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The Letter I

A brand new 52-page booklet by Ian Lynam that examines notions of authenticity via design, consumption, and history.

The Letter I: On Authenticity is a brand new 52-page booklet by Ian Lynam that examines notions of authenticity via design, consumption, and history.

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The desire to be authentic—to live an authentic life stands as one of the greatest driving forces of life today. Authenticity is also one of the biggest myths of the contemporary moment—a symbolic construct predicated on our relationships to consumer culture that seemingly helps us to define choices we make in how to live our lives. The drive for authentic goods and experiences fuels desire and like an enticing bit of social media, the sense of satisfaction vanishes into the stream of experience incredibly quickly once digested.

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The packaged notion of “authenticity” offers up a schizophrenic confusion of the real, the historical, and the perceived, in terms of who we are, how we present ourselves, and how we see ourselves and others. The lure of authenticity as it has been presented by marketers to the citizens of the world is that it is a psycho-emotional sense of place where genuine desires for truth and self-cultivation that stands in opposition to capitalism writ large upon our world.

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Authenticity is something that folks from a variety of creative fields grapple with. This includes designers, artists, photographers, illustrators, marketing folks, and philosophers. The Letter I has been written to help unpack why we feel so schizophrenic about our relationship with authenticity and consumption.

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Edited by Taro Nettleton and lovingly offset-printed in a mix of four spot colors, The Letter I mixes symbolism, memoir, institutional critique, very silly yet tragic illustrations, some lovingly-placed clip art, and a pinch of ritual sacrifice applied to some of the silkiest Japanese papers globally. The book features gatefold covers with an illustrated inside cover and is staple-bound.

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Topics within:
– The history of public relations
– The assorted meanings of authenticity
– The relationship between authenticity and nostalgia
– The Beatles
– Authenticity and heroism
– The meaning of Taste
– Understanding the relationship between authenticity and social media
– Authenticity and the Gig Economy

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The Letter I is available here: http://wordshape.com/the-letter-i-on-authenticity/

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