Street poster designed for Brahja Wladman’s Quartet (Quintet for the show) double album launch this Friday at Café Resonance. Howl co-produced the album, and I also designed the CD packaging, images coming soon.
Last weekend I was invited to participate in a small symposium/dinner at the N/A space in Toronto on the subject of “Critical Graphic Design”. Organised by Chris Lee and Patricio Davila, the dinner brought together a diverse group of (mostly local) designers, educators, researchers and activists to chat informally about what critical graphic design might be, with the goal of moving towards a series of workshops in the summer.
I was honoured to be invited amongst the numerous guests, which included a couple of old friends, a couple of design heros, and generally all people I’d like to get to know better: JP from Paper Pusher, Anouk from Studio Feed, Sheila from The Public, Abake, Michelle Champagne, members of the Beehive Collective, and many more.
It was a pleasure to meet everyone around a delicious potluck, and I was really excited by the prospect of this re-engagement with design discourse. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay very long, and I wish I had had a chance to speak with people more in depth. Nonetheless, quite a few interesting ideas emerged from that night, and I’ll sketch a few of them out here.
SSENSE: Beyond Control Editorial
I’ve sadly neglected this blog for a while now, due to some big changes and challenges in my professional and personal life. To my “loyal readership”, my sincerest apologies. The big news is that after a very introspective January, I decided to take on a full-time position as the Art & Design Director at SSENSE, a leading Montreal-based fashion company. The images above are from my first ever fashion editorial!
This is my first in-house job, and I’m quickly learning that the challenges are quite different than those of agency or freelance work, but I’m really excited to be able to dig so deep into, and feel ownership over, a single, unique brand. I’ve also been impressed by how different the fashion industry is from the advertising industry. Obviously, there are a lot of overlaps, but the attention to purposeful craft is very refreshing. The creative team at SSENSE is very talented and there are big plans for the company on the horizon, so please stay tuned. Here’s hoping my immersion into the world of fashion might also improve my wardrobe as well!
On January 30th, designer, educator, and author Ian Noble passed away. Ian was my professor during my MA at the London College of Printing and I was deeply saddened by the news. I first met Ian back in the fall of 2001, during the Declarations conference in Montreal. I participated in the We Interrupt the Programme workshop that he and Russel Bestley were leading, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my experiences over the course of that week changed my life. It carved the path for both my career as a graphic designer and my activism as an engaged, politicised, individual.
At the time, I remember clearly being impressed by Ian’s presence and generosity, his no-bullshit attitude, his acerbic humour. I remember smoking cigarettes with him and Sandy Kaltenborn in the courtyard of the VA building, his AK-47 t-shirt, and his contagious love of punk rock. Equally contagious was his deeply held passion for graphic design, as theory and practice, from which I learned to understand design as a language, one with an important social responsibility.
With the passing of the new year, and all the attendant reflection this entails, I’ve finally taken the time to revisit my portfolio pdf. The main goal of this redesign was to represent the growing diversity of my practice while highlighting the common threads (typography, poetics, collaboration, etc.) that tie my work together.
The process of thinking through my work was surprisingly difficult. Though it’s a new portfolio, it doesn’t actually feature very much new work. This is partly due to the honest fact that my newest work isn’t necessarily my best (something I clearly need to work on), and also due to the desire for the portfolio to act more as a signpost, rather than a comprehensive collection. Nonetheless, there are several exciting new projects included, alongside new documentation of older work. I’ve cherry-picked through my output over the last few years to select pieces that point towards the type of work I want to be doing.
Download the portfolio here (9.2 MB).
The Artivistic collective, FUSE Magazine and Skol artist-run centre, invite you to the launch of FUSE 36-1/Promiscuous Infrastructures ou la lutte pour l’invention de possibles. FUSE‘s first-ever bilingual issue, guest edited by Artivistic, emerges out of the collective’s engagement with the Québécois student strike and social uprising of the past spring and summer, in relation to its ongoing project on “promiscuous infrastructures.” Rather than synthesize what happened or tell people what they already know, Artivistic approached the issue as an occasion to be self-reflexive and critical and to continue the struggle, investigating the (aesthetic) form of the strike, the capitalist history of universities, and contextualising the local anti-austerity struggle with those of allies abroad, and across time.
Join us in celebrating the launch of this special issue alongside local contributors, friends and allies of the Artivistic collective. A limited number of copies of the issue will be available for free at the event, with special offers on subscriptions to FUSE as well as Skol membership.
In this Issue:
ANNE BERTRAND Re-enchanting the Institution
ANNA SHEFTEL et PATRICIA BOUSHEL Translating the printemps érable
CINDY MILSTEIN In the Street for Social Strike
ANNA ADAMOLO Anna Adamolo e l’onda anomala (traduit de l’italien par Eleonora Diamanti)
GRACE KYNE-LILLEY It’s Only Going to Get Worse: A report from London
PHILIPPE ENVER Autant en emporte le vent : Météorologie d’une GGI
MARK PASCHAL Whose University?
KEVIN YUEN KIT LO avec PHILIPPE et NANCY VERMES Atelier Populaire
Projects by THIEN V., FAIZ ABHUANI and ARTIVISTIC
Critiques de / Reviews of:
Insurgence par RONALD ROSE-ANTOINETTE; “Bill 78” by JONAH CAMPBELL, “Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship” by AMBER LANDGRAFF; “Porn O’Rama / CTV on TSV” by ANDREW JAMES PATERSON.
This year’s Expozine weekend was another smashing success, with an especially impressive roster of exhibitors, including many new artists and publishers, and a great vibe all around. It seemed slightly less crowded and chaotic than usual, which was nice, allowing people to engage more with the exhibitors. For this year’s edition, in addition to my normal organising duties, I also helped to redesign the website (code by Hello Everyone, full implementation still in progress…), and got to see my new logo silkscreened onto tote bags and t-shirts!
It was so nice to get to see all our self-publishing friends again (like seeing fam for the holidays without the emotional turmoil), and table alongside Billy Mavreas and Larissa from the Concordia Co-op Bookstore. An entertaining (to say the least) set of neighbours!
Though we didn’t have a new issue of Four Minutes to Midnight out for the fair, we had plenty of fun stuff available (pictured above). The Wu-Tang prints were incredibly popular, as was our new set of poems. We completely sold out of Riot and Capitalism Kills Love prints, which makes me feel that all is all right in the world (despite the current news headlines). We didn’t sell a ton of back issues (the Expozine Issue and Happy Hour), but I was really happy to share their stories with those that were interested. John’s Hard Mouse Best Mouse, an EP of quickly written and recorded song sketches, was also a really nice treat.
Expozine 2012 poster by Simon Bossé
It’s that time of year again, the smell of toner is in the air and the copyshops are all a hustle. Expozine is taking place this weekend, and we’re really excited here at Four Minutes HQ. We’ve been working hard to organise the event and put the catalogue together, and things are crazy hectic right now, but this year’s festival promises to be a good one.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a new issue out, but John and I will still be pulling together a few smaller items for you, including a new “chapbook” of 2 poems, a rough-cut CD of music by John/Triangles, and a selection of prints I’ve produced over the last year (I’m very excited about the limited edition C.R.E.A.M. diptych). Of course, we’ll also have previous issues of Four Minutes for sale, including our special Expozine edition from last year!
The exhibitors list this year looks really impressive, and I can’t wait to discover everyone’s new creations and hang out with my fellow zinesters.
Promiscuous Infrastructures are a strategy of resistance within a political and economic environment hostile to creativity. PI are about community building across practices, disciplines, categories and identities. PI are affectionate, trustworthy, anticapitalist, antiauthoritarian, experimental and fun.
Artivistic‘s Promiscuous Infrastructures project continues with a deep collaboration between Artivistic, Skol, and Fuse magazine. We’ve been working very hard over the last few months, as the guest editors for the next issue of Fuse; a special bilingual edition, that engages with the current social uprising in Québec against neoliberal austerity politics. The issue interweaves elements of the material culture and imagery of the strike, while presenting a broad-ranging analysis and contextualisation of the student-led movement. Beyond acting as a document of the strike, we wanted to look at the complex network of issues surrounding it, including a thorough historical critique of the university itself, reports from student struggles abroad, and the role of artistic practice as resistance.
More info here (including some great subscription deals!)