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Meet The Ventriloquist Summerschool tutors: Kristian Henson

On the weeks preceding the application deadline for The Ventriloquist Summerschool (remember, it’s July 1st), we’re running a series of weekly interviews, 5 questions each with the 4 tutors involved. The dynamic is (hopefully) simple: João (Doria) interviews Kristian (Henson); Kristina (Ketola Bore) interviews Laura (Pappa); Kristina interviews João; João interviews Kristina. Kristian Henson already left a trace […]

On the weeks preceding the application deadline for The Ventriloquist Summerschool (remember, it’s July 1st), we’re running a series of weekly interviews, 5 questions each with the 4 tutors involved. The dynamic is (hopefully) simple: João (Doria) interviews Kristian (Henson); Kristina (Ketola Bore) interviews Laura (Pappa); Kristina interviews João; João interviews Kristina.

The Office of Culture & Design / Hardworking Goodlooking

The Office of Culture & Design / Hardworking Goodlooking

Kristian Henson already left a trace on The Gradient when invited by Dante Carlos in the “2014: The Year According to ————” post series. Together with his partner at The Office of Culture and Design and its editorial house Hardworking Goodlooking — Clara Lobregat Balaguer — they presented a rich list of noteworthy ideas, events and objects encountered in 2014.

Today’s questions, though, are mostly framed through pulling from personal impressions I got (and kept) when meeting him for the first time (again, through Dante). Shortly, Kristian hosted me for a few days when I traveled to New Haven in 2012 for my MFA interview and we kept in touch since then.

When putting together the ideas for The Ventriloquist Summerschool with Kristina, I thought of inviting Kristian as one of the tutors since I still see too little disconnect between who he is as a person and how he performs his own work and ideas, plus a critical interest on matters of cultural colonization (a combination I judge to be quite central to the discussions we’re aiming to raise and work on this coming summer in Oslo).

——

In Darkness, Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

In Darkness, Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

Filipino Folk Foundry (FFF), Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

Filipino Folk Foundry (FFF), Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

João Doria: Kris, let’s talk about center and periphery.

Kristian Henson: For me “center” describes a popular mainstream or a definition of a system with an ordered hierarchy and “periphery” is a subculture, an underground, or the overlooked margin of society. The two must exist together, with the periphery being the element that recalibrates the center forward, and the center being the element that is the ground on which the periphery can run around, disrupt or hack. Without the center there is no periphery, and vice-versa.

In my work I placed myself in the periphery willingly. In the periphery there is actual space to work, things to change and outcomes are unknown. The Office of Culture and Design and Hardworking Goodlooking addresses the margin through different channels, strategies and platforms. Sometimes this requires working with rural art spaces, planning indigenous food events, meeting with local anarchist activists, attending a round table of contemporary artists or maybe teach a workshop in Oslo. I’d like to think my work is in service to the periphery, to foster self-representation and give the marginal a voice.

IMG_3502 IMG_3495 IMG_3450 IMG_2986 Images from Tatlo, a book launch and art event at Ooga Booga 2 / 356 Mission, Downtown Los Angeles
JD: Let’s also talk about voice and representativity.

KH: Voice and representation are very important to me. Often I believe that voice is something many people feel is reserved for the realm of art. However I feel that is a huge oversight and a limited mode of thinking.

Inside all notions of industry, technology, politics, economy, and culture is something humanistic in one form or another. As humans we are the catalyst that set things into action. Everything we make from the eccentric to the functional echoes its maker both knowing and unknowingly. The structure of a building, the wire frame of a website, the steps of a dance routine, the contours on a bottle of shampoo all have an author. Formal, sensual and psychological footprints which map our origins, intentions, motivations can be found even in the most banal of objects. It is clear that in order to live and work with intention we must start by looking at our footsteps and understanding our voice. Intention will only equate to better work and outcomes.

My work with The OCD on one end is a means to define my own voice and work with intention but on the other end a means to help study the voice of contemporary Filipino art and visual culture. Without going too deep into Post-Colonial, Neoliberalist or Globalization theory, for a long time The Philippines and other “developing” cultures with parallel histories allowed outside elements to dictate our voices for us. In our attempt to decolonize I find it critical to invest in projects of self-representation in order to write our own histories and leave behind a body of research for the future to build upon.

Hunt & Gather, Terraria, Wawi Navaroza, Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

Hunt & Gather, Terraria, Wawi Navaroza, Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

Nowhere, Kristian Henson Unpublished Thesis Work at Yale School of Art, 2011

Nowhere, Kristian Henson Unpublished Thesis Work at Yale School of Art, 2011

Untitled (marbled paper), Kristian Henson

Untitled (marbled paper), Kristian Henson

JD: Tell me a bit about the framework you set for yourself to keep things going. It wasn’t like that since day 1, was it?

KH: My “framework” came organically, charting a general direction or field but allowing the work itself to grow on its own terms. I think its important to deeply understand how you work but not necessarily control all outcomes. Lately, I’ve been trying to reference back to my earnest study and interest in Zen (Nothingness) and Wabi-Sabi (The beauty of the imperfect) when describing my design perspective. Allow me for a moment to have some fun and get a little hippie right now – it’ll make sense I promise.

In Zen there is a dialectic that I like between control and decontrol, an essential paradox. In this system of thinking it is most optimal to reach neither end of the spectrum in order to be both at the same time, creating a balance of nothingness (this is fairly obvious). However, since we live in societies built on control, more emphasis must be made on decontrol, letting things go, allowing for imperfection and embracing chaos. Chaos not like the fuzz of an electric punk guitar (actually maybe), but more like the way water falls from a fountain into a glass.

All of that is to say that my “framework” tries to be fluid and adaptive. In urban anthropology this can be termed as fluidity or hybridity, the state in which boundaries are dissolved, identities melt and maps warp—a term that was created to address our current globalized and migratory reality. I find the concept of fluidity beautiful, it echoes Zen / Wabi-Sabi but in social science terms. I try to emulate fluidity by putting my work in positions that allow it to stay active and continue to move into more positions but allowing other people and places to warp my own process. I consider each publishing project as a node or hub that branches into more projects which will flow into new people and more places. The “framework” then can be described not a strict grid but more like a web, something that is adaptive and dynamic to the situation, environment and climate. By considering my work as a constellation of links my hope is that they collectively will speak in dialogue with one another which will create a new understanding or at the very least a landscape of its own.

The Office of Culture & Design, established 2010

The Office of Culture & Design, established 2010

Clara Lobregat Balaguer, shot by Geric Cruz 2014

Clara Lobregat Balaguer, shot by Geric Cruz 2014

JD: Now tell me about your friends.

KH: I love my friends, without them my practice wouldn’t be possible! I enjoy graphic design so much because it is inherently collaborative, it requires social interactions and outcomes rely on the relationships between parties.

When partnering with Clara Balaguer, founder of OCD and co-founder of HWGL, our informal network of friends overlaid in this very powerful way and this specific patchwork of intersecting collaborators strikes as a major character of the project. I also think our skill sets and philosophies compliment each other, sometimes it feels symbiotic-both independent and interdependent. We are based exactly 12 hours apart (Clara in Manila and myself in New York) or half the world away yet we operate this global operation by the most common but powerful tools of this age: skype, gmail, dropbox, whatapp, paypal .etc. The nature of our operation, you could also say, reflects the new potential of the globalize nature of friendships, collaborative partnerships and companies which are being formed in the contemporary “post-internet” space.

Without my partnership with Clara and her view points on social engagement, her extensive patient ground work in the Philippines and her wild humorous aesthetic tastes, I highly doubt the connections and revelations about my own work could be realized and so our friendship has been crucial in my practice and in my life.

Jim, Kara & Cynthia Henson in The San Fernando Valley circa 1976

Jim, Kara & Cynthia Henson in The San Fernando Valley circa 1976

Kevin Henson, detail of In Darkness, Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

Kevin Henson, detail of In Darkness, Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

In Darkness, Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

In Darkness, Hardworking Goodlooking 2014

JD: Last question, still on the same line of thought: tell me about your family.

KH: Family is very important. Being a product of the Filipino diaspora, it must always come back to family in one way or another. Your family is this small raft in which learn about yourself. Growing up in suburban Los Angeles feeling alien, having an identity crisis, finding home in marginal subcultures, handling sibling trauma, witnessing my family repatriate back to The Philippines—all adds subtext that informs my work. I have had many very unique life experiences through my family, we were by no means a prototype, yet it falls part and parcel with a shared broader cultural experience.

My overall feeling is that by grasping onto our own personal peculiarities and narratives, deep rich resources such as our family, conversely open a lens to larger connected human issues if only we allow ourselves to be specific and true to ourselves.

Call for Applicants: The Ventriloquist Summerschool

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Jul 1, 2015 This summer from the 10-15th of August The Ventriloquist Summerschool will happen in Oslo. It is Norway’s first design summer school and welcomes students and professionals from both design and all other creative fields. The Ventriloquist Summerschool will look at how and why designers speak through their own creations. What […]

Maypole Dance at Central Park, New York

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Jul 1, 2015

This summer from the 10-15th of August The Ventriloquist Summerschool will happen in Oslo. It is Norway’s first design summer school and welcomes students and professionals from both design and all other creative fields.

The Ventriloquist Summerschool will look at how and why designers speak through their own creations. What can it mean to use one’s own voice, regardless of the arena of action? What is the difference between speaking personally and professionally? The participants will get space, time and infrastructure to develop their own projects so the discussion can happen through the work itself.

Organized by João Doria (NO/BRA), graphic designer, and Kristina Ketola Bore (NO), design writer – they are joined by Laura Pappa (EE/NL) and Kristian Henson (US) in teaching four workshops that will run parallel throughout the week. The participants will be asked to choose one, which is headed by one of four tutors. During the week three guest critics from diverse fields will also come in to talk about their practice and what role ventriloquism’s metaphor plays in their profession.

The Summerschool is open for anyone of any age, studying or working within design, the arts and all other creative fields. Applications are welcomed from all over the world – both from students and professionals.

The school is free of charge, but participants must apply for the 32 places available through the application form on the website.

http://the.ventriloqui.st/summerschool/

The Ventriloquist Summerschool is made possible by a Grafill stipend.

Kevin Lynch: Overlay drawn for “Composite Photo Identification Map: JJ.” Documentation created as part of the Perceptual Form of the City, a research project investigating the individual’s perception of the urban landscape.

TUTORS

Kristian Henson (1981) is a New York based designer and publisher. After receiving his MFA from Yale School of Art in 2012, he continued his research and extended his design practice by actively collaborating with artists and institutions in The Philippines through The Office for Culture and Design and its editorial branch, Hardworking Goodlooking.

Laura Pappa (1988) is a freelance graphic designer based in Amsterdam. She has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem. Since 2014 she has been the coordinator of the Critical Studies masters programme at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam.

Kristina Ketola Bore (1986) holds an MA in Design Writing Criticism from London College of Communication. She works as a design writer and critic, editor and is a partner in the publishing house Particular Facts. Some of the places she has lectured include Bergen Academy of the Arts, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, NTNU and the Estonian Academy of the Arts.

João Doria (1982) holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University School of Art. He’s a Brazilian graphic designer based in Oslo, Norway and has taught, exhibited and received awards in countries such as Brasil, France, Germany, Norway and the USA. In 2015 he has, so far, exhibited at It’s a Book (HGB-Leipzig, DE) and at the 26th International Poster Competition (Chaumont, FRA).

Call for Applicants: The Walker Art Center Mildred Friedman Design Fellowship 2015–2016

Design Fellowship 2015–2016 APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 28, 2015 The Walker is pleased to announce that its 2015–16 Mildred Friedman Design Fellowship is now open for application. Since 1980, the Walker’s Design department has maintained a graphic design fellowship program that provides recent graduates the opportunity to work in a professional design studio environment. Selected from a highly competitive pool […]

Design

Fellowship

2015–2016

APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 28, 2015

The Walker is pleased to announce that its 2015–16 Mildred Friedman Design Fellowship is now open for application.

Since 1980, the Walker’s Design department has maintained a graphic design fellowship program that provides recent graduates the opportunity to work in a professional design studio environment. Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, fellows come from graphic design programs throughout the United States and abroad representing a diverse range of design programs, such as Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Eastern Michigan University, Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, NC State University, Rhode Island School of Design, Royal College of Art, Werkplaats Typografie, and Yale University, among many others.

What we are looking for:

Ideal candidates will be firmly grounded in visual design principles and the print design process with some experience in interaction design. In addition to print-based projects such as exhibition identities, wayfinding, and collateral materials, this year’s fellow will also work on select online publishing initiatives. The fellow will join an accomplished team of professionals known for creating industry-leading work. Immersed in the Design department, which includes Editorial, Photography, and Videography, fellows gain a deeper understanding of design, work on projects with rich, interesting content, and are expected to produce work to the highest standards of design excellence. See samples of previous fellow’s work here and in this video highlighting 75 years of Walker design. The fellows will also be key contributors to the Design department’s blog, The Gradient—so an interest in the discourse of graphic design and contemporary culture is highly desirable. Fellows are salaried, full-time employees and are involved in all aspects of the design process, including client meetings and presentations through production and development. DURATION OF FELLOWSHIP: August 1, 2015 – July 31, 2016

How to apply:

For consideration, submit the following materials by PDF attachments only: 1. a letter of interest; 2. a resume, including names and contact information of 3 references; 3. a PDF portfolio containing 8–10 examples of graphic design work (total file size can be no larger than 19 MB, otherwise your file will be rejected). Email application packets to jobs@walkerart.org.

No phone calls please. For more information, visit our fellowship page.  Also check out the Walker’s job listing.

Some of our recent projects:

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👋 We’re looking forward to meeting you! 😗

Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age

Tickets for the Walker/Mn Artists–organized conference Superscript, a look at “online art publishing’s present and possible futures,” go on sale in five days and we’re expecting them to sell out quickly. The conference features an amazing lineup of critics, artists, authors, and thinkers talking about a variety of artistic disciplines. Some talks I’m really looking forward […]

superscriptcardanimated

Tickets for the Walker/Mn Artists–organized conference Superscript, a look at “online art publishing’s present and possible futures,” go on sale in five days and we’re expecting them to sell out quickly. The conference features an amazing lineup of critics, artists, authors, and thinkers talking about a variety of artistic disciplines. Some talks I’m really looking forward to: Claire Evans (of YACHT) discussing her position as “futures editor” at Vice‘s Terraform; artist James Bridle always brings an interesting take on the future of publishing (see the recent Artist Op-Ed he wrote for us); and Eugenia Bell diving into what has made Design Observer so successful over the years. Besides that we get to hear from people representing e-flux, Hyperallergic, Triple Canopy, Pitchfork, Rhizome, Buzzfeed, frieze, Creative Time Reports, LA Times, Temporary Art Review, and The New Inquiry. !!!

And because we’re doing it the Walker way, there will be some fun crossovers with our programming: two new film premieres commissioned by the Walker (by Moyra Davey and James Richards), a crowd-sourced criticism component to our International Pop exhibition, and some healthy supplemental online content including a series on this blog about design and content strategy.

Superscript identity by Dante Carlos. Website by Anthony Tran.

Booksfromthefuture Summer School 2014

   Booksfromthefuture is a ten-day summer workshop in London on book design that focuses on self-initiated, practice-based inquiry. Participants of the programme will each design a section of the 1884 science fiction novel Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, to be published by Booksfromthefuture in collaboration with designer Dante Carlos. In this setting, thinking and making will be experienced simultaneously rather than as separate phases […]

flatland1  flatland2

Booksfromthefuture is a ten-day summer workshop in London on book design that focuses on self-initiated, practice-based inquiry. Participants of the programme will each design a section of the 1884 science fiction novel Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, to be published by Booksfromthefuture in collaboration with designer Dante Carlos. In this setting, thinking and making will be experienced simultaneously rather than as separate phases of the design process. As a re-imagining of story and format, participants will discover both individual and collaborative methods that blend research and practice into a single act.

Booksfromthefuture mentors designers and artists to become independent thinkers and practitioners with the experience and confidence to initiate and sustain their own projects, collaborations and futures.

15 places available
7–18 July 2014
Application deadline 20 May 2014

For more information on how to apply, visit booksfromthefuture.

Call for Applicants: Walker Art Center Mildred Friedman Design Fellowship 2014–2015

Above: 75 years of design at the Walker Art Center APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 14, 2014 The Walker is pleased to announce that its 2014–15 Mildred Friedman Design Fellowship is now open for application. Since 1980, the Walker’s Design department has maintained a graphic design fellowship program that provides recent graduates the opportunity to work in a professional […]

Above: 75 years of design at the Walker Art Center

APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 14, 2014

The Walker is pleased to announce that its 2014–15 Mildred Friedman Design Fellowship is now open for application.

Since 1980, the Walker’s Design department has maintained a graphic design fellowship program that provides recent graduates the opportunity to work in a professional design studio environment. Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, fellows come from graphic design programs throughout the United States and abroad representing a diverse range of design programs, such as Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Eastern Michigan University, Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, NC State University, Rhode Island School of Design, Royal College of Art, Werkplaats Typografie, and Yale University, among many others.

Ideal candidates will be firmly grounded in visual design principles and the print design process with some experience in interaction design. In addition to print-based projects such as exhibition identities, wayfinding, and collateral materials, this year’s fellow will also work on select online publishing initiatives. The fellow will join an accomplished team of professionals known for creating industry-leading work. Immersed in the Design, Editorial, and New Media departments, fellows gain a deeper understanding of design, work on projects with rich, interesting content, and are expected to produce work to the highest standards of design excellence. See here and the above video for examples of the studio’s design output. The fellows will also be key contributors to the Design department’s blog, The Gradient—so an interest in the discourse of graphic design and contemporary culture is highly desirable. Fellows are salaried, full-time employees and are involved in all aspects of the design process, including client meetings and presentations through production and development. DURATION OF FELLOWSHIP: August 1, 2014 – July 31, 2015

How to apply
For consideration, submit the following materials by PDF attachments only: a letter of interest, a resume, names and contact information of 3 references, and a PDF portfolio containing 8–10 examples of graphic design work (no larger than 19 MB, otherwise your file will be rejected). Email application packets to design.fellowship@walkerart.org. No phone calls please.

For more information, visit our fellowship page.  Also check out the Walker’s job listing.

We look forward to meeting you!

 

andrea_hyde_art_direction2andrea_hyde_9_artistsandrea_hyde_brad_mehldauFamous_DavesIMG_0013IMG_0594IMG_0965IMG_1083IMG_13671525349_10153979180620088_1002136145_nIMG_1935IMG_1950IMG_1952IMG_3759.JPG-1024x768IMG_4988IMG_6701IMG_6713IMG_6773IMG_6799IMG_6863photo 1[1]IMG_7436IMG_7438IMG_9282IMG_9749IMG_9796IMG_9799job_wouters_4219_W1.jpg1Luna_Mauer_lecturephoto 2photo 1[3]photo 1[2]photo 1MOA_ride_wouters_02Luna_Maurer_MOA3Luna_Maurer_MOA2Luna_Maurer_FrankLloydWrightphoto 2[1]photo 3[1]photo 2[2]photo 4photo 5photo-21photo.JPGaaaphoto 5[1]photo.JPGfasdftumblr_mn2nhzCtn91sryu20o1_1280photo11photo8photo10photo7photo5photo4photo3photo(11)

Call for Applicants: The Walker Design & New Media Fellowship 2013-2014

Now accepting applications for the Walker Design & New Media Fellowship–Deadline: May 5, 2013 Take our new  T.B.W. Creative Personality Test to see your geometric relationship with the “collective creative unconsciousness.” This year we are inaugurating our first Design & New Media fellowship. We are searching for designers who are comfortable and adept at developing projects […]

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Now accepting applications for the Walker Design & New Media Fellowship–Deadline: May 5, 2013

Take our new  T.B.W. Creative Personality Test to see your geometric relationship with the “collective creative unconsciousness.”

This year we are inaugurating our first Design & New Media fellowship. We are searching for designers who are comfortable and adept at developing projects for both print and screen and can move fluidly between media. Ideal candidates will be firmly grounded in visual design principles and the print design process with demonstrated experience in interaction design and front-end development. In addition to print projects such as exhibition identities and collateral materials, this year’s fellow will be focusing on select projects such as design updates to the Walker website, online publishing initiatives, and our first e-publishing project. The fellow will join an accomplished team of professionals known for creating industry-leading work. Immersed in the Design, Editorial, and New Media departments, fellows gain a deeper understanding of design; work on projects with rich, interesting content; and are expected to produce work to the highest standards of design excellence. Fellows are employed full-time and are involved in all aspects of the design process, including client meetings and presentations through production and development.

Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, fellows come from graphic design programs throughout the United States and abroad. Fellows represent a diverse range of design programs, such as Art Center College of Design, California College of Art, California Institute of the Arts, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Eastern Michigan University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, NC State University, Rhode Island School of Design, Royal College of Art, Werkplaats Typografie, and Yale University, among many others.

How to apply

Please attach a letter of interest, a résumé with the names and contact information of three references, and a pdf portfolio containing 8–10 examples of graphic design work (print and web) to walker.design.fellowship@gmail.com. Keep your files under 10MB. No phone calls please.

For more information, visit our fellowship page.  Also check out the Walker’s job listings.

We look forward to meeting you!

14walkermag802_invite_frweb_shopweb_painterpainterweb_openfieldweb_mainwoyzeck_highveld_dinner_invite_frandrea_hyde_work_4cam-20Untitled-1therenegadesScreen-shot-2011-10-04-at-5.45.07-PM0sang_andreapp_web5photo-1.JPGperf_arts_12-13_froverbooked2overbooked18039278321_f0a90951b2_kminouk_lim_frimg001IMG_3572IMG_3567IMG_3566IMG_3436Untitled-2IMG_2570IMG_2467IMG_2247IMG_2014IMG_1996britsbrits_5eiko_koma2cunninghamavantgarden0028039258815_e459033d7a_h7468466570_76eace5f5d_k

ZINE-TRADE-MEET-UP: Ryan Foerster and J Patrick Walsh at the Walker

Zzzine night was started by J Patrick Walsh 3. ZINE-TRADE-MEET-UP was started by Ryan Foerster. This is their first collaboration on a night to trade ‘zines’. Their zine Sump Pump will be available for trades. All welcome! Bring things to trade. NO $$$$$. Thursday, March 21, 5–8 pm, at the Walker. Read more here. “Also, we […]

Zzzine night was started by J Patrick Walsh 3. ZINE-TRADE-MEET-UP was started by Ryan Foerster. This is their first collaboration on a night to trade ‘zines’. Their zine Sump Pump will be available for trades. All welcome! Bring things to trade. NO $$$$$. Thursday, March 21, 5–8 pm, at the Walker.

Read more here.

Ryan Foerster NYABF zine trade photoRyan Foerster zine trade-up 3.21.13

“Also, we will have ALL NEW ARTIST BOOKS IN THE PRINTED MATTER SHELF in the Walker Shop starting that night by Sam Falls, JSBJ, Howard Johnson, David Horvitz, Ryan Foerster, Seth Price, and John Dogg! Which is totally awesome all by itself.” —Michele Tobin

How to balance on a strip of Möbius: Insights 2013

Above: Trailer for the lecture series. Best viewed at 720p   Above: The main print run of the poster was printed in CMYK. Pictured is one of five limited edition prints with combinations of ink channels turned on/off, here in black only.   The identity for Insights: Surface Readings—as detailed here—employs a collection of Möbius strips […]

Above: Trailer for the lecture series. Best viewed at 720p

 

Insights poster 2013

Above: The main print run of the poster was printed in CMYK. Pictured is one of five limited edition prints with combinations of ink channels turned on/off, here in black only.

 

The identity for Insights: Surface Readings—as detailed here—employs a collection of Möbius strips to reference the commissioned contributions of lecturers Geoff McFetridge, Eike König, Job Wouters, and Luna Maurer to the various “surfaces” of the Walker. The poster was made by photographing printed strips of paper on a paper backdrop, the perfect “surface” for a printed piece. The trailer was made by filming strips on a green screen attached to a rotating rigging, and placing them on default Final Cut Pro backgrounds, which is again, a fitting surface for the medium.

andrea_hyde_insights_2013

If you can’t make it for the talks in person, make sure to check out the live webcasts on the Walker Channel.

Insights Design Lecture Series 2013: Surface Readings

      “If surface is a kind of place, or site, the designer is its geographer. Surface is folded out in order to produce value, while it is folded in to secure it.” —Metahaven   Poster design by Andrea Hyde For the 28th edition of the Insights Design Lecture Series, we’ve invited leading designers […]

WoutersKonig  MaurerMcFetridge

 

 

“If surface is a kind of place, or site, the designer is its geographer. Surface is folded out in order to produce value, while it is folded in to secure it.” —Metahaven

 

Insights_Poster_Front_Final Insights_Poster_Back_Final
Poster design by Andrea Hyde

For the 28th edition of the Insights Design Lecture Series, we’ve invited leading designers from around the world to bring their talents to the Twin Cities and leave something behind when they go. The Walker is currently in the process of reskinning itself, so we asked each designer to inhabit a different surface of the Walker, from the outside to the inside, the social to the digital. Geoff McFetridge, for example, is creating a large outdoor mural that will wrap the building site fence while we are under construction. Job Wouters will create a hand-lettered mural inside the building (and will perform a live hand-lettering demonstration during his lecture). Hort invades our virtual surface with an online intervention. And Luna Maurer of Moniker will investigate our social fabric with some experimental audience participation during her lecture. Look for documentation of these four projects soon, and in the meantime you can buy tickets here. And if you can’t make it to the Walker, you can watch the live webcast on the Walker Channel. Also, this year we are encouraging groups to host Insights viewing parties. See below for links to more information about the speakers.

 

McFetridge3
March 5, 7 pm
Geoff McFetridge
of Champion Studio

LA-based designer Geoff McFetridge is a leading figure in the contemporary world of graphic culture, working fluidly between the realms of art and design and the printed page and the moving image. Featured in the film and exhibition Beautiful Losers, McFetridge’s clever and engaging art has graced nearly every kind of surface imaginable—from limited-edition Nike sneakers and his own line of silkscreened wallpapers to laser-etched illustrations on toast for a music video by OK Go. His work has been shown around the world in cities such as London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam and he was featured in the Walker exhibition Graphic Design: Now in Production. His Insights lecture also celebrates the installation of a temporary site-specific mural he created for the Walker.

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March 12, 7 pm
Eike König
of Hort

As one of Europe’s most fearless design studios, Berlin’s Hort has consistently bridged the gap between aggressively contemporary aesthetics and big name clients. From glitchy animated GIFs to elegant hand-drawn illustrations, Hort’s aesthetics run the gamut, displaying an unflinching dedication to formal and conceptual play. In fact, Hort translates as “after-school care club” in German, and this spirit inhabits the multidisciplinary studio which founder Eike König refers to as a “playground for creative people.” With an early focus on record sleeve design and illustration, Hort’s output has come to span all genres and includes work for clients such as Nike, Universal Music, the New York TimesWallpaper, Volkswagon, IBM, and Playboy magazine. Hort was named Germany’s Visual Leader of 2011 by the Lead Academy. Recently, the studio was presented the unenviable task of rebranding the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, including the original signage on Gropius’ famous building. In addition to running Hort, König teaches graphic design and illustration at the HfG University of Arts, Offenbach, and travels the world conducting workshops and lectures. In conjunction with Insights, Hort will create a work specifically designed for the Walker website.

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March 19, 7 pm
Job Wouters
aka Letman

Job Wouters—better known as Letman—is a practitioner of the lost art of psychedelic and delirious penmanship, a letterer who’s precisely honed technique hides behind a world of unbridled alphabetic experimentation. Creating wildly unique work that nods to the past but transcends vernacular nostalgia, Wouters operates between illustration, graffiti, painting, and graphic design. The Amsterdam-based designer has worked for clients such as the New York Times Magazine, Audi, Tommy Hilfiger, Heineken, and Duvel, creating editorial illustrations, fabric prints, posters, typefaces, site-specific murals, and even body-paint designs. He is the recipient of numerous design awards and his first monograph was released by Gestalten publishing in 2012. He was recently commissioned by the Walker to create a mural. Wouters will perform his hand-lettering technique live during the Insights lecture.

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March 26, 7pm
Luna Maurer
of Moniker

According to the “Conditional Design” manifesto, Luna Maurer is interested in logic-based design as a tool to understand the ungraspable. Her work with interactive media bridges the divide between digital and analogue systems, often relying on deceptively simple rules to create complex organic artworks. Maurer is especially known for her participatory experiments in which she designs a process that requires the participants to implement—often in humble materials such as tape, markers, and sticky notes—algorithmic explorations of group thought that expose the process of making. Her work explores the relationship between people and technology, and she has created a breadth of projects—from an exhibition of 400,000 photos of the Amsterdam sky to a website designed in Microsoft Excel. Based in Amsterdam, her three-person studio Moniker balances applied commercial projects with self-initiated experiments. She is a visiting critic at Yale University School of Art and teaches interaction design at the Gerrit Reitveld Academy in Amsterdam. Maurer will present a “social experiment” with the lecture audience, unique to Insights 2013.

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And you can always watch previous Insights lectures from designers such as James Goggin, Irma Boom, Project Projects, Experimental Jetset and more here.

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