As an editorial resident here at AIGA, I spend heaps of time on the internet scouring social media and websites for the choicest design news. You’re too busy with your life to do this each week, so I’ve brought all my findings here—consider it my weekly gift to you (you’re welcome). Follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
Perhaps you were already aware that our occasional contributor Rob Peart was a designer of international renown, currently plying his trade at Sapient Nitro in Singapore. No? In which case you certainly won’t know that Rob has spent all his free time this year teaching his computer to learn and see. That’s right, he’s successfully created artificial intelligence (of a kind). You have nothing to fear though; currently the software is too busy analyzing death metal logos with neural nets and then engineering its own based on generations of predictable graphic design to take over the world any time soon.
“After ingesting and processing hundreds of extreme metal logos scraped from the bottom of the Pinterest barrel, a generative adversarial network is asked to imagine its own. Ears still ringing, we get a fuzzy dream half-remembered, a metal hallucination.” Rob and the good folks at Landfill have slapped one of the finest examples on a T-shirt, so if, like me, you want to celebrate the dawn of automated graphic design and the obsolescence of our whole industry, then consider this the summer wardrobe staple for you.
British artist and designer Daniel Eatock is known for his astute pairings of objects. His sculptural photographs merge watermelons with swimming caps, bowling balls with goldfish bowls, and all manner of other mundane ephemera into visually poetic arrangements. He also has a keen eye for pulling magical moments from the mundane, and his new book for Draw Down riffs on this theme, exploring the world of motor mechanics with a distinctive Eatock twist.
“Focusing on auto repairs where an identical part from another vehicle of the same model, but of a different color, is substituted, Eatock’s photographs focus on a practice in plain sight, on economic and transparent fixes. Recognizing a connection with art conservation—where repairs are meant to be visible rather than camouflaged—as well as with the Japanese art form of kintsugi, where pottery repairs are illuminated rather than hidden, Eatock elevates a thrifty practice to a place where it can be considered and appreciated as an aesthetic choice. Are these repaired vehicles richer, more valuable and better as a result of accident and repair?”
In other publishing news, the sixth issue of Latvian periodical Benji Knewman has landed, with its eclectic take on journalism and storytelling going from strength to strength. Curated from the perspective of a fictional 40-year-old man (after whom the magazine is named) the biannual bookazine is published in both English and Latvian, with a dash of Russian thrown into this edition for good measure. What’s in this particular issue is neither here nor there, “more everywhere than anywhere,” which is to say you’ll always find something within its pages to tickle your fancy, whether it’s the forgotten biography of an author at the turn of the 20th century, or an essay on the prophetic aspects of Douglas Coupland’s literature. Dive in!
I rarely buy art, but I’ve just moved house and decided to treat myself to something small and special, which to my delight coincided with illustrator William Edmonds (or William Luz, as he’d now like to be known) clearing out his studio. I managed to lay my hands on some items I’d coveted for a while, but with Luz’s work I find that one is never enough, and now I’m poring over the last few items for sale on his website. So do me a favor and treat yourself to a pot or a print, so I can save my dollars for important things—like food, electricity, and rent.
Beyoncé may be the older and more globally appreciated of the Knowles sisters, but Solange knows where it’s at when it comes to collaborating with designers. Her latest album, A Seat at the Table, was designed by Barcelona studio Querida, which also publishes the exuberant periodical of happiness, Perdiz. Querida adorned the album with series of typographic poems inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé, paired with photographs by Carlota Guerrero to simple but striking effect. Alongside the 12” package, Querida also made a beautiful cloth-bound volume that shows off more typographic experiments, photographs, and the lyrics in full.
And speaking of books to get lost in, how’s about Christoph Niemann’s latest cover for The New Yorker? Can this man do no wrong? “Reading takes you to another world,” says the German artist of his blacklit masterpiece, which, with the aid of some VR goggles, you can also experience in 3-D. Cue rapturous applause.
This week I have mostly been following David Foldvari on Instagram.