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Archive for December, 2009

Design > Art / Design = Art ; tagging the Rietveld library

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

“subjective library” images and flickr tag-cloud

Read the reflections of students as A and C group journey into the Rietveld Library’s Design and Art section. A journey to investigate, making our fascinations, preconceptions and hidden desires manifest. How does a subjective book choice create a personal mirror and leave traces (tags), connecting Design to Art, exposing autonomy in both.

Read about the subjective, open and intiutive first book choices from the Design section of our library. Wonder about those tags connected to their accounts. Follow the continuing storiy after a second book is selected, based on those tags created. Witness the third posting in which those sets of tags lead us from Design to Art. A move that forces us to reflect upon the connection between them both.

Follow the continuing accounts of the three succeeding investigating postings by clicking on the yellow link. Experience the total list of tags created during this “Subjective Library” Project.


3289 days, A4, cover, funky colors, television, unatractive, film photography : fauna, flora, interesting, lines, strange, fluffy, simple, horrible, brainwork, complicated, proud, “to know” : disorder, game, grid, systematization, “One Minute Sculpture” : library, swindler, breaking news, library loser, extraordinary, talented : space, absence-presence, framework, surrounding, returning : abnormal, rediscover, choice, plain, others : 1000, 754., direction, signs, city, direction, traffic, political, posters : blue Pinocchio, screaming, spine of book, blue, Pinocchio, blue fairy, eyecandy, contemporary, folk, mentality : not getting there, unknown, judging by covers, content, connection, strangers, subject : supermarket, theft, housewife, tiny, midlife crisis, multilingual : logic, question, reason, consciousness, interest, remarks, impossible, mathematical, perspective : attraction, strange, swissfolk, art, death, life, love, Maurizio Cattelan : cover, old book, unique, obsession, miniature : Anita, eyes, portrait, dominant, name, color, film : Wiener Werkstätte, characteristic, hand work, mass fabrication, original, process, realization, detail, photography, the nude : cheap fashion, funny, random, tattoo, tribe, weird, mysterious, tribe : attraction, new texture, action, quick, warning, a priori, new, amusement, choices, eye-catching, eyes, random : escape reality, library, overflow of impulses, fruitless reality, jostling time, absorbing force, déjà-vu : arrange, industrial, library, architecture, museum, self-made, Andreas Gursky, index : city, nomadic, reality, funky, colors, interiors : contrast, fat, texture, typography, culture, nudity : conceptional, distance, no image, steps, thinking space, braille : cat, compulsive, font, chaos, subjective, illustration, objective, random, Tadao Ando : airplane, airport, choice, structure, worldmap, 756, 80’s, human, machines, unique, flying : dot, jewelry, shapes & forms, yellow, children, fun, paint, playful, all colors, blue, green, theory : extraordinary, life, normal, objects, absurd : 80’s, desire, fashion, party, techno, desire, fabrics, orgasmatic : alchemy, identical, methaphysics, mysticism, mythology, Arabic, identical, inaccurate, ladies, naked, orient, sculptures, stereotypes : Canada, Indian symbols, kitsch, raven, Indian art, Mexico, Jeff Koons, porn : attraction, gold, meeting an old lover, recognition, cheap, irresistibility, not psychology, wrong, beauty, compare, contrast, couple, same, similarity, together, two books, ugliness : connection, embroidery, hundred years, death, funerals, general terms, invisible, object, spirit, visible : color, feeling, personal story, feminism, graphic : first sight, mystery, old-fashioned, bloody, mad, rituals, revelatory, Yin : oblivion, automatic lives, bottom shelve, eat, mantra, story-making, colorful, dogs, double-take, eat sleep, vases, vegetables : attracted, nothing, black, disturbing.

still curious read the books involved at the Gerrit Rietveld Library, (catalogue numbers are included).

Kandinsky’s Color Theory

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Since I have chosen books in which the yellow color has been part of the content in different contexts, I took a book by Wassily Kandinsky for the last posting. The book describes a Color Theory according to Wassily Kandinsky, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”. Here is his theory of the color yellow and the color that he thinks is the most opposite of yellow (blue).

Yellow means “warm,” “cheeky and exciting,” “disturbing for people,” “typical earthly color,” “compared with the mood of a person it could have the effect of representing madness in color […] an attack of rage, blind madness, maniacal rage.

Blue means “deep, inner, supernatural, peaceful “Sinking towards black, it has the overtone of a mourning that is not human.” “typical heavenly color”

Number: Kan 5

Still life

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This time I looked for a book that would fit the previous two just as well as they fitted to each other. In connection to everyday life this book is about texture, colour and feeling of objects and scenes. It’s about the crackly sound of fabric, the smell of things, composition but also about life and death. It’s a book about modern still lives.

The under title is Objects of Desire; and now thinking about it, it is not a bad choice at all. It fits perfectly with the first book because they both represent the normal ordinary things. It suits the second one mainly because it’s as serious as the reality of daily life. It’s definitely a representation of the world in every aspect. Maybe the only tag word that is not so obvious is ‘absurd’, though it’s really there, just on a more underlying surface; subtler I guess.

Rietveld Library Code: 708.5-cat-43

The final Choice

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In my quest of finding books to write about I finally choose a book that I really want to read. In the former postings where I wonder why and trying to answer that question I now finally finish this path. I finish it by picking a book by M.C Escher. As a child this Dutch Graphic Designer fascinated me. His so-called impossible structures blew my mind away. You can look for hours to his drawings where he plays with perspective and impossible spaces. When I look at his work I don’t know what reality or fantasy is. And maybe that is what attracts me so much. The mathematical influence in his work is really important and that also raises questions again. Is his work art, math or graphic design? And is Design Art?

Esch. 6


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The third and the last time I was walking in to these walls of books.

I am starting to feel at home, it feels like I am in my own house.

It feels like I am part of the design blog were I write my posts on.

I feel home and I am part of something.

I enjoy my state of being. I am in comfort.

In comfort with this book, I can’t link it to a person, I don’t think he is part of something I know, i don’t see the link, so that makes him very interesting.

I want to read him and find the link.

Book number: 15199


From Patterns to Porn…

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The step from traditional Mexican textile patterns to (soft) porn seems to be quite a big one. How would can you link these too subjects? They don’t seem to have too much in common. For at least as far as I know there’s no fetish movement that is sexually obsessed with traditional clothing that is hand made by Indian tribes of Middle America. But ey. You never know…

Anyhow: One posibble solution to this riddle goes by the name of Jeff Koons. If you try to find a book with the tagword “kitsch” you will find almost nothing – if it wasn’t for Jeff Koons. With his work I have the same ambiguous love-hate relationship that is characterizing my affiliation to Indian art as well. I described this in my first entry. So to close this blog I chose a book titled “The Jeff Koons Handbook”. Since everyone is familiar with Koon’s Balloon dogs I want to invite you to take a look at his photographic “art” – or rather: bad, bad kitsch…

– koon – 3

Hello Frend of a Frend

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I walked in to these walls of books again.

I saw this book, and while I was observing him, it remembers me of this person I saw in my last book.

In my last book it was an imaginary person, but the cover from this new book I have found is showing me the truth.

The real person who is part of this book, you can say that this book is his house.

He lives in this book and without this book people wood forget him, that’s why I have picked this book so this person will not be ignored.

number of the book. 12651

A Design Source Book…

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The second book I chose is titled Mexican Patterns – A design source book. As the title suggest already this book is meant to inspire modern designers. Content wise the book is dealing with the very traditional and yet so vivid patterns of current Mexican textiles. Or in the words of the author Chloë Sayer: “Contemporary Mexican textile design derives its richness and variety from the fusion over centuries of decorative skills from both old and new worlds.”

This mix of traditional elements and modern influences makes the patterns so appealing and at the same time so open to the exploitation for kitschy designs. The patterns seem to be almost as vulnerable to this as the habits and customs of their creators are to the influences of the so-called modern world.

Again I have this strange mix of feelings: On the one hand there is the recognition of the craftsmanship and the tradition. On the other hand I can’t help getting the feeling that it’s all merely kitsch…

779.9 say 1

Now that I know why

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Second Design Book I choose to read and write about is one I picked out because of its beautiful side containing the text “eternally yours.” Also on the cover picture you see a couple kissing caught my eyes. When opening this book you see more photos of couples in love. Also this book is a sort of edited version because its full of marks made by former readers. This gives me the feeling that the book is very interesting, without even reading it. In my last posting I wrote about my questioning about the Why? Now I found out what the most important reason is to pick one book over the others. It’s not about the texts cause I can hardly find the effort to read it. It’s about my unconscious mind. For people who are interested in this book and not in my personal bullshit you can find this book about visions on product endurance in the library of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy under the number 770,6 hin 11

“The Nude…”

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In the first books I choose, everything was planned. Every stroke and detail. Design is a view of something. From something which is mostly they same in somebody’s mind as in reality.

My other book is about photography, photography from naked people. It is called: “The Nude in Czech Photography”

I was inspired by tags from the second book, originally, realization and process. Human body, every body is original. Every body is unique, there is no body the same. The product in my other books are all things were you can make more of the same.

I have choose nudes photography because it is always about process and realization. If you ask a person to pose, you have to read their body language. You have to understand the light and try to photograph the energy from the person. A photo shoot is a ritual where your ideas become really with your improvisation.

Process from the photo is just as important as by design. In photography are photoshop and the dark-room two of the most important items. In the end I think that this book “The Nude” totally is related to my other books but also totally different.

(from the personal library)

No objectiveness

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Browsing through the library for the last time, I thought it was time for a different approach. So instead of searching, looking, considering for at least half an hour or maybe even longer, I just run into the library and get the first big book I see. Without even wondering if it is about art or design (well, ofcourse I know it is about art, but there is a story to tell you know), I borrow it. Once outside the library I see the book is about the work of Tadao Ando. My conclusion is that you can not be objective or random towards anything. The reason for this conclusion is that when I tried to borrow a random book from the library, I still get back with a book about a person whose work I really like. This book about this person. I knew it before, but through this project I am more certain about it, no one can ever be objective. That can turn out to be pretty good, but also pretty bad.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I find myself in the library yet again, after waiting two hours for the library to open. Still not completely awake, I walk past the row of art books, not even bothering to touch them.
Some jump out, but on closer inspection they do not really capture my attention.
The other side of the bookcase then? Close to frustration, my eye falls on a book. Not only interesting typography –tying it, together with its width, to my fist post– but also chinese chracters! Or so I believe..
It turns out to be a book case, containing two books, both with a dull brown/beige color, but an unique texture. The pressing of the letters on the spine has made them lie a little deeper than the coarse fabric.

The books turn out to be Japanese and not Chinese. The text runs from top to bottom and right to left. But they are not entirely Japanese. The thinner one of the two books has english text added to it’s photo’s. They’re quite old fashioned and depict Japanese fabrics.The bigger book sheds a bit more light on what the books are about. Japanese book are read from right to left, and this book is read that way as well, but at the end (our our western beginning) there is a small english introduction. The first book, containing the photo’s, is a study of Okinawan textile fabrics. The book lying open in from of me contains a study of the cultural value of said textiles.
Though the subject is quite boring, the book is a work of art in itself to me. Unable to decipher even the smallest meaning from the beatiful characters, it gives me a feeling of helplessness. In a world where almost everything is understandble and rich in information, this is the opposite. It reminds me of China, where not a thing can be read or understood, and you feel like an outsider looking in, enabling you to see things you do not ordinarily see because you have to rely on other means of finding meaning in things.

The link between my two earlier choices is easy through my tags, alsmost all of them apply on these books; they are fat, have an interesting texture and typography, the inside contrast not only with our culture but through their dated appearance and sublect also contrasts nicely with these modern times. And at last culture, which these books have in abundance. The only one missing is nudity, but on the other hand, this is about textiles and fabrics, and what are those used for? Exactly clothes to cover our nudity 😉

The link between design and art is quite difficult to make at this point, because my two earlier choices (one book on sculpture and one on chinese art) where more art books, while this book is almost more a design book then those were.. Maybe I did things in a Japanese way; backwards!



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My interest in film drove me to write my name on the contact list of “The New Anita/De Nieuwe Anita“, a film theatre/bar in Amsterdam. Ever since I have been receiving almost weekly information about the projected films in “Cinemanita“.

Funny thing is, like I said before, I  have been receiving emails from “Cinemanita” for more than a year already and for some reason, once I began this research, I did not place an immediate relation. It seems like a never ending discovery of unusual connections.

So I went into my gmail to see an email from “Cinemanita” received at 10:05 in the morning today, a few minutes after I posted my last Anita, Color post.

The email begins like this:



Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
122 minutes
In Polish with English subtitles

Film Director Krzysztof Kieslowski is best known for his trilogy

Three Colors (©93/94), but before he headed for France he made some absolutely stunning films in his homeland of Poland. Of all the films he made, many consider ‘Blind Chance‘ to be the best… and some consider it the best of his career.


“Three Colors”!. Surprised? Actually not.

“De Nieuwe Anita” / “Cinemanita”. Frederik Hendrikstraat 115, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Color of Anita

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How can one relate a name through/with art?

Once I entered the library I walked the same isle but turn my back into the one I had been looking at for the last 2 postings. Now, I had in front of me a cabinet full of names. Van Gogh, Warhol… among many others. So, how can I relate a name with another name?

– I found no solution immediately –

I remember having once a conversation about how names, days of the week, words, etc, can give a feeling of color to certain individuals. The whole theory also applies in a more scientific way when it comes to sound waves in music. I wonder if you have ever seen a colorful symphony…

Immediately I decided to think about Anita . I was sure there must be something that catches my attention, something special. It always seems to work that way when it comes to Anita .

So I searched, my eyes went up and down, side to side quickly through the archive. On the right hand corner a thin small booklet with what it seems like a paper cover sticks out from all the grey thick names. It was not only catching my attention due to its bright colors but also due to the physical position of the booklet; It was sticking half way out as if someone had started the job for me.

Once I took out the six page booklet and opened it I found inside several painted portraits of women. To tell you the truth, I was not surprised, like I said before, there is something special with this Anita . I then shifted my focus on portraits, leaving the first two posts behind, and moved again to my focus on the color of the cover.

Almost like a kids riddle I identify “orange on the outside, yellow on the inside… Can you guess what it is?” Interesting how these two colors remind me of Anita for some reason. At least reminds me of a certain aspect of the name.

Once at home I research on the meaning of colors:

-Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

-Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

It is not only Anita’s intellect, energy, creativity, attraction, success, but Maria’s combined fascination, determination, encouragement, and stimulation towards this assignment which gave color to what it is now for me a symbol.

-To my surprise, once I rented out the book, it was not identified by the computer. Hence, it has no reference number, just a reference color.

Public art

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Searching for the last time with my tags I found another tiny book. Without noticing it when I borowed it, I now see (looking for inspiration) that the introduction of this book is in fact written by Sandberg. Writer of the first book I picked. This one is not about his work but I did notice in the library that the introduction is in four different languages, like there were many different languages in my first book. This book is about some kind of exhibition in 1965 in the Vondelpark. I know it’s a weak link to the housewives but because this is such an accessible way of showing art to a lot of people, this exhibition is perhaps also visited by some jewelry-making-housewives.

725.8 cat 1

Beautiful braille

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When I open this book I was overwhelming because it was full of beautiful braille. Also the page color is white. It has no images. I can not read braille, but I tried to read it. First I closed my eyes. Then I felt full of braille, but it was very difficult to recognize different words. After I changed my mind. Let’s look at braille as a art. It has nice texture. Each page has different texture. Some braille parts are like foam, other parts are very complicated. I think the shadow makes it complex as it is also braille itself.  There is page a light number upside. It is different than in a normal book.  But I am still wondering about this book’s content. Maybe it is nice to let it be unknown. This book makes you aware of braille as an art.

book number.726.8 cat46

This is a Rietveldproject

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This book contains nice typography. It has a blue hard cover. This book consists of only 7 words which are

( ik. jij. zie. ben. denk. wat. dat ).

It has no image only text. It looks like a poem. The right side has only sentences. The left side has nothing. I think it is done on purpose by the author, so we can concentrate more on the text. It has a space for thinking. The right side has an odd page number. It start from 5 to 45. I found two interesting things in this book. First page has ( 12 l ABC l QX l 12 l ABC l QX l 12 l ABC1 ) . It looks like some signal or quiz for me. Last page has information about this book. This book is Rietveldproject nr. 50. It makes me curious about Rietveldprojects. this book makes sense about thinking space and using only 7 words. That’s what I like in this book.

book number. 758.3 rie 2a

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