January 2009

29 January 2009

Art bollocks is everywhere you look

Art bollocks is everywhere you look

david thompson

Woolly ‘artspeak’ is nothing new, but who will stem the flow?
Rummage through a few critiques, blogs and press releases about contemporary art, and you see the same rhetorical tics and patterns, writes David Thompson. The word ‘strategies’ crops up a lot, along with ‘tackle’ and ‘interrogate’, often with an air of non-specific contradiction. It’s remarkable just how many art projects manage to do one vague, abstracted thing and – simultaneously – its equally vague, abstracted opposite. Works ‘hover’ between something and something else, while ‘exploring’ issues of pressing social import. Cryptic yet confident assertions seem obligatory.

27 January 2009

Barack, Marvin and John. And Miles

Barack, Marvin and John. And Miles

john l. walters

Now we have a world leader who looks like a visionary musician
Rageh Omaar, speaking on the BBC TV programme This Week, noted that it is easy for western commentators to underestimate the significance of one aspect of Obama’s presidency, writes John L. Walters. That, for the first time, the majority of the world is seeing a US president who is more like them: not white, and with a non-European name.

26 January 2009

Broadsheet bounceback

Broadsheet bounceback

simon esterson

The Times redesigns its Saturday edition with some grand gestures
The Times appeared on Saturday morning (24 January 2009) in its new six-section configuration, writes Simon Esterson. The most obvious change is that the new Saturday Review section marks a return to broadsheet format. And after all those tabloids it does look big: a great sheet of newsprint, only really safely navigated at home on the Saturday breakfast table. (How do those Daily Telegraph readers manage on the train during the week?)

23 January 2009

Lovely inspiration

Lovely inspiration

jon forss

Jon Forss’s piece about children’s TV presenter Tony Hart from Eye 57
In the Autumn of 2005 we published an ‘Inspiration’ piece by Non-Format’s Jon Forss about Take Hart and Tony Hart, who died last Sunday aged 83. Here’s Jon’s original text from Eye no. 57 vol. 15: Neatly tucked somewhere among John Craven’s Newsround, Blue Peter, Wacky Races, Rhubarb & Custard and other 1970s late-afternoon BBC programming was a show that had me glued to the set like no other.

22 January 2009

Treasure trove of graphic resistance

Treasure trove of graphic resistance

noel douglas

Black Panther: Emory Douglas and the Art of Revolution
What better time to see an exhibition of work by Emory Douglas, the official artist of the Black Panther Party, asks Noel Douglas (no relation – Ed). Like the Panthers, Barack Obama’s campaign also made highly visible use of ‘street’ graphics, with strong networks of grassroots flyposting, and the connections – and differences – between the two periods are made obvious as you walk around Black Panther: Emory Douglas and the Art of Revolution at Urbis in Manchester.

20 January 2009

The Times: from paper 2 mag

The Times: from paper 2 mag

simon esterson

Thunderer prepares for a revamp by quietly reworking its second section
Life’s tough if you publish a paid-for daily newspaper, writes Simon Esterson. There are rising newsprint prices and advertisers moving their budgets online (or just cutting them altogether) while readers desert you for the internet and free papers.

16 January 2009

Us Now documentary

Us Now documentary

kate andrews

Ivo Gormley’s film looks at the political potential of social media
When my mother signed up to Facebook, something extraordinary went through my mind, writes Kate Andrews. What would happen if everybody was part of the same online portal? If boundaries of gender, age, race, religion and culture became void? Questions asked by Us Now, a new film directed by social anthropologist / filmmaker Ivo Gormley.

15 January 2009

Design blitz at the museum

Design blitz at the museum

véronique vienne

Antoine+Manuel cram their oeuvre into the Musée des Arts Décoratifs
One goes to openings to gawk at people as much as the art, writes Véronique Vienne. Last night the upbeat Antoine+Manuel show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris was no exception. Everyone looked cool, no matter how haphazard their sense of colour. Weeks of freezing weather had sorely tested the fashion flair of most Parisians, but the exhibition’s over-the-top décor had a glamorising effect on the motley crowd wandering from room to room.

15 January 2009

DixonBaxi rebrands a TV station

DixonBaxi rebrands a TV station

the video department

Video ‘brand burst’ examples from the article in Eye no. 70
Here, thanks to the joys of embedded links, are some of the ‘brand burst’ animations mentioned in ‘Power of two’, our feature about DixonBaxi (Eye no. 70 vol 18).

12 January 2009

Hey, good looking!

Hey, good looking!

norman hathaway

I braved designer scorn to champion the kings of Californian airbrush
‘Who wants to read a book about airbrush?’ Even one of my artist subjects was giving me shit about the decision to publish a book on 1970s airbrush art, writes Norman Hathaway. This project inspired so many grimaces and disgusted responses that I started to question it myself.
 
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