Thursday, August 27, 2009

Part One: Gettin' Messy

I had a conversation with Alex last night which was started by one of the best questions I have been asked in a long time. Feeling pretty beat by the summer, "what are you stoked about?" caught me off guard. Immediately I wanted to say nothing, but instead I quickly realized that I had silently put myself on hold for these hot shiny months, and in fact, I was stoked about something.

Now don't get me wrong, when I read a mammoth manifesto by Denise Gonzales Crisp this summer, I did not understand a word of it, but with the help of one slyly placed question, I'm willing to work it out. Crisp thinks that decoration is due for a reorganization within visual culture and she's doing with her project called The Decorational. Where Crisp is concerned, 'functionality is completed by ornament'.

I want to get messy. I want to know how far ornament can go. To what extent does the decorational extend?

I'm smitten by Yokoland. I'm also thoroughly convinced
they are one of the greatest graphic design firms working across the pond. To me they are the cornerstone of low-fi graphics, but it's their patterns that really get me crazy. Espen Friberg is one half of this, and his work carries the same strength.
His work seems to slide back and forth between the thoughtful and naive uses of collage, and mindbending ornament.

You can catch it most in his zine work where textures pile up and rub your eyes. If function and ornament are inextricably tied, then this work is the decorational in the body of a highschool doodle.

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