On Tuesdays, March 6, 13, 20, and 27, the Walker Art Center and AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Minnesota present
Dis-Contents: Insights 2007
. This year’s Insights lecture series explores alternative forms of publishing initiated by graphic designers—from podcast interviews and the online discourse of design blogs to publications dedicated to offbeat subjects or cultural musings—and the overlapping roles of the designer as author, editor, and publisher. No longer fully satisfied with simply giving form to predetermined content, these designers have sought new ways to introduce their ideas into the world, using their skills to give voice to themselves and to others: other ideas, other stories, other cultures. Dis-Contents: Insights 2007 includes talks by Daniel Eatock from Eatock Ltd. in London (March 6); Lorraine Wild from Los Angeles-based Green Dragon Office (March 13); design publishers Stuart Bailey, Michael Bierut, and Debbie Millman (March 20); and Amsterdam-based Jop van Bennekom (March 27).
In keeping with this year’s theme, presentations will vary from lectures and panel discussions to interviews and performances. Presentations will be webcast live and archived on the Walker Channel (channel.walkerart.org).
The 7 pm lectures take place in the Walker Cinema. Individual tickets are $24 ($12 Walker and AIGA members; full-time students) and series tickets are $80 ($40). Tickets may be purchased at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Daniel Eatock is a London-based designer known for his conceptual approach to solving traditional client problems as well as those of his own choosing. Eatock graduated from the Royal College of Art and worked as a designer at the Walker Art Center before returning to England to create Foundation 33 and most recently Eatock Ltd. His work has consistently employed a systematic but not necessarily dogmatic rigor that privileges the elemental over the extraneous—a philosophy neatly embodied in his motto: “Say YES to fun & function & NO to seductive imagery & colour!” His work for entertainment and cultural clients ranges from such projects as the graphic identity and promotion for the British television hit Big Brother to a street exhibition of Warhol billboards for Channel 4 to a collaboration with artists Oliver Payne and Nick Relph for an exhibition catalogue with sound chips, a flip book, handwritten notes, and a cover wrapped in the upholstery fabric used on London transit seating. Eatock’s idea of “entrepreneurial authorship” has led to the creation of numerous self-published limited-edition works such as Untitled Beatles Poster, which includes the lyrics of every Beatles song, and the 10.2 Multi-Ply Coffee Table, fabricated from an entire single sheet of plywood.
Lorraine Wild, Green Dragon Office
Lorraine Wild’s career spans the worlds of design, publishing, and academia. Her thoughtfully crafted books helped transform the realm of scholarly publishing, in particular the contemporary exhibition catalogue and artist monograph. The subjects of her works have included artists Richard Prince, Mike Kelley, Gabriel Orozco, and Bill Viola and architects John Hejduk, Daniel Libeskind, and Morphosis, among many others. Wild has won critical praise and numerous awards for her designs, including the AIGA Medal in 2006, the profession’s highest honor. In 1995 she received the Chrysler Award for Design Innovation as a founding partner in the studio ReVerb. More recently, she formed the Los Angeles–based Green Dragon Office with Victoria Lam, Robert Ruehlman, and Stuart Smith, and is a partner in Greybull Press, a unique publishing house with a focus on photographic books that she established in 1999 with partners Lisa Eisner and Roman Alonso. In addition to her design practice, Wild is a historian and educator who headed and helped form the influential graphic design program at CalArts.
Stuart Bailey, Michael Bierut, and Debbie Millman
Stuart Bailey is one of the founding designers and editors of Dot Dot Dot, a graphic design journal whose content spans such diverse areas as music, art, literature, and architecture. Since its conception in 2000, Dot Dot Dot variously described itself as “a jocuserious fanzine-journal-orphanage based on true stories,” “not interested in re-promoting established material or creating another ‘portfolio’ magazine,” and “design pieces about aspects of visual culture that occupy their thoughts.” Michael Bierut has been a consistent presence on the Design Observer blog, where his frequent and polemical articles usually generate the most impassioned responses. Founded in October 2003 by Bierut, Jessica Helfand, Bill Drenttel, and Rick Poynor, D_esign Observer_ has since become an indispensable online forum for graphic designers. Debbie Millman serves as host of Design Matters, a weekly Internet talk show on the Voice America Business network. In that capacity she has produced numerous interview podcasts with many leading designers and critics, including Stefan Sagmeister, Milton Glaser, John Maeda, and Ellen Lupton. The panelists will contend with, among other topics, the creation and dissemination of new and alternative forms of design writing and publishing.
Jop van Bennekom
Based in Amsterdam, Jop van Bennekom embodies the often-sought but seldom realized roles of designer, editor, and publisher for three different magazines: RE-, Butt, and Fantastic Man. Established in 1997, RE- quickly gained recognition for its inversion of typical publishing formulas by focusing on ordinary people and everyday activities; it has since evolved to devote each issue on one person’s life. In 2001, with Gert Jonkers, he created Butt, a new kind of magazine for gay men, which through its simple, disciplined, black-and-pink aesthetic and unvarnished sexuality exploded the genre’s glossy, full-color pinup expectations. It combines photo essays with interviews with many high-profile subjects, including Michael Stipe, Gus van Sant, Rufus Wainwright, Marc Jacobs, Victor & Rolf, and John Waters. The first five years of the magazine have been compiled as Butt Book (Taschen). His latest venture is Fantastic Man, a self-described “gentlemen’s style journal” that surveys the worlds in and around fashion and style, focusing attention on the people (photographers, models), the personalities (Malcolm McLaren, Helmut Lang, Rupert Everett), and the signifiers (tweed, the moustache, smoking). His earlier work included stints as art director for the popular Dutch cultural magazine Blvd. and, with Eric Wong, for Forum, a publication about contemporary architecture for which he won the Rotterdam Design Prize in 2001. Van Bennekom will discuss his work with Walker design director and curator Andrew Blauvelt.