don’t understand your question?”

6:
Last February I went to a seminar by Nasan Tur.

Sat among the group was a woman (about 50) who was neither introduced nor introduced herself. For the sake of the narrative, she will be called Cecille. Cecille was conflicted about many things and had earlier that day talked herself into great confusion about the significance of a plastic Marylin Monroe compared to that of a plastic Buddha. At some point it all spilled out: an architect for 27 years, fed up of not being able to practise creativity within her job; taking a year out; putting everything on hold; trying to start again.

In trying to solve this issue Tur referenced Oldenburg as an example of an artist using interior design and architectural ideas in an artistic form: suggesting Cecille might learn from this. It was insufficient, she said: “There is no space for art when you build a house”.

Then Tur, exhausted by this statement: “Of course there is, make tiny doors”, Cecille: “Then people will keep banging their heads and they will get sick. We cannot live among sculptures”.

front coverclaes back cover

 

They were talking in riddles. She said “Kitsch is the repression of death”, and he: “Kitsch is the sweetness of the soul”. Cecille here being the front of this book, and Tur the back.

 

b+w sinksoft sink

Imagine above you two images: on the left a large black and white photograph of a sink and on the right a deflated, dilapidated version sown out of what looks like bouncy castle material: but here I promise not to dwell too much on content but what this content gives to the form, for there are 20 other pages like this in the book.

Here the designer has chosen not to separate the book by sculpture, photograph, sketch but by more obvious subject. For example:“sink, sink.”
“house, house.”
“ironing board, ironing board.”
“light switch, light switch.”
and beneath this one we may see a statement such as “my room is filled with cigarettes the size of cannons”
It becomes almost farce: such poetic expressions beneath large representative works of art.

The layout provokes:
“how typical of ‘art’ to be so obscure, to lay things next to each other and leave the audience to draw parallels.”
One gets the feeling you can assign meaning to almost anything, a little like this publication so far- so now to look at something slightly more grounded.

7:

ping pong

 

border

 

In fact why I chose the book- apart from vague memories it evoked- was because of its simple design: the paper is thin and dimly laminate; the font is understated and normal; the arrangement of the text is practical: it sits more or less where you expect it to. The book is thin, glue blinded and flops slightly when you open it. Small black borders outline some images but most are left just as they are. These images are often black and white and the coloured ones are stuck in. Initially I thought this was a design decision to emphasise certain works but I found out it was just to make the printing cheaper.

Pulling various other Oldenberg books and catalogues from the library might, I thought, give me some much needed context.

other claes book 2

 

 

other claes books 1

Comparing a catalogue from Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam 1983, Barbara Rose’s 1969 study of Oldenburg and a book from 1980 called “Claes Oldenburg: Large-scale projects, 1977-1980” to mine I found them all to be remarkably similar, even down to the thin black borders on some images. Two of the books were published in New York so I checked to see if they had the same designer. They did not. However on reading Rose’s acknowledgements I noticed she directly thanked both Claes and his wife for all of their help and even “good meals” they shared during the time of her research.

Perhaps Oldenburg gave some hint as to the style he expected with his work, after all the candor of the design suits Oldenberg’s work so well: which is also presented nonchalantly despite its surreal actuality.

8:
The designer of “Skulpturer och tecknigar 17 sept.- 30 okt. 1966” remains unstated and unfindable and probably dead.

In trying to research it seems I have confused myself and various librarians. The best I can do is to conjure up some lose image of a designer, in a dimly lit office in 1960’s Stockholm; disregarded because their career choice was too “applied”. It is purely assumption- but somehow a nice one- to imagine Oldenburg influenced the design in some way.

Anyway, I think I will send a copy to “Cecille” in the hope that she might make smaller doors.

Half Constructed Infinity


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ape  Lydia Sachse [x] graduated from the Rietveld Academy Department Graphic Design in 2012. Her graduation theses was titled “Half Constructed Infinity; On Algorithmic Literature and Text Generators”. It shows her fascination for complex machines and mathematical order as well as the visual beauty of chance. The essay’s introduction starts with two quotes and before you know you –artist as well as designer– get caught in this rich and intriguing subject;

Roald Dahl, The Great Automatic Grammatizator

“carpets … chairs … shoes … bricks … crockery … anything you like to mention – they’re all made by machinery now. The quality may be inferior, but that doesn’t matter. It’s the cost of production that counts. And stories – well – they’re just another product, like carpets and chairs, and no one cares how you produce them so long as you deliver the goods.”

Sol LeWitt, Paragraphs on Conceptual Art

“When an artist uses an conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.”

 

Spread_SolLeWitt_small

“The subject of the text is automation with a special focus on text generators and algorithmic literature. Text generators are not limited to the computer, Already the invention of the movable type transformed religious and literary writing into algorithmic structures and even sytemic theory of rhetoric (Aristotle) was a step towards this direction. This research focuses on different examples of automatic processors from the 20th century and how these emanate from each other in consideration of the technological background.
Inspired by mathematical thoughts scientists and artists started to experiment with computer generated text in the early fifties. Many writers got exited by the new possibilities of computer technology with the hope of finding new ways of artistic expression…..”

 

Pdf-icon Download this thesis: Half Constructed Infinity

[Algorithm: pattern of action which describes how to achieve an aim in several steps (functions as work routine)]

Use Designblog TravelTags


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

.

Visit all “50TravelTags”

.

from the Designblog tag-list.

.

browse mapping by Maria Micheva

It is not easy to navigate in the design world, let alone Designblog.
The 979 postings and over 2000 keywords turn it into a subjective maze. How are you going to find an entrance to amazing stories and surprising opinions. In-depth interviews and downloadable theses and research papers.
Before you know it, you turn from user to participant of a universe that sucks you in or swings you out.


browse mapping by Severin Bunse

Students from A group decided to help you along by browsing the blog for you. Becoming your guides, in a manner of speaking. Creating new tags that can serve as “Travel Tags”. [invention, ice-cold, climate, crisis, fun, erudition, rules, gravity, convention, removable, purple, symbol, social-talk, audio-zine, similarities, mode, funny-story, flexibility, women, do-it-yourself, icon, sharing, interpretation, role, masterpiece, travel, imagination, slowMe, play, peaceful-living, mystery, sexuality, reflector, 0-dimension, no-comment, theater, ideology, dress, sharing, hidden, art-of propaganda, dependency, break-up, sign, young, pulling-pushing, conditional, breakfast, porcelain, Norwegian-mythology]-tt. You can look them up in Designblog’s tag-list, under [50-TravelTags].


browse mapping by Anouk Buntsma

Browsing surely illustrates that Designblog can become a true Pandora’s box. On the TravelTag poster, which was printed on this occasion, you can see a selection of their journeys in the form of ‘browse-maps’. Visualizations of their browsing history. These visual sketches show clearly that browsing through the blog leaves a clear individual trace. No person experiences it the same way. The blog creates –by design– a colored travel experience that synchronizes with your personal taste and ambition.

Something Else . . .


Saturday, May 15, 2010

THERE ARE RULES BEHIND COMPLEX AND ORGANIC CIRCUMSTANCES

This is the opening sentence of “Rules” a graduation essay written by Ayumi Higuchi in which she investigates the impact rules have or can have on the process of cause and effect in the creative process. A story that drags you into the exiting process of research where every question or statement leads to two others.
Using interviews as a platform to ask questions and create interaction, she involves Jan Groenewold (physician-chef), Luna Maurer and Jonathan Puckey (graphic designers), Snejanka Mihaylova (philosopher-writer-artist) and Peter van Bergen (musician-composer) to talk about the subject from the perspective of their specific discipline.
Look for yourself how she illustrates this story with many images and quotes dragging you deeper into the matter every page, creating in depth understanding. Munari, Wittgenstein, 9/11, John Cage, mixing politics with art and science with nature to get her point across.

Ayumi visited us in April 2010 to present a workshop in which she planted the seed of understanding using Bruno Munari‘s observations; [...] We can establish a rule of growth: the branch that follows is always slenderer than the one before it (Drawing a Tree).
Providing us with a trunk and applying two simple rules to it: The branch that follows must be slimmer than the one before -and- the tree must be symmetric, it quickly became clear that there are many rules behind complex and organic circumstances.

 

download this research essay: “RULES”, there are rules behind complex and organic structures

Conditional [Design] Painting


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Conditional Painting is truly happening in the van Abbemuseum Eindhoven! They call it the Vitruvian Paint Machine.

As part of  “Take on me (Take me on)” /Dutch Design Week 17 to 25 Oct 2009, Luna Maurer and Edo Paulus executed a mural painting on pre determined conditions based on the proportions of the body and visitor interaction.

The act of designing is based on rules they say. So Luna and Edo, together with Roel Wouters and Jonathan Puckey, created a manifesto of explicit rules for design.

Visiting their lecture, as part of the “Take on me (Take me on)” event, they made it clear that setting strict conditions does disconnect you from subjective standards and creates awareness in the process. A beautiful time based movie of their “machines” made this crystal clear.

 

download this research essay: by Jules Esteves: “Conditional Drawing, Conditional Painting” questioning the practice of Conditional Design.

 


Log in
subscribe