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February 18, 2014
Wood, steel, gelcoat, ceramics, paint
50 x 80 x 90 cm
In the work of Wilfrid Almendra, the landscape and the ornamental arrangements of suburban gardens are endowed as objects actually worthy of interest. “VLZ310” (2004) assembles the elements of the entrance to a virtual porch, chosen by the artist to function metonymically. Three steps of a stoop or a garden are edged by a low wall on which has been placed, much as one would place a flower pot, a disproportionately large ceramic pineapple.
Interview and text in french:
January 28, 2014
Selected Projects 2010-2014 /
Nomadic Chess: Geography
SELECTED PROJECTS 2010-2014
Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, 18 january through 16 march 2014
Winners 5th Cobra Art Prize underscores the interdisciplinary spirit of the Cobra movement
The Metahaven Design Collective, founded by Vinca Kruk (b. Leiden 1980) and Daniel van der Velden (b. Rotterdam 1971), is the winner of the fifth anniversary edition of the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen. With the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen, the Cobra Museum of Modern Art focuses attention on the values of the Cobra movement in relation to contemporary art practice. Those values were experimental, engaged and interdisciplinary. As Xander Karskens, of De Hallen in Haarlem and chairman of the jury, states, ‘Metahaven is an outstanding example of a design practice in which, in the spirit of CoBrA, the boundaries of disciplines are explored, interdisciplinary inspiration is sought and art is critically applied to society from a perspective of utopian ideals’
The exhibition has been designed by Metahaven in collaboration with Katja Weitering, artistic director of the Cobra Museum, and Els Drummen, curator for the Cobra Museum. It is the first museum retrospective of the work of Metahaven in the Netherlands. In addition to many projects - both independent and commissioned - completed from 2010 to 2014, including WikiLeaks Merchandise (previously presented at PS1 in New York), the Uncorporate Identity publication and New Babylon, a new HD video film by Metahaven, inspired by the work of the visionary artist and architect, Constant. The installation, Nomadic Chess, is central to the exhibition, and was previously presented in a Jesuit chapel in Chaumont, France. For the presentation at the Cobra Museum, Nomadic Chess also includes photographs made in collaboration with Meinke Klein.
Metahaven is interested in the social and power structures hidden behind the apparently transparent design of our digital environment. Van der Velden and Kruk are as much researchers and theoreticians as they are graphic designers. In their projects, there is no longer any distinction between these different activities. In this role, together with the editors of De Groene Amsterdammer magazine, they will publish a special addition about the political implications of the Internet, data storage and data access. This is a recurring element in much of Metahaven’s work, and today, it has become a topical and important subject, in which political interests and the interests of society are sometimes diametrically opposed to one another.
On winning the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen, the Metahaven designers responded with, ‘It is a great honor to receive an award that wants to further the spirit of artist-architect-designers such as Constant Nieuwenhuys. We therefore see this as explicit encouragement for research and political engagement in design.
NOMADIC CHESS: GEOGRAPHY.
Nomadic Chess: Geography is a piece created by the dutch studio Metahaven (Daniel Van der Velden et Vinca Kruk) and is produced by the International Poster and Graphic Design Festival of Chaumont.
Nomadic Chess is a real life, mobile chess game consisting of flexible leather tiles which are wearable as garments, and playable as chess pieces. Each field is connected to its adjacent fields with metal rings. When tied together, the metal rings enable the user, or the player, to wear the leather tiles as jackets. There are presently four chess sets. Two black sets (titled “Confusion” and “Capital”), and two white ones (titled “Convenience” and “Most Popular”). The design of the game board combines an iconography of geopolitics (power relations on a global scale), and fashion. Fashion can be considered a natural counterpart to geopolitics: its codes of communication and means of production inherently narrate the dynamics of the world through the spectre of visual obsessions and consumption patterns—a game made real. The so-called “post-Internet”, “New Aesthetic,” or “Tumblr aesthetic” in the beginning seemed to unlink global capitalism from any of its “positive” political values or connotations, including those of liberal democracy, taking the image instead to be a raw confrontation between the ground and the network, low res and hi res together. This new politics were set against a virtual grid of anything from dolphins, to energy drinks, to solar panels —emphasizing the Internet’s aesthetic roots in the animated GIF image, primitive 3D, and other techniques, while celebrating the failure of those techniques to create any illusory, crackless totality. When R&B singer Rihanna embraced the New Aesthetic in her video for Diamonds (2012), the Internet complained about her theft from a grassroots subculture. But Rihanna’s video and song were clearly hoping to not just “own” the Tumblr aesthetic but to emphasize what that aesthetic dreamt of: In the post-Internet approach, the realm of visual consumption becomes a bathroomesque interchange of images, values, and protheses—a swimming pool of pop, waiting to be under the roof of geocapital It has now become imperative, almost, to abandon the post-Internet aesthetic after it has become so obviously seized and overused, but such a departure turns out to be easier said than done. It always already was seized, if only by its own obsessions. Then, can we imagine a new New Aesthetic without the internet? Nomadic Chess answers this question sideways by the conversion of semi-visible, subversive internet phenomena like Silk Road and Anonymous into wearable garments. Not just fashion and style but also conflict are increasingly viewed along the same lines as the New Aesthetic. To begin with, the spectre of terrorism, and especially its backlash in repressive government policies, renders every imaginable threat into a “real virtuality.” As threats are redefined from actual physical acts into mere thoughts about such acts, at the same time the phenomenon of cyberconflict begins to loom over all other kinds of antagonisms; superior, in the sense that it embodies a totality of threat not just over the physical reality but over its infrastructure and ideology. Might such notions one day find their way into a contemporary chessboard? Real life board games have been played since centuries. Similarly, Nomadic Chess depends on the human as a player, and makes the game wearable. The combination between iconography, wearability, playability and sculptural quality aims to create a relationship between what we see on our computer screens, and the ground that we walk on.
January 27, 2014
Graphic Thought Facility
This catalogue and poster for a group exhibition took its title from the famous novel by JG Ballard. Pockets on the foam-padded plastic cover showed photographs Ballard took of his Ford Zephyr following a car accident in 1973.
2010 / Gagosian Gallery / Beacon Press, Uckfield
January 26, 2014
Massimo Vignelli /
New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual
First edition NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual designed by Massimo Vignelli of Unimark International in 1970. The manual was found in a locker beneath old gym clothes.
Niko Skourtis, Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth have collectively created this archival record of the NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual:
January 25, 2014
Karen Van de Kraats
Annual Report & Poster
Every year the Mondriaan Foundation asks a young designer to design their annual report. In 2010 I was honored to design it. I got inspired by the concept of the Yellow Pages where indexing plays an important role. The metallic gold ink, the thin yellow paper and the tabs are a link to that as well. By using a tab for every chapter, it has consequences for the the lay-out, it starts very narrow and becomes wider while going further through the report. To emphasize on the shadows that are created by having the tabs, I even printed and extra shadow part on the first page of every chapter. The idea of the shadow is then also used in the choice of the typeface and the tabbing of the folded poster and the English version of the report.
printed by robstolk
binding by Patist
August 9, 2013
Atelier Carvalho Bernau
Dear Reader Vol. I
A collection of obsessions, oblique references and footnotes of design processes — though not necessarily texts about design.
The layout is appropriately diverse and eclectic for the bandwidth of texts, layering different formats and texts, as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the design shtick of publications with different paper formats. Here we present three iconic formats in emphasized-as-fake three-dimensionality, on four different papers and more inks than you would think.
Dear Reader was created partly from a primordial graphic designers’ urge to publish, and to share texts that are dear to us, partly in celebration of our Atelier’s approximate fifth anniversary, and partly as a vessel to showcase our type design work in a manner that circumvents the conventions and the visual clichés of the type specimen.
August 8, 2013
Artifacts of a Parallel Universe
The discovered fragments, shown in this book are estimated to be approximately 3,5 billion years old. All of the discovered fragments originate from this planet, however, some of the rock samples, which were found inside the capsule are twice as old as Earth itself. It is assumed that we are dealing with time travel here. Through its presence in the past, the time traveler retroactively changed the original evolution of our earth. A parallel universe was created – ours.
The book has more than 300 pages and about 140 Illustrations.
Faculty of Design
May 19, 2013
L.A.W.U.N. Project 19
Dans les documents comportant peu de pages, les cahiers sont généralement encartés, glissés les uns dans les autres et solidarisés par piqûre métal ou cousue. Lorsque le nombre de pages augmente, les cahiers centraux sont rejetés par l’épaisseur du bloc - ou chasse de dos. On préfère alors superposer les cahiers de sorte à ne pas trop rogner les cahiers centraux au massicotage.
Pour la compilation du fonds de documents de travail de David Greene, Zak Kyes impose paradoxalement à un bloc d’ouvrage massif un encartage tenu par couture écolière, entre archive exhaustive de matières diverses et oeuvre monumentale. 2008
May 12, 2013
It’s Not a Garden Table
Artists, designers and theorists discuss the consequences of design as a self-referential practice, and the aesthetics of life-world in the art context with a special focus on furniture.
Edited by Jörg Huber, Burkhard Meltzer, Heike Munder and Tido von Oppeln
15 x 22.5 cm,
296 pages (german),
280 pages (english),
May 11, 2013
& Laura Dressler
45 min - Schule im Auftakt
… Die Konferenz „45MIN – Schule im Auftakt“ stellt sich der Herausforderung, Kreativität in den Unterricht einzubringen. Der Austausch zwischen Lehrern Gestaltern und Schulveränderern steht dabei im Mittelpunkt. Durch Vorträge kann von bestehenden Projekten gelernt und das Erfahrene in Workshops vertieft werden.
Namentlich als auch gestalterisch ist die Konferenz-Identität an Schule orientiert. Die Gestaltungselemente – Systemschriften, Standardpapiere, DIN-Formate, kopierte Bilder und Strukturen sowie Merkkästen – werden aufgegriffen. Die Farbigkeit von Plakaten und Umschlägen, als auch der Einsatz der Elemente, signalisieren den Auftakt zum Umdenken. Die Materialien erinnern an Schulhefte und informieren über Sprecher, Inhalt und Ablauf der Konferenz und dienen als Dokumentation. Die Plakatserie „Ich will …“ lädt zur Konferenz ein und eine zweite Serie mit Kreativitätstechniken aktiviert. Das Konzept und die Identität sollen zeigen, wie eine Schulkultur der Kreativität aufgebaut werden kann.
Das Projekt ist in zusammenarbeit mit Dennis Michaelis entstanden.
Auf 45MIN.eu wird das Konzept und die Gestaltung ausführlich vorgestellt.