Due last day of class
Create a systems project of your choice. Define system as you wish: as a finite set of parts that form a whole, or as rules or instructions that generate a result. Or define it as both.
Suitable projects range from the familiar to the obscure. Some examples:
1. A set of postage stamps
2. A set of book cover jackets
3. Wayfinding systems or waylosing systems
4. Process Book
6. Short film using system as method
7. Installation/Live Act/Walking Tour
8. Typographic system
9. A system for organizing live information
Your end-of-semester deliverable depends on the project. We can discuss deliverables based on the project next week. For unprinted works, a process book may be your deliverable.
Be sure to take on a project that interests you and for which you can justifiably say is a system. Avoid client projects and assignments from other classes because outside constraints often effect the direction your project takes. Take risks, stretch your work in these final weeks of your junior year.
Due next week
Invent, script and execute a generative system. A generative system uses rules to dictate how a form or experience is produced.
Consider the readings and lecture when forming your system. Most relevant are themes of concept, algorithm, indeterminacy, randomness, automation, order and serendipity.
Your end product may take any form. The end product (medium, format and size) will likely be written into the system that you script. If your system does not dictate a format, it is up to you to package your project in a clear and engaging form.
This is a one week project. Spend the bulk of your time constructing your system, with the output being as “perfunctory affair” as possible. It is essential that you have your system written down and are able to articulate it clearly. Initiate and complete the project by next class.
* To prioritize concept over end form
* To see what unexpected form results from rules, directions or constraints
* To create a finished work in a very short amount of time
During class today, visit the travelling exhibit about lists on the 2nd floor of the Farago Wing at the RISD Museum. Peruse the exhibit and create a list that derives itself from that expereince — whether it be a list of attributes visible in the lists themselves, spacial qualities of the show or a relational aspect. An example of this would be: list of shirt colors of visitors to the show, or list of fonts used within the lists in the show. Create a list of your own, choosing whatever medium or form best suits the concept of your list.
By 3:30pm, upload an image of your list to the class website and assign your post to the “List of Lists” category. We’ll meet in class at 3:30pm to look over your work and talk about the next assignment.
Keep in mind examples from today’s lecture on “Chance” and the Sol LeWitt quote below.
I will refer to the kind of art in which I am involved as conceptual art. In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair.
For next week
1. Update and finalize the inside matter of your book
2. Create a cover and an index (if desired) for your volume. The assumption is all other volumes would carry your system. Since your volumes would likely sit on a shelf, consider type on the spine. Your front or back cover should include at minimum the following text:
* United States Department of Labor
* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
* Occupational Outlook Handbook,
2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20212-0001
We will have a final critique next week.
Keep working through your system by adding four more professions to your layout. Come in after break with a printed copy of your five professions, trimmed and ideally bound into your book model. If time does not allow, then you may bind your layout separately.
The intention, as always, is for you to see your project in as realistic as a form as possible — then to share your latest work with the class so that you are emphasizing the areas that are most developed.
For next week
Come into class with a working design for one occupation. Remember you are creating a system that will be applied to every single occupation within the book. Your system dictates how all occupations will ‘act’. How will one occupation display similarly or differently than the others. How does your design create order, but allow for visual variety?
Look for ways to extend the “grammar” of the book model into the 2D space. The structural decisions you’ve made for the outside should connect to the inside. You may need to make another model if your book structure changes.
A pdf for next week is fine, although you should be printing on your own to hone the design.
Meet in the auditorium at 11:20a for the lecture
Present your book model(s) that communicate your systems to the class. What are the parts, and how do they connect
to form a consistent grammar? What influenced the decisions that you made? Make specific mentions of content when appropriate. Also consider discussing what the advantages are of your structure versus other options?
As you know, we are in dire economic times. The unemployment rate in Rhode Island is 9.9 percent. Particularly helpful to the unemployed is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook. The directory provides descriptions and other essential information of every common profession. The format for the printed version (online as pdfs) appears much as it did in 1976 – at least ideologically. Take inspiration from the collected book assignment and find a more dynamic way of designing the printed Occupational Outlook. Note the Web page version is at http://bls.gov/ooh/a-z-index.htm and the 2010 pdf is archived here.
This five-week project asks you to invent organizational systems that can be used for the more than 200 occupational entries. An overview of the project:
* Week 2: Design the graphic matter for one occupation in that model
* Week 3: Updated design and model with a minimum of five occupations
* Week 4: Final group critique.
* Week 5: Revised copy due
In this first week you are tasked with understanding the content and building a “model” that communicates the structure of the complete work. What systems might be helpful in organizing the material in a clear but engaging way? How can the shape, binding, paper and other object-like qualities be used to create order and variety? How many volumes do there need to be?
Your book model can use blank paper or pre-printed material to help focus our attention’s on your systems. Be prepared next week to speak to the systems you’ve created and why.
The model should derive from close scrutiny of the material itself. Form opinions about what is valuable. Are photographs or illustrations helpful? If so, what kind? And treated how?
Go as far as you can within this research phase. Bring in books or examples on your laptop that show similar projects.
The trim size is up to you. Your model may be a miniature, if you like.
The book is double sided, full color capable.
Due next week
Pass your book to the person on your right. Take thirty minutes to scrutinize your classmate’s book. As you did last week with the printed books, point out the discrete systems that appear within the work. How did the maker of the work connect the disparate parts? Find moments of intention and surprise.
Present your findings to the whole class. Be sure to point out specifics within the book. Allow the maker to chime in at the end of your presentation. Discuss as a group.