Thursday, 29 October 2009

Expressive type

All from Alan Fletcher's 'The Art of Looking Sideways'

Marian Bantjes

Mike Perry

Monday, 26 October 2009

Maps representing the real and imaginary

Situationist Guy Debord's psychogeographic map of Paris called "The Naked City" which took its name from the detective film of the same name. The intention was to give an erotic and charged uncovering of the hidden parts of the city, areas which hadn't been homogenised and sanitised by commercialism in 1957, when the map was made. The idea was to simulate the sleuth work of the detectives in the film and to allow the mapreader to wander and gain a different ambience suggested by the atmosphere of the map which employs the method of reappropriation of existing media called détournement.

Craig Ward's "The World on a Plate" for the Economist – a typographic map of the globe using letterpress techniques. Click his name to see his website "Words Are Pictures"

Saul Steinberg's "View of the World from 9th Avenue" showing a New York-centric focal point.

Chinese Empire map of the world, showing the Empire as the largest area.

Maps of Discovery

April Fool Typographic Island

Humorous symbolism in the form of visual and verbal punning – 'Geographical Guide to a Man's Heart with Obstacles and Entrances Clearly Marked' and 'Geographical Guide to a Woman's Heart Emphasizing Points of Interest to the Romantic Traveler' both by Jo Lowrey

C F Korten's metaphoric maps of land use in Michigan

More metaphorical and metaphysical mapping in the globes of Charles Avery. See his project called The Islanders, a fictional location with narratives and characters and creatures conjured from his imagination.

Use of different planes of vision... Aerial view mixed with axonometric. Symbolic mixed with figurative. Also early use of a key.

Antonio Petrucelli's mixture of the factual and distorted reality, again using aerial and landscape view.

Great fictional placename

Via here

Wunderkammer / Cabinets of Curiosities

Cabinets of curiosities (also known as Kunstkammer, Wunderkammer, Cabinets of Wonder, or wonder-rooms) were encyclopedic collections of types of objects of the Renaissance period. They were unclassified, but objects within them would today maybe fit into the categories of natural history, geology, ethnography, archaeology, relics, works of art,  antiquities.  They were often compiled by rulers, aristocrats, scientists and merchants as a status symbol of power and knowledge, experience, exploration. They could be considered to be the precursor to today's museums, with many of their contents ending up in museums.

A few interesting quotes about Wunderkammer which might inform you in your use of your collection...

"The Kunstkammer was regarded as a microcosm or theater of the world, and a memory theater. The Kunstkammer conveyed symbolically the patron's control of the world through its indoor, microscopic reproduction." Francesaco Fiorani, reviewing Bredecamp 1995 in Renaissance Quarterly 51.1 (Spring 1998:268-270) p 268, via here

" Most important. they [mirror worlds or virtual worlds] are microcosms -- intricate worlds come alive in small packages. Whether in the shape of a Victorian winter garden, an electric train layout, a Joseph Cornell shadow-box or a mere three-inch plastic dome with snowflakes softly settling inside, microcosms are intriguing. They show you patterns and help you make discoveries that you'd never have come across otherwise. ...they are thought-tools of great power and evocativeness." 
Gelernter, David, Mirror Worlds (see all 181-184) via here

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Blogs as forms of collections/hierarchical categorisations

All blogs are examples of categorised collections. Some of these happen to contain sections on collecting!
The Visual Telling of Stories,

Paul Elliman, designer

Paul Elliman's found objects turned into letterforms, notably his font "bits" seen above. See more artist and designer collectors like him here


Geoff showed me these images from the clipart zine craphound...

Artists as Collectors

Andy Warhol's Time Capsule boxes in the Warhol Museum. Learn more via here

Sophie Calle's Birthday Ceremony pieces. These came from an annual ritual where she would invite friends to dinner every birthday. She would invite a guest for each year of her age, and allowed her guests to nominate a mystery guest to symbolise her uncertain future. She asked for gifts and tokens of affection and would display these gifts in glass cabinets for the year, boxing them up and replacing them as each new ceremony happened. She would sometimes take these archives out as proof of a support system and validation of love in times of emotional difficulties. Apparently on turning 40 she realised she no longer needed this ritual and she exhibited the pieces.

Jake Tilson's collections of shopping bags from cities around the world (Stock Exchange) and aeroplane ephemera (Jet-Set)

Mike Kelley, another artists whose collections are evident in the actual works themselves. He calls the folk-art style shards of source materials "memoryware" and this enhances his work's sense of nostalgia. He is interested in pop psychology and repressed memory syndrome and his work often features disturbing fractured images of childhood and nightmarish use of pop icons.

Daniel Spoerri
, one of the main protagonists fo the Fluxus movement. His work was concerned with magic, mystery and death, anthropology, anatomy and genetics, and cornucopia of the flea market. He also collected and catalogued items of interest. The top picture shows a range of kitchenware.

Joseph Cornell. His website describes him thus..."Working with found objects, pages from old books, and dime-store trinkets, self-taught artist Joseph Cornell (1903–1972) transformed everyday materials into extraordinary universes. "The Joseph Cornell Box: Found Objects, Magical Worlds" presents his life and art in a beautifully collaged, 80-page book housed in a sturdy box."

Peter Blake. Some of these appeared in his exhibition The Cabinet of Curiosities, showcasing the collections that inspired and informed his paintings.

Eduardo Paolozzi. See his collection of windup toys and space age / pop culture memorabilia alongside a range of his collage, sculpture, prints and editorial work at Raven Row gallery East London.