Monday, May 21, 2007

Recommendations (books)

Another couple of books worth getting or having a look at. Marcus Fairs' Twenty-First Century Design [Carlton Books ISBN 1-84442-269-0] is one of those sumptious, full-coloured compendiums that makes you reach for your wallet the moment you clap eyes on it. There won't be much new in it for you if you read icon regularly but it certainly takes up less space than 7 years worth of magazines. Made all the better for having Banksy, the Honda [Grr] commercial and Grand Theft Auto in it.

Alex Coles' Design and Art [Whitechapel and MIT Press ISBN 978-0-262-53289-1] is a great collection of essays by various practitioners working in the interzone between these areas. As indicated in his introduction, Coles seeks to go beyond his previous publication DesignArt [Tate Publishing ISBN 1-85437-520-2] since he now considers the term 'designart' to refer

" something much more limited in scope..."

I personally had a bit of a problem with Coles' interpretation of 'DesignArt' anyway - it is not a reciprocal term - you cannot have 'ArtDesign.' I much prefer Dan Graham's 'Art as Design/Design as Art' (1986) or Troels Degn Johansson's 'Art in the Context of Design, Design in the Context of Art.' Coles' use of 'simultaneity' in reference to the nature of hybrid practice seemed much more 'contingent' to me. But then, I do subscribe to the

"...indolent meta-critical reflection..."

school of thought (Duchamp for example). I will be talking about this at The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh next month:

Dan Graham’s Art as Design/Design as Art 19 June, 6.30–7.30pm. This talk marks the 20th anniversary of the publication by Dan Graham and The Fruitmarket Gallery of the text ‘Art as Design/Design as Art’ which explored the sources of Graham's work Interior Design for Space Showing Videotapes, 1986. This talk will look at contemporary art practice in the context of this important text and coincides with an exhibition of four films by renowned Dutch artist Aernout Mik.

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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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