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robertogreco : dextersinister   5

Muriel Cooper: Turning Time into Space — The Gradient — Walker Art Center
[see also: http://messagesandmeans.com/ ]

"Who was Muriel Cooper?

RW: Muriel Cooper (1925–1994) was a graphic designer who spent the bulk of her career working at MIT. In the mid-50s, she started as a designer in the Office of Publications. By the mid-60s she was the first Design Director at the MIT Press, where she rationalized their production system and designed classic books like The Bauhaus (1969) and Learning from Las Vegas (1972), along with about 500 others. In the mid-70s she founded the Visible Language Workshop in MIT’s Department of Architecture, where she taught experimental printing and hands-on production. And by the mid-80s, she was a founding member of the MIT Media Lab, designing early computer interfaces."



"The GSAPP exhibitions team did a smart job creating a custom steel structure that suspends three long walls in the gallery, two of them angled. The works are sandwiched between sheets of clear plexi, and appear to float. We tried to mix media, as Muriel would, and treat all media in the same way. We also wanted to mix visual and verbal material, reveal process and show some of Cooper’s teaching materials. Work by students and colleagues runs through the show — traditional notions of authorship weren’t terribly important, and it was an extremely collaborative environment. In many cases, Muriel is the author of the process or system, or created the environment in which it was produced, whether or not she designed the graphic you’re looking at."



DR: Central to our approach is Muriel’s idea of responsive graphic systems and design processes that embed an explicit feedback loop. Describing Messages and Means, the course she taught at MIT and which gives our exhibition its name, she said:

“Messages and Means was design and communication for print that integrated the reproduction tools as part of the thinking process and reduced the gap between process and product.”



What was the MIT’s relationship to design at the time she began working there?

"RW: MIT was doing serviceable design work when Muriel began there. Gyorgy Kepes, a former colleague of Moholy-Nagy’s, and since 1947 a teacher at MIT, thought MIT’s design presence could be much stronger and suggested that they hire a dedicated designer for their Office of Publications. Both there and at the MIT Press Muriel created systems to standardize formats and production and give a consistent look to publications. And her earliest work at MIT — which we debated whether or not to include — is in fact quite “pretty” in a mid-century way that Paul Rand would be proud of (and indeed was proud of; Cooper met Rand during a brief stint at ad agencies in New York, and he later recommended her to work for the MIT Press). It’s not really representative of her later work, which is rougher, and more about process and dynamism, but does suggest her formation, and a point of departure."



"… make more intelligible the highly complex language of science… and articulate in symbolic, graphic form the order and beauty inherent in the scientist’s abstract vision." —Muriel Cooper



"Experiment and play as a part of professional discipline is difficult at best. This is not only true of an offset press but of all activities where machines are between the concept and the product." —Muriel Cooper



"What do you think was her interest in transitioning between spaces, from print to digital, or from flat to dimensional?

DR: Muriel was frustrated with the limitations of the printed page, and always interested in quicker feedback, non-linear experiences and the layering of information. She used an offset printing press, as she said, as “an interactive medium.” So when she first encountered computers, it was clear that these would present even greater possibilities.

RW: Integrating word and image on screen (“Typographics”), in a way that filtered and communicated information based on the reader/user’s interest, was her goal. The computer screen offered more depth, and information environments — real or simulated — offered more possibilities for orientation within this space. It was crucial to her that information be usable. She saw the designer’s job as creating dynamic environments through which information would stream, rather than designing unique and static objects.

Do you think she was aware of how deep our contemporary relationship would be with technology and interfaces?

RW: Muriel seems to have always had the newest gizmo, whether it was a special digital watch or the highest-resolution computer displays available outside NASA — and whether or not she always knew exactly how to use them (she was a bit of a klutz). It also seems that she predicted so much of our connection to interfaces and the need for them to be intuitive and anticipatory. Yet even she may have been surprised at the extent of it. And very likely frustrated. Not so much at their usability — so many products are pretty and intuitive — but at their inflexibility, their resistance to being hacked, or to using them to make new things. I think she would also be deeply troubled by their intrusiveness, and current questions of privacy and mass surveillance. As she noted in an essay for the Walker’s Design Quarterly in 1989 (one of the few that she would publish), artificial intelligence in computers presents important ethical questions for the designer of these systems. Coupled with her awareness of the corporate and defense sponsorship model for the MIT Media Lab, which was indispensable for her research, the question of the ends to which her research might be put was not far from her mind. In addition to being a technologist, she was, I think, always also a humanist."

"Some people believe that the computer will eventually think for itself. If so, it is crucial that designers and others with humane intentions involved in the way it develops." —Muriel Cooper"
murielcooper  design  graphidesign  srg  time  space  davidreinfurt  robertwiesenberger  theservinglibrary  dextersinister  exhibitions  print  digital  interfacedesign  graphics  mixedmedia  gyorgykepes 
april 2014 by robertogreco
School Days — Lined & Unlined
[Now here: https://linedandunlined.com/archive/unbuilding ]

Quotes highlighted by Allen on Reading.am:

"It is not simply the unexamined life here that is not worth living, but the unnarrated life — and far from a nostalgic examination, that narration is increasingly essential and increasingly likely to occur in real time."

"Instead of the dismantling and overtly critical strategy employed by postmodernism, the reflexively modern society seeks to examine and correct itself in order to keep placing itself continually back on track. The result is a heightened sense of self-awareness and self-preservation leading all the way back to the individual. "

"Whether overtly biographical or simply self-referential, design remains even today in the peculiar position of having its history and criticism written largely by and for its own practitioners."

[This is a link-rich article that points to many other articles worth reading.]

[Manifesta 6's Notes for an Art School is available in PDF here: http://a.nnotate.com/docs/2011-11-11/iVdeoOj9/NFAAS%20fire%20inside%20copy.pdf ]
designcriticism  altgdp  manifesta  via:litherland  via:tealtan  whitneyispprogram  mountainschoolofart  josephbeuys  freeinternationaluniversity  skowhegan  blackmountaincollege  bauhaus  manifesta6  self-involved  art  criticalautonomy  andrewblauvelt  lorrainewild  wiggerbierma  karelmartens  graphicdesign  gunnarswanson  criticaldesign  speculativedesign  fionaraby  anthonydunne  helenwalters  brucenussbaum  dextersinister  raymondwilliams  antonvidokle  waltergropius  paulelliman  nowinproduction  designeducation  writing  education  criticism  2012  self-preservation  self-reference  unnarratedlife  examinedlife  unexaminedlife  self-awareness  design  robgiampietro  bmc  designfiction  dunne&raby 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Sternberg Press - Alex Coles [The Transdisciplinary Studio]
"We have entered a post-post-studio age, and find ourselves with a new studio model: the transdisciplinary. Artists and designers are now defined not by their discipline but by the fluidity with which their practices move between the fields of architecture, art, and design. This volume delves into four pioneering transdisciplinary studios—Jorge Pardo Sculpture, Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design, Studio Olafur Eliasson, and Åbäke—by observing and interviewing the practitioners and their assistants. A further series of interviews with curators, critics, anthropologists, designers, and artists serves to contextualize the transdisciplinary model now at the fore of creative practice."

[See also: http://www.amazon.com/Alex-Coles-the-Transdisciplinary-Studio/dp/1934105961 ]
dextersinister  andreazittel  rickpoynor  alessandromendini  marialind  ronaldjones  carolinejones  ryangander  martinogamper  jamesclifford  guibonsiepe  vitoacconci  architecture  anthropology  generalists  fluidity  interdisciplinarity  interdisciplinary  post-post-studio  2012  jorgepardo  Åbäke  konstantingrcic  olafureliasson  alexcoles  design  art  studios  transdisciplinary 
november 2012 by robertogreco
(party) per bend sinister ["Dexter Sinister is the compound name of David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey."]
"David graduated from the UNC in 1993, Yale in 1999, & went on to form O-R-G, a design studio in New York City. Stuart graduated from the University of Reading in 1994, the Werkplaats Typografie in 2000, and co-founded the arts journal Dot Dot Dot the same year. David currently teaches at Columbia University and Rhode Island School of Design. Stuart is currently involved in diverse projects at Parsons School of Design (NYC) and Pasadena Art Center (LA).

Dexter Sinister recently established a workshop in the basement at 38 Ludlow Street, on the Lower East Side in New York City. The workshop is intended to model a ‘Just-In-Time’ economy of print production, running counter to the contemporary assembly-line realities of large-scale publishing. This involves avoiding waste by working on-demand, utilizing local cheap machinery, considering alternate distribution strategies, and collapsing distinctions of editing, design, production and distribution into one efficient activity."
dextersinister  davidreinfurt  stuartbailey  design  art  architecture  books  justintime  nyc  performance  production  booksellers  libraries  workshops  printing  publishing  bookstores  distribution  bookfuturism  efficiency  future 
july 2011 by robertogreco
17 Dexter Sinister: From the Toolbox of a Serving Library — Program Information — The Banff Centre
"In 2006 Dexter Sinister (David Reinfurt & Stuart Bailey) established a workshop & bookstore of same name in NY, & have since explored aspects of contemporary publishing in diverse contexts. As well as designing, editing, producing & distributing both printed & digital media, they have also worked w/ ambiguous roles & formats, usually in live contexts of galleries & museums. These projects generally play to some form of site-specificity, where a publication or series of events are worked out in public over a set period of time.

Dexter Sinister intend to slowly dissolve all such activities into one single institution, The Serving Library. This overarching project is founded on a consideration of how the role of the library has changed over time—from fixed archive, through circulating collection, to point of distribution. As much about The Library as social furniture as it is a specific model, the project ultimately returns to its point of departure: as a place for learning…"
dextersinister  davidreinfurt  stuartbailey  libraries  residency  bookstores  booksellers  nyc  publishing  art  galleries  museums  situatedart  situated  theservinglibrary  distribution  collections  circulation  archives  change  evolution  lcproject  learning  performance  exhibitions 
july 2011 by robertogreco

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