The graphic designer and artist gives 5 endless sources of visual inspiration, from Dana Lixenberg's 'Tupac Biggie' to the CalArts poster archive
Inside Out & Upside Down: Posters from CalArts 1980–2019
“I spent four years at CalArts in the design program and so this book is close to my heart. The culture of designing and printing these posters was pure experimental bliss, a formal and typographic playground. Many all-nighters were spent designing, tinkering, printing, laughing, crying, and not giving a damn about you were actually there for because at that moment, this was it. A beautiful capsule on the CalArts creative process and history of form-making and rule-breaking.
[The book features] over 500 CalArts posters from the past 40 years. Many of the featured posters were not meant to function purely as posters but were produced as experimental works. Produced for a narrow audience, most of the posters have existed outside the mainstream, barely engaging with the visible canon of design. Often produced in small—even singular—editions, they also were produced outside the traditional designer/client relationship. The posters break rules, misbehave, and are sometimes an unruly mess. The collection reflects a belief that the creative process is as important as the product and outlines a history of pedagogy at CalArts.”
Vinyl Records & Covers By Artists by Guy Schraenen
“Compiled by the British collector, publisher, and curator Guy Schraenen. My favorite book showcasing album covers designed by artists. A lot of experimental and unknowns. Designed much like an index, there’s always so much to stumble across. Unfortunately, it’s a bit harder to find, but a worth internet search and you can find one.”
Tupac Biggie by Dana Lixenberg
“From one of my favorite publishers. Tupac Biggie presents a visual history of Dana Lixenberg’s iconic photographs of Tupac and Biggie. Commissioned in 1993 and 1996 by VIBE magazine, the book shows for the first time both shoots in their entirety. Also, designed by Mevis & van Deursen.”
John Cage: 4’33”– Sounds Like Silence
“The title of this book and the exhibition it documents—Sounds Like Silence—are ambiguous. On the one hand, silence effectively ‘sounds’—or as Cage put it, ‘There is no such thing as silence.’ On the other hand, sound needs silence in order to be heard. Even if complete silence does not exist, every sound implicitly conveys the notion of silence: there is no presence without absence. The double meaning of Sounds Like Silence, therefore, touches upon the central issues at stake in this project: what do we hear when there is nothing to hear; to what extent do we long for silence; and how much silence can we cope with—provided it even exists?
“John Cage’s ‘4’33”’ (four minutes, thirty-three seconds) premiered on August 29, 1952. This book presents new theoretical writings and artistic works referring to this groundbreaking work, together with original scores and the composer’s own variations, derivatives, and sequels of the ‘silent piece’ in the years from 1962 to 1992.”
“Oracular Transmissions weaves together three of the most recent collaborative projects Etel Adnan and Lynn Marie Kirby have completed through processes of exchange and translation: Back, Back Again to Paris (2013), The Alhambra (2016), and Transmissions (2017).”
Read all of Document’s reading lists here.