Archive for the 'Media' Category

TALK: Ian Anderson & Kim Coleman 6.30 Weds 4th May


Please join us for talks by Ian Anderson and Kim Coleman. Ian is a graphic designer and founder of ‘The Designers Republic’, the Sheffield based design studio. Kim is an artist and a designer of live stage shows for bands.

Comm Des Talks are a series of talks and workshop events organised by the Communication Design department at GSA.

Sign up here for tickets:

Vital Resource

The Institute of Network Cultures has had a site refresh, and it’s a good excuse, if any were needed, to look through their amazing resources for anyone with a critical interest in the internet and digital networked technologies. Many of the books are available as download.

The Internet’s Own Boy

Monday 31 August, 6pm, Barnes Lecture Theatre.
A screening of The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

The film follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.

Highly recommended. Chance for a monday night catch-up.

Also note the Art School I/O excellent summer courses.

Editorial Bang


The following article, by Rick Poyner, may be of interest to anyone doing the ‘editorial’ brief in graphics at the moment.

“Bang’s startlingly unorthodox art direction raises questions about why mainstream women’s magazines look as they do, and about the manipulative view of their readers that these doggedly persistent publishing and design conventions so readily enshrine.”

Share alike

“In a sense, an “immoral” and a “moral” approach to data attribution are equally difficult to justify. When we make anything in human culture, we’re using the whole damned apparatus. We should either thank everyone, or thank no-one and just get on with making the stuff and putting it out there. Bending the semantic rays as they pass endlessly though our machines.”

via This is something I’ve planned to do for a while:… – Mrs Tsk *.

It’s sunny in Dundee mostly


Tentsmuir WW2 Coastal Defences

In the spirit of inter-institutional caring and sharing:


Preview: Thursday 27th March 7pm
Exhibition Open: Friday 28th March 12 – 4pm, Saturday 29th March 12 – 4pm

The White Room project space, Tin Roof Studios. 38-40 Bellfield Street
Dundee DD1 5JD

Presenting an exhibition of work created by 3rd year Illustration Students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Come along to our show! It consists of hand printed posters and set designs for a series of imagined theatrical adaptations of plays exploring climate change, sustainability, urban planning and related social and political issues.

Exploring subjects such as:
Hydro Fracking, Gentrification, Micro-topias, Climate Activism, Nuclear waste disposal, Nuclear War, Social Housing, The melting ice caps, Surveillance, Community Gardening.

For more information please visit:


Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 22.24.39

I haven’t urged anyone to do anything in a while, so I urge you to read New Practice – an urgent, (in the political sense), final-year project by Thom Swann, a student at Kingston University.


One of my favourite journals – Open! – which recently ceased in its print form due to funding cuts by the Dutch government, has only gone and reimagined itself in amazing website form.

Feral Studio Workshop 21+22 Oct


Workshop 001:

Mon 21st and Tue 22nd Oct
with Lizzie Malcolm/
‘Patterns and Parameters’
taking place in SWG3 studios
15 places, allocated on first come first served basis. Sign up (via the VLE) opens at 10am on monday morning (14th oct).

Starting from before computers, this workshop will introduce the relationship between code and creativity, specifically the concept of parametric design, and generative patterns.

We will look beyond software that has been made for design and explore ways to use computation as a tool in the creative process.

Beginning with a simple pattern generation program in the Processing language, we will manipulate input, process and output to build a generative visual system.

Sign up: opens, via the VLE design school community, at 10am on Mon 14th Oct.

Note: If you sign up for this event, you need to commit to being available 9am-5pm on both the mon 21st and tue 22nd Oct. 2013.

This event is mainly aimed at 3rd and 4th year undergrad students in order to fit around FOCI days etc, but there will be other events later in the year timed to suit other year groups.

The public event attached to this workshop is open to everybody, and is free but ticketed:

Issue 1: Beijing

Concrete Flux 流泥 is a multi-media, multi-disciplinary online journal, (edited by Solveig Suess, Vis-com-des person), which takes as its subject matter China’s hyper-fast emerging urban spaces, their meaning and one’s everyday experiences of them. They believe that a new configuration of space through urbanisation will lead to a new configuration of society. Their aim, then, is to contribute to some understanding of or gain insight into what these spaces, which seem to emerge faster than our minds can log and assess, may mean. Issue 1: Beijing is now live.

watching us

this is a fantastic resource that has a wealth of information on topics relevant to modern society and globalised culture.

“There’s already a lot of information on the Internet, so our goal is to cut through the noise and garbage, to present valuable information in a clear way, so it’s accessible, useful and easily digested. This still may not be an easy undertaking though, and we can understand that — especially considering the complexity and interconnectedness of the topics, as well as the crossing over of sources; but also for the fact that the information here can be incomplete, sometimes contradictory or even controversial. But this is the point. It’s all part of what we’re trying to do: provoke critical thinking, questioning… and doing.

We’ve fundamentally built this resource to inform and inspire action — and no, we’re not talking about clicking the stupid ‘Like’ button on Facebook, signing online petitions or letter writing — we mean informing and inspiring real-world action; taking this information away from the computer to rejuvenate the strong networks with the people around you in the real world, to discuss, plan, act. This is not a symbolic action or clicktivism website, nor is it a simple collection of popular content, like the other websites available. It’s a resource that aims to inform, inspire and provoke action; to generate a multitude of responses and reactions. This is just some of what is needed to break paradigms, subservience, acquiescence, and to cultivate inspiration to continue work on the plethora of puzzles and problems addressed in the information published here.”

adam curtis documentaries

Finding Reason

Maybe streamlining is the last thing a zine-maker should be thinking about? via Anonymous-Press – Streamlining the process of zine making.

The Spirit of Revolt exhibition

As a possibly very interesting source/archive, an interesting exhibition, and, via the video above, an unintended assault on any of the conventions of video-making, The Spirit of Revolt exhibition, presenting one hundred years of Radical Presses Clydeside, and protest literature, photography and recordings at the Mitchell Library this week, might be worth a look.

Design & Thinking

With more depth of field shots than you can shake a stick at, and enough plinky-plonky ‘folk’ music to fill an International Whimsy Expo, Design & Thinking at the GFT (Tuesday 15th Jan) could make for an evening of design insights, contentious opinions, and ambitious claims. Not recommended for a first date.

Copyright (Part 1 and 2 of 2), or, ‘Oh Brother!’

Part 1

Its been all round twitter for a few days now, so you’ve probably heard that one of the latest incidences of advertisings liberal ‘borrowing’ (for which, in this case, we can probably use the word ‘copying’) of ideas from other people and places, involves GSA vis com person James Houston.

It’s not the first time that this work has been emulated, but previously its been in a completely different context. We wish Jim well with whatever action he might need to take, and imagine that we’d hopefully see, via the internet and social media, a fairly swift re-dressing of this creative liberty.

There is in addition a more complex back story to this, about Jim’s dealings with the company that used the idea. You can pick up on that in the other online discussions.

In the interests of journalistic balance, Brother have already posted this comment to the youtube video;

“Brother is a business that operates to high ethical principles, and we are therefore concerned to read some of the comments expressed here.
This film is part of a campaign that we commissioned from an external advertising agency. We have asked them to investigate the points being raised and to reassure us about the creative process behind it.”
Antony Peart, European Marketing and Communications Manager, BrotherEU

Make of that what you will.

Part 2

My own personal views on the rights and wrongs of copyright law are mixed. As a law, it is fairly arcane, and what seems worse is that in situations such as this, it appears to do little to support the (often smaller, less wealthy) originator of the work. As an issue, it has come up in other degree shows, with other people accusing students of using music etc in pieces that they have made, without proper permission. I would argue that this is a completely different set of circumstances, differentiated primarily by the lack of commercial gain or motivation in the latter cases.

I also think that, in a broader context, a free flow of materials and ideas is a good way to recognise and celebrate the fact that nothing is dreamt up in a vacuum, and that ideas come about from combinations of influences. But this is completely different to lifting and replicating an idea wholesale for purely financial gain. An important foundation of this is the acknowledgement of sources and influences – again, something the Brother incident fails to do. People may disagree with this, and we would be happy to extend this discussion in the studio. It might form a useful starting point for some of the professional and ethical discussions we plan to instigate in the second term. More on that later. In terms of further reading in this area, I think this and these are good starting points.

Attention! Criticism and its Distractions

This article on, and the accompanying audio discussion, may be interesting. I don’t know, I simply haven’t had time to read or listen to it. It may well relate to a lot of the other stuff we have about ‘attention‘. Possibly.

Hall’s of Broxburn R.I.P.

Document 10 Film Festival & Radiius 6 Exhibition

Document 10 Film Festival – 19 -28 October 2012

This year Document 10 is celebrating its tenth anniversary. We are preparing a special programme that will mark our birthday:

  • we are inviting directors and human rights activists from all over the world,
  • we have a competition for the best documentary of the festival awarded by an international jury,
  • we will honour an outstanding director with a special lifetime achievement award,
  • and we will be screening a retrospective of the best films shown in our programme throughout the years.

And, of course, we will have a great selection of documentary films, both by established directors and by emerging filmmakers, capturing the real meaning of human rights in a global civil society,

This is a glimpse of what happened at the last edition of Document, giving you an idea of what to expect this October.

Radiius 6 Exhibition – Saturday 20 – Sunday 28 October 2012

As part of the Document 10 Human Rights Film Festival, Radiius will be showcasing a selection of works taken from the current and previous printed editions of their Zine. The exhibition brings together artists who through the use of painting, collage and illustration explore the themes of divide and inequality.

The exhibition will run from Saturday 20 – Sunday 28 October 2012, 12pm. Exhibition will held at the Glasgow CCA, Saramago Terrace Café Bar.

Exhibition Opening Event: 3-6pm on Saturday 20 October

Post-Digital Print

This book-launch and programme at onomatopee, may be of interest, for obvious reasons. Digital version of publication here.

“This is a pretty piss-poor explanation. But it’s also extremely interesting.”

The only thing these following two videos have in common is that they’re both black and white, (and I saw them both at round about the same time). That’s what passes as a connection these days.

The Einstein Theory of Relativity (a silent film/animation made by Max Fleischer in 1923) could be said to be an early example of ‘info-graphics’ and/or the dumbing down of science for the ‘masses’.

‘I See a Darkness’ could be said to be a fine self-cover version of a Bonny Prince Billy song, using the lanes and Necropolis of Glasgow as the unlikely backdrop.

(The title of the post comes from the comments section of YouTube).