A hybrid exhibition and essay-as-website exploring the role of graphic designers and design criticism in the world market economy.
“That’s Entertainment!”: Graphic Design in the Neoliberal Era is a hybrid exhibition and essay-as-website exploring the role of graphic designers and design criticism in the world market economy. The exhibition was held in York, Pennsylvania at Marketview Arts, courtesy of York College of Pennsylvania.
The exhibition featured a set of seven monolithic slabs which infer both the critique wall within graphic design classrooms as much as memorials to such. Displayed on each were posters assessing the issues confronting graphic designers working globally.
Projected onto the walls behind the monoliths were graphs of the stock value of the corporations Adobe (ADBE) and Monotype (TYPE), updated in real-time. Each has a virtual monopoly on specific software—Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite for digital imagery and typographic form-giving and Monotype’s near-monopoly on digital typefaces (what the general public uses for the transmission of visual language). The stock value of both corporations for the past three years forms the outermost layer of this localized ‘cloud’—the real-time commercial worth of the digital mechanics of graphic design.
At the center of the monoliths was an on-demand adhesive vinyl replica of Mark Brest van Kempen’s sculpture “Column of Earth and Air”.
An unnumbered edition of 3,200 of the posters in the exhibition were given away on-site. Digital versions of the posters can be downloaded here.
That’s Entertainment!: Graphic Design in the NeoLiberal Era
February 5 – March 19, 2016
Opening: February 5, 2016 at 5:00pm
Coni Wolf Gallery at Marketview Arts
37 W Philadelphia St.
York, Pennsylvania 17401
I gave a series of lectures about the exhibition and speculative labor in conjunction with “That’s Entertainment!”:
January 27, 2016
VCFA Noble Hall
36 College St.
Montpelier, VT 05602
Connecticut Art Directors Club
January 29th, 2016
University of Hartford
Koopman Commons in the Renée Samuels Center
February 1st, 2016
Mason Gross School of the Arts
33 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
February 3, 2016.
Tyler School of Art
February 4, 2016
DeMeester Recital Hall in Wolf Hall
York College of Pennsylvania
The essay-as-website for the exhibition examines the role of the critic in contemporary graphic design through the use of cloud computing and fog computing as embedded metaphor.
“The role of the critic in contemporary society, especially in terms of graphic design, is shifting in that the perceived value of design seems to be increasing socially, whereas the economic value of design is increasingly atomized, fragmented, compartmentalized and destabilized.”
All exhibition photography by Troy Patterson, to whom I owe tremendous thanks for organizing and coordinating the physical manifestation of this exhibition, as well as inviting me to exhibit alongside Melanie Rodgers and the Graphic Design faculty at York College of Pennsylvania.