Blogs The Gradient Mylinh Trieu Nguyen

WAX Magazine

DESIGN + ART + SURF CULTURE = WAX Magazine. I was able to catch up with graphic designers Zak Klauck and David Yun to talk a little bit about WAX, a bi-annual print magazine with writer Aeriel Brown that explores the unique intersection of art, culture and surfing in and around the city…New York City […]

DESIGN + ART + SURF CULTURE = WAX Magazine.

I was able to catch up with graphic designers Zak Klauck and David Yun to talk a little bit about WAX, a bi-annual print magazine with writer Aeriel Brown that explores the unique intersection of art, culture and surfing in and around the city…New York City to be specific. Growing up in Los Angeles and living in Laguna Beach for a fair bit of my life, skate and surf culture influenced the way I dressed, the music I listened to and the things that I read. Being familiar with a lot of the publications that have come out of these cultures, I’m excited to see that WAX gives voice to an entirely different demographic.

Their first issue “Dialogues,” features work by Danny Gordon, Ann Pibal, Luke Stettner, John Houck, Garth Weiser, Rob Kulisek and Michael Scott Moore (author of Sweetness & Blood).

They’re currently raising funds to make this all happen, and with less than 10 days to go, help them reach their goal by backing them on Kickstarter here!

(1)
Who are you and what do you do?

My Name is Zak Klauck and I’m a freelance graphic designer living and working in New York.

I’m David Yun, a graphic designer living in Brooklyn, NY. I’m an Art Director at 2×4 and I also teach graphic design and do some freelance work for galleries and artists I know. I started WAX Magazine with my partner Aeriel Brown and our friend (and neighbor) Zak.

(2)
What came first, surfing or design? Over the years how have the two influenced each other in your lives?

DY:  Skateboarding came first for me — along with its associated aesthetics, ideologies and subcultural values. As a teenager living in the suburbs, you would put on baggie jeans, listen to Op Ivy and hang out on the loading docks behind the local Dunkin’ Donuts. It helped you feel like you were a part of something bigger and more meaningful than everything else that was being sold to you on TV or in malls. It was the combination of resistance and style, or resistance through style, that attracted me. The visual culture of skateboard decks, t-shirts, skate magazines like Thrasher, all channeled my interests into something productive, visually compelling, and community-driven.

 

      

(top to bottom: Operation Ivy logo, Black Flag flyer by Raymond Pettibon, THRASHER Magazine logo, Artwork by Jim Phillips)

Graphic design offers a similar venue for channeling my interests. It’s always been a lens through which I can filter (and participate in) the things I’m drawn to, whether that’s contemporary art, music, or design. And so while surfing was a natural progression from skating, I’ve naturally been looking for a way of participating through design, but from a different angle (than making tshirts or surf art). I’ve had a growing interest in editorial work, especially in the last few years at 2×4, and so starting WAX seemed like the perfect next step for me.

ZK: For me, design came first. Surfing started as a weekend activity to escape the city. When we first started talking about the idea for the magazine it was more about the community surfing in NY than about the act itself. We were meeting so many designers, artists, architects, writers and just interesting people who happen to surf. The connection between the activity and the people seemed worth talking about. In this case we wanted to act somewhat outside traditional surf culture, not that we want to ignore it, but rather define our own interests within this community. This became the catalyst between varying creative practices and disciplines to occupy a single magazine.

I had always been aware — somewhat remotely — of traditional surf culture on the west coast. The magazine wasn’t initially intended to cover that. I am more interested in the unexpected and difficult nature of surfing in New York and how that inspires the people who are doing it. I think all surf culture is inherently visual, it’s such an experiential activity that demands a certain respect for the natural surroundings — which is why urban surfing is particularly interesting. This is something we are exploring.  We want a magazine that is very visual, but that also directly reflects the community we are surveying as well as our interests.

(Learn to surf by Raymond Pettibon)

(3)
What inspired WAX Magazine? How is it different from other surf magazines like Surfer/Surf/Surfing Mag, Transworld, and more recently STAB and Liquid Salt Magazine?

DY: Like Zak said, our initial inspiration came from the people we’d met while surfing in New York. We didn’t even realize it at first, but then we started thinking about how many great people we were encountering through our small surf community here in NYC. A friend of ours got us, almost as a joke, subscriptions to all the major surf magazines at once — Surf, Surfer, Surfing. We looked through them and realized at once that there was very little representation of east coast surfing, let alone New York City, and also that these magazines primarily focused on sport. There’s a place for that, but it’s not really where our interests lie. Liquid Salt has a lot of quality content — they profile a wide range of people behind the surf world and ask thoughtful questions. We want to build upon that, to inject the unique voice and culture of the New York surf scene into the conversation. Putting it all together, we see a tremendous opportunity to make a magazine that tells the stories of urban surfers, and ironically doesn’t focus on the act of surfing — we’ll leave that to the above-mentioned magazines. We also see a tremendous potential in the metaphors embedded in surfing, the inspiration of nature and ocean, all in relation to the creative practices of art and design.

ZK: Yeah. The main difference is that we don’t want to focus on the sport of surfing. By that, we mean the actual maneuvers. This is one way in which we’re very different from Transworld Surf in particular. This is meant as a cultural magazine — we’re looking at the people and their creative output. We’re also interested in the curation of this content, by finding people and work we admire through this community.

DY: We are trying to demonstrate some of these ideas in our first issue, which is loosely based around the theme of “dialogues.” We take the idea of dialogue and use it (quite literally) to have a conversation between two people, but also visually between somewhat disconnected imagery. A good deal of our content for this issue is about art-making and creative processes that happen to be discussed by people who surf. I’m excited and inspired by the way something so specific as “urban surfing” has lead us to such diverse and unpredictable stories.

(4)
The term “urban surfing” is pretty interesting. I remember the first time I saw a surfboard in the subway I thought it was completely insane, but it made more sense to me as time grew on. The city is so dense you forget that it’s surrounded by water, that the Atlantic Ocean is just a train ride away. It makes sense that people, especially in a city like New York, would make the effort to reconnect with their environment and natural landscape. Do you think it’s a rebellious act or a cathartic one or can it be both?

DY: Surfing in New York City was indeed a rebellious act until 2005, when it became legal to surf Rockaway. Now it’s trendy to have a bungalow out there and spend weekends with your friends passing time at Rockaway Taco. But I agree that there’s still something very special and rarefied (feeling) about it, which I think has to do with the density and roughness of the city and the speed of work life. There’s such an extreme contrast to that experience when you’re sitting out in the ocean, in between sets, kicking your feet around and scanning the horizon for the next wave. I would call it cathartic in that I’m able to release every-day anxieties and replace them with the rather singular mission of catching the next wave. It inverts all of those intense feelings with an enormous rush of adrenaline. Like a drug, there’s an immediate need to re-create that experience. So in a way it becomes a dialectic of extremes — the extremity of work life and the extremity of ocean play. I also think of it as a dialogue of eccentricities — from the fantastical fever of buildings and motion of the city to the thrilling potential of the vast amounts of water, with its inherent salt, cold and dizzying power. It’s interesting to think of WAX as being born out of those contradictory scenarios, and always modulating between the two.

ZK: The dialectic of extremes that Dave mentions I think typify the urban surf culture — and the intentions of WAX — quite nicely. It would seem like a natural progression for the urban experience to cross over into the surf experience. They both can contain stressful and overpowering environments at times, but also offer a great deal of joy and reward. The reward with surfing is a momentary escape by experiencing something completely freeing and outside ourselves. This also shares similarities to art. Ranciére called this experience “the autonomous form of life,” by pushing our thoughts beyond their current state.

(5)
Who is participating in the first issue, how did you come to their work and from an editorial standpoint decide who was in conversation with who?

DY: We’ve come to the participants through a myriad of connections. For instance, the first artist I stumbled on, Ann Pibal, was actually featured in a catalog I was designing for an unrelated art show. I was researching her work (which is abstract and geometric painting), and came upon a set of collages she made with found surf photography. I called her up and she was immediately interested in working with us. Her “dialogue” is more of a comparative essay on the history of modern surfing in relation to modern painting. Other artists we have known for years, such as Luke Stettner and John Houck, whose photography will be a visual dialogue. They led us to Danny Gordon and Garth Weiser, who will be featured in conversation together. Overall, the first issue should be a very rich and broad take on the idea of the dialogue.

ZK: Although this issue is somewhat of a testbed for subsequent issues, we see them all forming in a similar way. We wanted to start each issue with a central theme, whether conceptual, visual, spatial or otherwise. This allows us to become more organic within that structure, we can start maneuvering through those ideas by the collaborations we are interested in pursuing. From that point on we hope to see the experimentation and juxtapositions fall into place somewhat naturally.

(6)
Where are the spots you guys go to surf?

DY: Like many New York surfers, we go where the conditions are best — whether that’s out to Long Island, down to Jersey, or staying local in the Rockaways. We ride the train, carpool with friends, or hop in a zipcar. Whatever it takes!

ZK: Any break can be great.

Come join IFS, Ltd. at the NY Art Book Fair this week from November 5–7, 2010

It’s that time of year! The NY Art Book Fair will be in full swing, November 5–7, 2010 and IFS, Ltd. will be there on the 3rd floor at booth CC01. The site specific collaboration and publication The Book Trust Prospectus is, in non-equal parts: a local currency, a stock prospectus for The Book Trust, […]

It’s that time of year! The NY Art Book Fair will be in full swing, November 5–7, 2010 and IFS, Ltd. will be there on the 3rd floor at booth CC01. The site specific collaboration and publication The Book Trust Prospectus is, in non-equal parts: a local currency, a stock prospectus for The Book Trust, an exploration into the nature of small-scale publishing and its presence at the NY Art Book Fair (Rob Giampietro), a survey of precedented alternative currencies (Benjamin Critton), a platform for hyperbolic re-representations of anonymous fiat money (Rafaël Rozendaal), a foray into corporate branding and rebranding (Metahaven et al.), a proposal for a time-based repurposing of existing banknotes (Nikolaus HirschZak Kyes), an analysis of the current state of [art] book-publishing and -design (Linda van Deursen et al.), a venue for research into non-essential commodity futures like tulips and Beanie Babies™ (Harry Gassel), a profile of independent art book vendors (Golden Age), and a podium for experimentation with anti-counterfeiting guilloché renderings (Brendan Griffiths & Zak Klauck). It is the story of its own making and financing as well as an evaluation of the context in which it was made and financed.

(left to right: Harry Gassel, Benjamin Critton, Brendan Griffiths, Mylinh Nguyen, Zak Klauck. Portrait by George Prinos.)

The Book Trust was born out of a shared interest in publishing and distribution, and from a desire to investigate the micro-economy of the art book market. As the overall demand for printed matter allegedly shrinks, specific books manage to retain their worth or even appreciate in actual and intangible value. Though the Prospectus seeks to act as a signal of literal trust and investment, it simultaneously attempts to enter a specific economy as a proposed alternative currency. Our observation of previous iterations of the NY Art Book Fair prompted IFS, Ltd. to imagine a publication that serves as both commodity and currency—an object meant to engage in transactions that bypass the traditional cash economy of the Fair. In that sense, the Prospectus hopes to stand as a book unto itself, and as a physical manifestation of the hyper-local economy to which this currency speaks. Both temporal and site-specific in this way, you are invited to invest through one of two means:

1) Your physical presence at the Fair from 5–7 November, 2010 at PS1 MoMA or

2) Your monetary or intellectual contribution to the creation of the publication

Via the Prospectus, we intend to build a Trust, of which your contribution will be a part. Our agenda is the physical construction of a value-appreciating, curated collection of publications; a literal book bank in which you can hold one share. Our holdings, however, are more than publications; they are tangible representations of the abstract value of intellectual and creative capital.

At the close of the trading day, 5PM on 7 November, IFS, Ltd. will assess and catalogue the contents of the Trust with the intention of circulating its holdings in appropriate domestic and international venues, at which point new editions of the Prospectus may be issued in context- specific reenactments of the initial trading period.

In framing the project in a format similar to that of a stock exchange, the performance emphasizes the tenuous and abstract value of the book as a designed object, as a medium for content, as a traded commodity, and as a symbol of participation in the project itself.

The Book Trust, a project by IFS, Ltd. is brought to you by Benjamin Critton, Harry Gassel, Brendan Griffiths, Zak Klauck, and Mylinh Nguyen. Our booth features a custom designed bookcase and various seating by Minneapolis-based design studio ROLU/rosenlof-lucas/ro-lu.

Previews, November 4th; opening bell, November 5th. Online at www.ifs-l.biz.

IFS, Ltd. — The Book Trust Prospectus

Investment Futures Strategies, Limited (IFS, Ltd) The Book Trust Prospectus Investment Futures Strategy, Ltd. is pleased to announce The Book Trust, a site specific collaboration and publication to be presented at the New York Art Book Fair, 5–7 November, 2010. The semi-fictional IFS, Ltd., comprised of five graduate students from the Department of Graphic Design […]

Investment Futures Strategies, Limited (IFS, Ltd)

The Book Trust Prospectus


Investment Futures Strategy, Ltd. is pleased to announce The Book Trust, a site specific collaboration and publication to be presented at the New York Art Book Fair, 5–7 November, 2010. The semi-fictional IFS, Ltd., comprised of five graduate students from the Department of Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art – Benjamin Critton, Harry Gassel, Brendan Griffiths, Zak Klauck, and Mylinh Nguyen - will offer an original publication for trade in a series of barters executed by its authors during the three days of the NY Art Book Fair.

The Trust and the accompanying Book Trust Prospectus speak to matters of micro-economies and distribution, as well as prescribed and perceived value. The project suggests a new currency specific to the setting of the Book Fair, a context in which a distinct set of commodities is exchanged by like-minded vendors in a finite space and time. It is only in this setting that a book could be posited as capital—a literal stand-in for the money that commonly exchanges hands at the Fair. Perceived worth is no longer dictated by edition or price, but instead by a potential traders’ subjective notion of the values they assign to each book.

The book, produced in a fixed quantity of 500, will vary in value as each negotiation determines and redetermines its worth in the marketplace. With each transaction, the Prospectus will assume the value of the book for which it was exchanged. The traded commodities will ultimately comprise The Book Trust, a value-appreciating book bank. By trading with IFS, Ltd. participants acquire a single theoretical share of the bank, the Prospectus a document of the transaction.

In framing the project in a format similar to that of a stock exchange, the performance emphasizes the tenuous and abstract value of the book as a designed object, as a medium for content, as a traded commodity, and as a symbol of participation in the project itself.

Previews, November 4th; opening bell, November 5th. Online at http://IFS-L.BIZ.

BUY YOUR SHARES IN THE BOOK TRUST PUBLICATION TODAY!

BUY YOUR SHARES IN THE BOOK TRUST PUBLICATION TODAY!

BUY YOUR SHARES IN THE BOOK TRUST PUBLICATION TODAY!

5–7 November 2010
NY Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1, New York

General Public Library at Art in General

The General Public Library is a library/reading room project located at Art in General‘s Storefront Project Space. The project opens September 16-November 13, 2010 and will be accessible as an online resource as well. To start the library, I invited designers, publishers, curators, artists, galleries, and musicians to contribute publications to the project that reflect […]

The General Public Library is a library/reading room project located at Art in General‘s Storefront Project Space. The project opens September 16-November 13, 2010 and will be accessible as an online resource as well. To start the library, I invited designers, publishers, curators, artists, galleries, and musicians to contribute publications to the project that reflect the donor’s practice, methodology, inspiration and interest. Visitors are encouraged to donate a favorite book to the library during the exhibition.

I approach the idea of a library with a focus on participation and the formation of community. In contrast to a traditional reading room–which can only be accessed for the duration of the show—the online catalogue of the General Public Library allows each visitor to browse and curate their own library within an existing and continually growing catalogue, beyond the physical installation. Each donation, as it is made, will be logged into the library cataloging system. As libraries begin to form and overlap, each book becomes a link between the book donor and other participants in the library. Inversely, when viewing one book, it is possible to see the interests of other participants.

Throughout the course of the exhibition, as visitors create their own selection of favorite books, the library will filter all donations into a catalog of the top 200 most popular books. These books will be added to the General Public Library permanent collection after the duration of the project.

Contributing participants include Art Metropole, aaaarg.org, Ooga Booga, Fillip, Printed Matter, Nieves, 2nd Cannons Publications, Capricious, Hassla, Golden Age, Medium Rare, Oslo Editions, Gottlund Verlag, Eastside Projects, Bedford Press, Stripe SF, New Jerseyy, Matt Keegan, North Drive Press, Project Projects, split/fountain, STUPENDOUS, The Holster, Bart de Baets, Andreas Banderas, Christian Brandt, Task Newsletter, Robin Cameron, Dante Carlos, ETCAMA, For Further Information, Espen Friberg and Aslak Gurholt Rønsen, GRAPHIC, David Horvitz, Marie Jager, Kingsboro Press, Zak Kyes, Lucky Dragons, Manystuff, Jennilee Marigomen, Miniature Garden, Radim Pesko, Laurel Ptak, Rollo Press, Peter Sutherland, Swill Children, Vance Wellenstein, Jessica Williams and YOU.

The General Public Library website, www.generalpubliclibrary.info, is based on Yours Mine Ours, a shared library designed and developed by Brian Watterson, Hank Huang and Zak Klauck. www.yoursmineours.net

2009/2010 Walker Art Center Design Fellowship: Call for Applicants

WALKER ART CENTER // DESIGN FELLOWSHIP 2009–2010 // design.walkerart.org/fellowship // Deadline: June 8, 2009 (left to right, top to bottom) iMac G4; The James Diamond Collection of Home Movies WAC 9.5 16mm BW; Eric Luken 13 JonBenéts; Nov 10 1991 1/8”=1”– 0”; Cho—Fro; Canon AP200; Hanging Out; Elizabeth Peyton Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to […]

WALKER ART CENTER // DESIGN FELLOWSHIP 2009–2010 // design.walkerart.org/fellowship // Deadline: June 8, 2009

09fp20 09fp19 09fp1 09fp18 09fp14 09fp9 09fp3 09fp13 09fp6 09fp4 09fp16 09fp10 09fp2 09fp15 09fp7 09fp17 09fp5 09fp8 09fp12 09fp11

(left to right, top to bottom) iMac G4; The James Diamond Collection of Home Movies WAC 9.5 16mm BW; Eric Luken 13 JonBenéts; Nov 10 1991 1/8”=1”– 0”; Cho—Fro; Canon AP200; Hanging Out; Elizabeth Peyton Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008 2008; Galleries 4, 5, 6; Pantone Cool Gray 10C; John Baldessari I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art; telluridefilmfestival.org; Hella Jongerius Polder Sofa 2005; x 7601; La Ex; TELEVISION ASSASSINATION Bruce Conner Estar Base Print: NEG.1; Silky Furry Fleece Pillows; Norman Vincent Peale Enthusiasm Makes the Difference; Press Department Files Jan 84—May 86; Roasted Vegetable Panini D’Amico’s.

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Click here to see a selection of work from the studio
For information on how to apply: 2009/2010 Walker Art Center Design Fellowship

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There is also an opening for the Senior Graphic Designer position.
For information on how to apply: http://info.walkerart.org/jobs/detail.wac?id=5006

Avant la lettre: Insights 2009 Design Lecture Series: Experimental Jetset

Tuesday, March 24, 7 pm Experimental Jetset, Amsterdam Marieke Stolk and Danny van den Dungen 1. What music were you into before you became EXPERIMENTAL JETSET? ( 1) ( 2) ( 3) ( 4) ( 5) ( 6) (7) ( 8) ( 9) The Cramps(1) , Suicidal Tendencies(2),  The Zombies (3) , The Beatles (4),  […]

Tuesday, March 24, 7 pm
Experimental Jetset, Amsterdam
Marieke Stolk and Danny van den Dungen

1. What music were you into before you became EXPERIMENTAL JETSET?

cramps1 ( 1) suicidaltendencies ( 2) zombie8 ( 3)

01 ( 4) thespecials ( 5) 1184793279 ( 6)

prince5-770364-728382 (7) polaroids_japan_nyc ( 8) pixies ( 9)

The Cramps(1) , Suicidal Tendencies(2)The Zombies (3) , The Beatles (4)The Specials(5)Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (6), Prince (7)Japan(8) , The Pixies (9).

2. Who were your heroes before you became EXPERIMENTAL JETSET?

misfits_pushead1(1) pic_003(2  )4375487_4b7233f009_o (3) dietrich-schiaparelli1 (4) charlie-chaplin-cbs (5)

Pushead (1), Savage Pencil (2)Debbie Harry (3), Marlene Dietrich (4), Charlie Chaplin (5)My friends .


3. What were your obsessions before becoming EXPERIMENTAL JETSET?
Drawing, reading, skateboarding, punk music; Horror; Drawing, reading, making mix-tapes.

4. What were your dreams before you became EXPERIMENTAL JETSET?
To become a comic artist; To open a bar; To become a tap-dancing architect.

5. What were you reading before you became EXPERIMENTAL JETSET?

bradbury-ray-1(1) poe (2) 17elsschot1 (3)

arts-graphics-2008_1184081a (4) paul_auster (5) 2 (6)

Science fiction (mostly short stories by writers such as Ray Bradbury) (1),  Edgar Allen Poe (2) , Willem Elsschot (especially ‘Lijmen / Het Been’) (3),
Hanif Kureishi (4), Paul Auster (5), Harry Crews (6).

6. What did you use to collect before you became EXPERIMENTAL JETSET?
Comics, fanzines; Posters; Records.


7. Who were you before EXPERIMENTAL JETSET?

In no specific order:
Danny van den Dungen, Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers.

crouwel_and_ej1 (1)

Danny van den Dungen, Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers with Wim Crowel

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Based in Amsterdam and founded in 1997 by Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers, and Danny van den Dungen, Experimental Jetset has been consistently reinterpreting the implications of modernism, often from the perspective of a youth-based counterculture. The studio is perhaps best known to U.S. audiences from their appearance in the documentary Helvetica (2007), and their dogmatic use of that typeface has become a defining aspect of their work and has influenced new generations of graphic designers. Experimental Jetset’s iconic print work explores ways in which we are both shaped by and help shape our material environment. Projects for cultural clients include collaborations with the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, Purple Institute, Centre Pompidou, Colette, Dutch Post Group, Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Le Cent Quatre, De Theatercompagnie, and 2K/Gingham, which released their iconic John&Paul&Ringo&George T-shirt design. The studio’s work has been exhibited in galleries across the world, and in 2007 New York’s Museum of Modern Art acquired a large selection of their projects for inclusion in its permanent collection. Since 2000, members of Experimental Jetset have been teaching at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.

www.experimentaljetset.nl

Avant la lettre: Insights 2009 Design Lecture Series: David Reinfurt

Tuesday, March 17, 7 pm David Reinfurt, New York O-R-G & Dexter Sinister While at Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair last fall, I was fortunate enough to catch David Reinfurt at the Dexter Sinister booth for a brief chat about the conception of DS and about a project they produced for a conference […]

Tuesday, March 17, 7 pm
David Reinfurt, New York
O-R-G & Dexter Sinister

While at Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair last fall, I was fortunate enough to catch David Reinfurt at the Dexter Sinister booth for a brief chat about the conception of DS and about a project they produced for a conference on contemporary artists’ books commissioned by the Art Libraries Society of New York.

David Reinfurt at Printed Matter's New York Art Book Fair
(Photo by Jessica Williams)

On Dexter Sinister:

“It originally started out as a project for the Manifesta Six Biennial, which was supposed to be staged in Nicosia on the island of Cyprus. They took the money that would originally pay for a biennial and restaged it as a six month long art school. For that they asked Stuart Bailey and I to come up with a proposal for the graphic design of the book. We decided to do something a lot like the way they organized the exhibition itself, which was to take the money and resources of what would usually go into printing and distributing a catalogue and set up something that had a more direct relationship to what actually was needed at the time. If it’s a six month art school you don’t need to make a 296 page catalog and send it all over the world. Things were needed in much smaller numbers so we proposed to set up a printing workshop in the city of Nicosia and make all of the materials there in this kind of vitrine where we’d be working with borrowed printers or people from the school who are artists to make the publications just in the numbers that are needed. It was just our direct response to what was actually needed rather than printing 1,000 because that’s what an off-set printer could do.

reinfurt_basement_outside_w reinfurt_org_thedemiseparty_w

We worked on that project for a year and a half in a store-front downtown in the old city. Everything was set up, but the project was canceled. Around the same time, we had found a space on the lower east side that we decided would be a good place to have a bookstore to sell some of the things we made. It was like a joke “Wouldn’t it be nice to have some presence for this project in New York…” but then when it was canceled, we just took a lot of the ideas and brought them to New York and just re-staged them in our space there. It sounds like everything was premeditated, but it wasn’t at all. It was just one kind of thing to the next. As soon as we had the underground storefront in New York, it didn’t make sense to do any printing there because it was so tiny. But a bookstore made sense, so we started running the space as a bookstore one day a week and the rest of the time as a studio.”

EVERY DAY THE URGE GROWS STRONGER TO GET A HOLD OF AN OBJECT AT VERY CLOSE RANGE BY WAY OF ITS LIKENESS, ITS REPRODUCTION:

ds-1_long

“This project was done for the Arts Libraries conference at the MOMA which we spoke at also. They asked us to make a book for the conference which was on contemporary artists’ books. So we decided to make this, which is a collection of Portable Document Formats (PDFs) that are on our online library. We fit each of the PDFs onto 8-page signatures and produced them on a stencil printing machine.

ds_01 ds_02 ds_03 ds_041 ds_052

ds_06 ds_07 ds_08 ds_09 ds_101

ds_11 ds_121 ds_13

Each of the Arts Librarians takes one of these sets, binds them, and puts it into their libraries. When we set up the online library we had this model in mind; that it would distribute and just push things out into the world and not necessarily circulate, lend or do something else. This was a nice project to do because it hits a few things we’re interested in, like the tension between the free thing online and the thing you hold in your hand, sealing it up and putting it into a library versus the ‘always, everywhere’ quality of a PDF.”

A vanguard among a recent wave of young designers whose practices blur the lines between the worlds of client-driven projects and critical investigation, David Reinfurt melds highly conceptual ideas with technological experimentation. After receiving his MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University in 1999 and working as an interaction designer at IDEO in San Francisco, he founded the studio O-R-G in New York, where his clients included the New York Times, AIGA NY, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Brill’s Content, and Dean Sakamoto Architects, among others. In 2006, with graphic designer Stuart Bailey, Reinfurt established Dexter Sinister, a small workshop/bookstore on the Lower East Side. Counter to the assembly line realities of today’s large-scale publishing, the studio’s process involves working on-demand, using inexpensive local machinery, considering alternate distribution strategies, and collapsing distinctions of editing, design, production, and distribution into one efficient activity. Dexter Sinister was featured at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in Switzerland and the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Reinfurt has written for magazines such as the New York Times Magazine, Dot Dot Dot, Social Text, Visual Communications (UK), Modern Painter, Metropolis M, Idea Magazine (Japan), and Nozone Empire. He previously held a yearlong research affiliate position at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT and currently teaches at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and the Rhode Island School of Design

David Reinfurt will be speaking at the Walker Art Center on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 as part of Avant la lettre: Insights 2009 Design Lecture Series.

Lectures:
March 24 Experimental Jetset, Amsterdam
March 31 Ellen Lupton, Baltimore

Series tickets: $70 ($48 AIGA/Walker members)
Individual event tickets: $20 ($15; $10 students)

For tickets: 612.375.7600 walkerart.org/tickets

Lectures will be webcast on channel.walkerart.org

Avant la lettre: Insights 2009 Design Lecture Series: Process Type Foundry

Tuesday, March 10, 7 pm Process Type Foundry, Minneapolis Eric Olson and Nicole Dotin 1. What music were you into before you became PROCESS TYPE FOUNDRY? Eric Olson: Coalesce, MC5, Converge, Fabric, The Faces and John Adams. Nicole Dotin: I think I’m still listening to it. 2. Who were your heroes before you became PROCESS […]

Tuesday, March 10, 7 pm
Process Type Foundry, Minneapolis
Eric Olson and Nicole Dotin

1. What music were you into before you became PROCESS TYPE FOUNDRY?


Eric Olson: Coalesce, MC5, Converge, Fabric, The Faces and John Adams.
Nicole Dotin: I think I’m still listening to it.

2. Who were your heroes before you became PROCESS TYPE FOUNDRY?
Eric: I don’t have any heroes.
Nicole: I am inspired by the exceptional actions of others, but I don’t have any heroines.

3. What were your obsessions before becoming PROCESS TYPE FOUNDRY?
Eric: Fear I suppose. Mostly of speaking in public and driving through intersections.
Nicole: If I was obsessed with anything, it would have been perfection … and I still haven’t learned any better.

4. What were your dreams before you became PROCESS TYPE FOUNDRY?

Eric: To become a type designer.
Nicole: To find what fit.

5. What were you reading before you became PROCESS TYPE FOUNDRY?


Eric: Robin Kinross and Jonathan Franzen come to mind.


Nicole: A lot of American history at the time of the Revolution.

6. What did you use to collect before you became PROCESS TYPE FOUNDRY?
Eric: I don’t collect.
Nicole: I’ve never had a collector’s mentality for objects, but I’ve always collected skills because I’ve always loved to learn.

7. What were you before PROCESS TYPE FOUNDRY?
Eric:
A teacher, freelance graphic designer, office temp and construction laborer.
Nicole: A typography teacher, graphic designer, web designer and seamstress/tailor.

—-

Process Type Foundry has quickly become one of the most sought-after type foundries in the United States. Founded in 2002 by Eric Olson, the company is known for its unique contemporary typefaces, extensive extended character sets, and custom commissioned work. Its early font releases included the rounded sans serif Bryant, the quirky modular FIG Script, and Locator & Locator Display, a type family designed to represent the Twin Cities. Klavika, released in 2004, has become the foundry’s most popular typeface to date, appearing in everything from the Facebook logo to NBC’s on-air graphics and magazines such as Blender and Architecture MN. Process Type Foundry has worked with clients such as the New York Times Magazine, Thomson-Reuters, and Chevrolet to strengthen their identities with custom type work, and in 2005 Olson engineered the Walker Art Center’s new graphic identity. The studio’s work has been featured in the book Metro Letters and in numerous magazines, including Eye, Nylon, PRINT, étapes, HOW, STEP, Metropolis, Task Newsletter, and CAP&Design. Prior to forming Process, Olson taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and was a design fellow at the University of Minnesota Design Institute and a graphic designer at the Walker. A principal in the company, Nicole Dotin received her MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, England, and previously taught at MCAD. In 2006 she joined Olson as the foundry’s second designer.

www.processtypefoundry.com

The Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota present Insights, which brings graphic designers from around the country and the world to the Twin Cities.

Series tickets: $70 ($48 AIGA/Walker members)
Individual event tickets: $20 ($15; $10 students)

Lectures:
March 10 Process Type Foundry, Minneapolis
March 17 David Reinfurt, New York
March 24 Experimental Jetset, Amsterdam
March 31 Ellen Lupton, Baltimore

Tickets: 612.375.7600 walkerart.org/tickets

Tulane Drama Review (Volume 10, Number 2 Winter, 1965)

Before leaving Los Angeles, I went to one of my favorite used bookstores on Sunset Blvd called Aldine Books. They have a few carts outside that have books and magazines marked down to $1 that I usually peruse before entering the actual store. That day, I stumbled upon this issue of Tulane Drama Review (Volume […]

Before leaving Los Angeles, I went to one of my favorite used bookstores on Sunset Blvd called Aldine Books. They have a few carts outside that have books and magazines marked down to $1 that I usually peruse before entering the actual store. That day, I stumbled upon this issue of Tulane Drama Review (Volume 10, Number 2 Winter, 1965). I was immediately drawn to the cover which features a photo by George Maciunas titled Pigeon Event in St. Mark’s Place, New York City, with notable surnames of Fluxus artists written on top of it. I had found, amongst used cookbooks and romance novels, THE FLUXUS Issue, an incredibly rich resource that documents Fluxus events and activity at the time.

Inside, there are interviews, essays, conversations, diagrams and reviews of plays, performances and a variety of other works. The list of contributors for this issue include: Michael Kirby, Robert Ashley, John Cage, Ken Dewey, Letty Eisenhauer, Ann Halprin, Dick Higgins, Theodore Hoffman, George Maciunas, Jackson Mac Low, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Ramon Sender, Paul Sills, Kelly Yeaton and La Monte Young.

Allan Kaprow’s Eat

fig.1 fig.2
fig.1: view toward entrance, with entrace bridge in center. Girl with white wine glass at left; 
girl with red wine at right.
fig.2: performer in small cave with boiled potatoes

“Eat, an Environment by Allan Kaprow, was presented during the mornings and afternoons of the two last weekends in January, 1964….Only twenty reservations were made for each one-hour period…to forestall overcrowding and keep free circulation in the space…At the far end of the bay on the right, which contained many charred wooden beams, a girl sat at a small electric hot plate frying sliced bananas in brown sugar. If a spectator asked for some, she gave them to him, but she did not speak…The only way to get inside the structure—to get at most of the food—was to climb a tall ladder propped against the side…The visitors were free to wander about through the cave. Some ate and drank; others did not. At the end of the hour the remaining people were ushered out, the “performers” were replaced by fresh volunteers, and new visitors were allowed to enter.” —Michael Kirby

Interspersed between the pages were two fold-outs, breaking the continuity of the review with a beautiful surprise. These inserts are what make this issue of tdr special.


FLUXUS HQ P.O.BOX 180 NEW YORK 10013
FLUXUSHOPS AND FLUXFESTS IN NEW YORK
AMSTERDAM NICE ROME MONTREAL TOKYO
V TRE-FLUXMACHINES-FLUXMUSICBOXES
FLUXKITS – FLUXAUTOMOBILES – FLUXPOST
FLUXMEDICINES – FLUXFILMS – FLUXMENUS
FLUXRADIOS – FLUXCARDS – FLUXPUZZLES
FLUXCLOTHES – FLUXORCHESTRA – FLUXJOKES
FLUXGAMES – FLUXHOLES – FLUXHARDWARE
FLUXSUITCASES – FLUXCHESS – FLUXFLAGS
FLUXTOURS – FLUXWATER – FLUXCONCERTS
FLUXMYSTERIES – FLUXBOOKS – FLUXSIGNS
FLUXCLOCKS – FLUXCIRCUS – FLUXANIMALS
FLUXQUIZZES – FLUXROCKS – FLUXMEDALS
FLUXDUST – FLUXCANS – FLUXTABLECLOTH
FLUXVAUDEVILLE – FLUXTAPE – FLUXSPORT
BY ERIC ANDERSEN – AYO – JEFF BERNER
GEORGE BRECHT – GIUSEPPE CHIARI- ANT -
HONY COX – CHRISTO – WALTER DE MARIA
WILLEM DE RIDDER – ROBERT FILLIOU
ALBERT FINE – HI RED CENTER – JOE JONES
H. KAPPLOW – ALISON KNOWLES – JIRI KOLAR
ARTHUR KOPCKE – TAKEHISA KOSUGI-SHIGE-
KO KUBOTA – FREDRIC LIEBERMAN – GYORGI
LIGETI – GEORGE MACIUNAS – YOKO ONO – BEN-
JAMIN PATTERSON – JAMES RIDDLE – DITER
ROT-TAKAKO SAITO – TOMAS SCHMIT-CHIEKO
SHIOMI – DANIEL SPOERRI – STAN VANDER-
BEEK – BEN VAUTIER – ROBERT M. WATTS
EMMETT O. WILLIAMS – LA MONTE YOUNG
FLUX – ART – NONART – AMUSEMENT FORGOES
DISTINCTION BETWEEN ART AND NONART,
FORGOES ARTIST’S INDISPENSABILITY,
EXCLUSIVENESS, INDIVIDUALITY, AMBITION,
FORGOES ALL PRETENSION TOWARDS SIG-
NIFICANCE, RARITY, INSPIRATION, SKILL,
COMPLEXITY, PROFUNDITY, GREATNESS,
INSTITUTIONAL AND COMMODITY VALUE.
IT STRIVES FOR MONOSTRUCTURAL, NON-
THEATRICAL, NONBAROQUE, IMPERSONAL
QUALITIES OF A SIMPLE NATURAL EVENT,
AN OBJECT, A GAME, A PUZZLE OR A GAG.
IT IS A FUSION OF SPIKES JONES, GAGS,
GAMES, VAUDEVILLE, CAGE AND DUCHAMP

The first fold-out, printed front and back with bright orange ink on a thin uncoated stock, spans about 35 inches. It is comprised of a collection of events by Fluxus artists George Brecht, Joe Jones, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Benjamin Patterson and Robert Watts.

 fig.3
 fig.4
fig.3: George Brecht: Drip Music (Drip Event); Joe Jones: Predictions 1963;
Duet for Two Brass Instruments; Alison Knowles: Child Art Piece; Proposition Make a Salad,
Variation - Make a Soup.
fig.4: Alison Knowles: String Piece; George Maciunas: In Memoriam to Adriano Olivetti;
Benjamin Patterson: Seminar 1; Robert Watts: Rain Event; Two Inches.

CITY SCALE

The second fold-out, printed black, one sided, on a thin newsprint, is also about 35 inches. It is a diagram of City Scale, the exploration of performer-audience relationships through a series of predetermined and spontaneous events within the city.

City Scale was the culminating event of a season devoted to exploring performer-audience relationships. We decided to use the city environment as totally as possible, to create a trip out of which more or less controlled elements would emerge. Many of the events were purposely ambiguous so that audience members would not have the certainty of knowing whether a given incident had been planned or was happening anyway.

The most meaningful events of the evening were those which impinged upon the life of the city, interacted with it, transformed it, or absorbed it into the structure of the work. The arrival of the audience in two trucks at a small park perched high on a hill overlooking the Mission coincided with a collision between two teenage gangs in the park. I had arrived early to inflate four seventeen-foot weather balloons, and noticed the kids collecting. Just as the two groups started toward each other, our trucks full of excited participants roared up. Sixty people started running across the park towards the balloons, and the teenagers scattered to the periphery. I don’t know what went through their minds in the minutes that followed, as adults chased balloons and each other through the park.

City Scale was a natural extension of sound experiments with which Tape Music Center members were involved—group improvisation, or tape pieces unfolding on many simultaneous levels of control. Out of it developed our present interest in environmental works—sound and light events controlling as much of a given space as possible.

—Ramon Sender

My intention was to externalize visually the world in ourselves by providing a maze of the manmade, a sequence of events in the city.

—Anthony Marti

Tulane Drama Review is still being published today quarterly by Tulane University under the auspices of its Department of Theatre and Speech. However, I wonder how many of them are as special as this one.

Text/Messages: Books by Artists

Text/Messages: Books by Artists, organized by Walker curator Siri Engberg and Walker librarian Rosemary Furtak, is a very exciting exhibition opening tomorrow, December 18, 2008, and will be up until April 19, 2009. It will feature artist books from the Walker’s extensive library and collection that rarely get displayed for public viewing, so its an […]

Text/Messages: Books by Artists, organized by Walker curator Siri Engberg and Walker librarian Rosemary Furtak, is a very exciting exhibition opening tomorrow, December 18, 2008, and will be up until April 19, 2009. It will feature artist books from the Walker’s extensive library and collection that rarely get displayed for public viewing, so its an absolute treat for this show to be happening. As a designer, many of these books have been highly influential, especially the typographic works by Dieter Roth and Lawrence Weiner. I was overwhelmed with nostalgia when I saw some of Edward Ruscha’s Los Angeles influenced books like Every Building on the Sunset Strip. Here are some installation images from the exhibition and a few of my favorite pieces on display:

Edward Ruscha

fig.1 fig.2 fig.3

fig.4 fig.5 fig.6

fig.1: Dieter Roth; fig.2: Lawrence Weiner; fig.3: Edward Ruscha; fig.4: Allan Kaprow; fig.5: Yoko Ono; fig.6: Richard Tuttle

About Text/Messages:

“Books have historically been an important arena for artistic endeavor. Early in the 20th century, artists often illustrated existing texts, creating deluxe publications released in limited editions. By mid-century, many were beginning to see books as a more democratic way to present visual information. The rush of underground publishing in the 1960s and rise in widely distributed leaflets, posters, and magazines set the stage for an unprecedented exploration into the book as an art form, often reflecting contemporary movements such as Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and feminism. Since then, newer modes of commercial printing and experimentations with handmade papers, unconventional methods of binding, and unexpected materials have vastly expanded the book’s potential.

Over the past 30 years, the Walker Art Center Library has amassed a significant holding of artists’ books and illustrated volumes that numbers some 1,600 objects. Usually accessible to the public only by appointment, these works, supplemented with pieces from the museum’s permanent collection, are now on view in the galleries for the first time in two decades.

Co-organized by Walker librarian Rosemary Furtak and Walker curator Siri Engberg, the show highlights this important trove of material and showcases examples from a broad range of artistic movements. The books and book-based works on view come from some of the most recognizable names in contemporary art as well as lesser known artists. The process of selecting the works in Text/Messages: Books by Artists was a fascinating endeavor for the curators, who found the premise of the exhibition to be an ideal opportunity to explore many areas within the Walker’s collections. Even in today’s digital age, artists’ continued engagement with books—as medium, material, and subject—is evidence, say Engberg and Furtak, that this is an area of artistic invention alive with ideas and possibilities.”

The exhibition’s identity, graphics and labels, designed by Walker design fellow Noa Segal, reference the card catalog system the Walker Library uses to organize it’s books. The actual call number for each book is beautifully and cleverly used as an informational and graphical basis for the show’s printed materials. In an upcoming post, a conversation between Segal and Walker curatorial fellow Dan Byers, will describe in detail the process and development of the visual identity of Text/Messages: Books by Artists.

Until then, make sure to check out upcoming events related to this exhibition:

ARTIST’S BOOK WORKSHOPS
THURSDAYS, JANUARY 8, 15, 22, AND 29, 6 – 9 PM FREE
STAR TRIBUNE FOUNDATION ART LAB
Minnesota Center for Book Arts instructor Aki Shibata and artist Sam Hoolihan lead the curious on four bookmaking adventures that utilize audience-generated text messages, photos, found objects, and even paper! All materials will be provided. For details on individual workshops, visit calendar.walkerart.org.

CURATOR TALK—
THURSDAY, JANUARY 15, 7 PM FREE
MEET IN THE MEDTRONIC GALLERY
Text/Messages exhibition curators discuss the history of the Walker’s collection of artists’ books and point out examples of works that have been key contributions to this dynamic area of artistic production.

PANEL DISCUSSION: THE ART OF THE BOOK—
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 7 PM FREE CINEMA
Free tickets at Bazinet Garden Lobby desk from 6 pm
Artist’s books have always held an important place in the Walker’s collection, yet they are rarely exhibited in the gallery. David Platzker, book dealer/scholar and former director of Printed Matter, Inc., moderates a discussion on the current state of artist’s book production. Panelists include artists Buzz Spector and Harriet Bart, and James Hoff of Primary Information.

Copresented by Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Rain Taxi Review of Books.

MULTIPLES MALL: A BOOKISH FAIR–
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 11 AM – 4 PM FREE
CARGILL LOUNGE AND LECTURE ROOM
Minnesota artists who make book-related multiples set up shop at the Walker for a day of merriment, complete with short presentations on the history of chapbooks, radical reasons for making multiples, and more. Artists’ books, chapbooks, zines, and other booklike objects will be featured. Come browse the offerings and purchase a piece from this local and thriving creative scene. For a full schedule of activities and a list of participants, visit mnartists.org/multiplesmall.

Copresented by mnartists.org, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and Rain Taxi Review of Books.

* * *

In the spirit of Text/Messages, I will be posting in the upcoming month, conversations I’ve had with artists, designers and independent publishers at this year’s NY Art Book Fair about the various books, periodicals, and ‘zines that they’ve put out.

Talking with Kris Latocha of Paperback Magazine at NY Art Book Fair. Photo: Jessica Williams

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