Great little documentary on Inkahoots, an inspiring design studio we very much look up to.
A small selection of photos that I shot from around the neighbourhood, that were used in the last issue of Four Minutes to Midnight.
Last week I was invited to present my work and launch the latest issue of Four Minutes to Midnight at Jackpine in Ottawa, as part of their Shoufen series of talks. In order to contextualise my practice, I presented the following diagrams illustrating design’s relationships with capitalism that I had originally drafted to accompany Vincent Tao’s excellent research presentation Design-Labour-Utopia.
I should clarify that I don’t see these diagrams as necessarily accurate representations, they are oversimplifications, the terminology is vague, and design has been placed in a far more central position than it probably holds within our society, but I do see them as helpful tools for thinking about these issues. I’ve included some brief explanatory notes with the diagrams, that I’ll try to develop into a more thorough presentation in the future.
• Contemporary capital is understood as a purely abstract value, an accretion of time and energy. It’s pretty much useless, it just sits there and stagnates. It weighs down heavy on us.
• This abstract value is only made useable through design, transforming it into an exchangeable commodity, that also carries symbolic value. This is an alchemical and concretizing process, turning (pretty much) nothing into something. This includes our stories, our songs and images, the reification of the structures of our social relations.
• The feedback loop, with these commodities processed through our labour and consumption, generates (extracts) more value for capital, made abstract and intangible again, and added to the pile.
Filed under: portfolio
After almost a year of work, I’m very proud to announce the launch of Life on Hold. Working with KNG FU in Montreal and the Al Jazeera team in Doha, we developed an immersive and intimate web documentary about the struggle of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The website is structured around a series of character portraits (with more to be added soon), featuring first-person stories, glimpses into their day to day lives and contextual content that highlights the human side of the often deafening numbers of the Syrian refugee crisis.
As part of Qpirg’s Study in Action series, I’ll be participating in a workshop/conversation with Vincent Tao on the political role of design, specifically looking at the practice of design from a (materialist) socialist perspective. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to give form to some of the ideas that have been bouncing around my head for a while.
I’m questioning why I do what it is that I do. Right now, with less than 3 days till launch, QA on the project hardly started, clients breathing down our necks. Unformatted content still coming in from halfway across the world. And a studio barely scraping by.
I try to go back in my mind to remember those points in my life when I made the decision to keep hustling along this path, and not give in and try something else. Or at least get a 9 to 5. And I try to remember a work of graphic design that actually impacted my life. Added meaning. That answered the why instead of the what.
On the corner where I used to live
With a reluctant addict, paying 200 dollars in rent
To the apartment where I first brought Cat
Stumbling and singing in chorus to lyrics
She didn’t know, but caught the tune perfectly
Up St. Laurent blvd.
French tourists are taking pictures
Of the great, white, Ubisoft logo
On this winter morning
Framing the upper third of the red brick colossus
A once-endless Montreal sky.
Some classic Joy Division to mark the end of the longest (and coldest) February ever. It also marks a commitment for me to step out of “hibernation”, and work more actively towards my many goals, including much more regular writing on this site around graphic design, culture, poetics and politics. Stay tuned.
As part of this year’s Toronto Design Offsite festival, LOKI will be presenting a collaborative exhibition with Studio JayWall. I met Jay at the AMC conference last summer in Detroit, and I’m excited to get to work with him on this exhibition that merges our interests in typography and the dynamics of cities.
Reading/Writing the Junction is a documentary project that examines and reimagines the signage and lettering of the Junction neighbourhood, as an oblique commentary/criticism on gentrification and urban change.
The collaboration also extends to the brilliant JP King at Paper Pusher, who will be producing the series of risograph prints that will be exhibited/distributed as part of the show.
The exhibition opens on Jan. 21 (fb event here), and runs until the end of February. Hope to see you there!