23 December 2008

my first Cut Up experiment.

i'm starting with words.
experimenting with the formula brion gysin devised for cutting up text, i thought it would be cool to see how things turn out. i started with the opening page on my last research paper (from the last blog):


Sitting in a café, a fireplace flickers and the rain outside whispers sweet nothings to the six-foot windows. The presence of flesh is evident yet, it’s only sound that matters. I sit listening. Now, this bears no relation to my research-integrated critical analysis of Brion Gysin and the Cut Up. However, it is where I am now reading many books, many pages of words, developing a dialog with them sitting around this little table. Minutes later I’ve realized my mind was digesting photographic memories and everything seemed so familiar, so comfortable. I could just fall asleep.

Picture this. Waking to four or five conversations simultaneously creating chatter, each speaking to each other in the day-to-day whether it’s face-to-face or to-phone. As smoothly as the hazelnut latte made it’s way through my system, I find myself listening with my pen. Jotting down the random happenings/emotions/feelings/objections/subjections/directions/rejections/opinions of the people surrounding me. Sporadic input aligned on the page in a structure that tells the story of not one, but of a culture, thus creating a new story. I called it Panera Café 2008.

This is not the definition of a Cut Up, but it certainly seems to be a fine qualification for nomination for the evolution of the Cut Up, depicting the rawness of the age we live in, 2008. It was 1959 when Brion Gysin discovered the technique of cutting multiple texts and rearranging them back into one space — the Cut Up. don't blink.


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is not the definition of a Cut
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photographic memories and

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to four or five conversations

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nothings to the six-foot windows.
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it's way

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I am now reading many books,
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feelings/objections'd this little table

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so comfortable, i could just
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it Panera Café 2008eously creating
chatter, each speaking to each
other ins to be a fine

For nomination for the evolution
008 it was 1959 when Brion
Gysin discovered the — k into
one space — the Cut Up
don't blink

gysin says that this method reveals something about the original message — a determination of the future — of sorts, and i see what he means now. liberating the words from their intended phrases makes a whole new ball game.

and there you have it. i look forward to editing this process, evolving the process, and exploring more with images, sounds and more themed writings. stick around, i think i'm opening up a whole new can of mind expansion.

20 December 2008

Brion Gysin, the Cut Up, and the unshackling of words.

the final for my history course (480T History of Graphic Design) is a critical analysis of an influential artist. i chose Brion Gysin. he's not particularly related to graphic design, but in his work (writing and painting), i find a lot of correlations. i found parallels with Deconstruction and the Cut Up, in which both breakdown or change, in order to create something new, if not better, or redifined, something new, nevertheless. he also explores a permutated grid in many of his paintings which stabilizes time sequence in one space. i find that to be huge in graphic design. and, though he wasn't solving graphic design problems of his time, he certainly was out to expand the conscious of our minds, and that, i can take and apply to present day design.

his writing is what fascinates me most. he developed the Cut Up, in which William S. Burroughs made famous. the literal act of cutting text and rearranging them presents a magical transformation of the words, oftentimes defining the future, giving a new perspective on the text and 100% percent of the time creating something refreshed. Gysin said, “The poets are supposed to liberate the words — not chain them into phrases...Poets are meant to make words sing.”

i respect him as a poet, painter, and all-around visionary.

click ://here for the pdf of my paper. 7 pages written, 11 in all including sample images...

Weiss, Jason. Back in No Time: The Brion Gysin Reader.
Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 2001.

Férez Kuri, José. Brion Gysin: Tuning in to the Multimedia Age.
London, England: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2003.

Wigley, Mark. The Architecture of Deconstruction.
Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1993.

Miles, Barry. The Beat Hotel: Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Corso in Paris, 1957—1963. New York, New York: Grove Press, 2000.

Geiger, John. Chapel of Extreme Experience: A Short History of Stroboscopic Light and the Dream Machine. New York, New York: Soft Skull Press, 2003.

Gysin, Brion. “Foreword” The Process. Ed. Robert Palmer.
Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press, 1987. vii­—xxi.

18 December 2008

448 artists' books: unique book.

our final in artists' books was pretty wide open — unique was the only criteria. i experimented with many ways to display a few of my poems. at first i wanted to use bubble wrap as the cover to a poem i called 'reaction.' i wrote it minutes after coming out of sedation. it's very sporadic and choppy and sort of insane, so i figured the bubble wrap kind of said institution walls... but it never came to fruition.

then i also explored a poem i wrote called 'come full circle.' i attempted to create it, but failed miserably. it's a little hard to explain, but basically i typed it out onto 8 sequential circles, each getting smaller as you got to the middle. i printed each on card stock with a rivet at the center point so that you can rotate each of the layers as you read it. well, the biggest problem was that i couldn't get the circles cut nice enough and then the laser toner started rubbing off on my hands and it all went sour. with more time and patience, i think it would be really cool...

so, lastly i opted for a fairly easy production, but i love the result: matchbook.

i designed the logo for this matchbook on a whim. i wanted a printmaking feel so i borrowed the 'woman' art from printmaker, colleen kinsella, and added some touches of my own to give it the feeling i wanted including the type. i printed it on watercolor paper for the soft feel and vintage edges. on the inside, i cut a thin slice of book board, dipped it into red candle wax and poof, you have matchbook.

during the last week, i went ahead and made a new cover for my narrative book too. this time i wanted the image on the cover to be more clear so that you could see my reflection in the photo to really capture that the book is titled 'Etta and I."

i also wanted to bind it with some thicker thread and introduce some metal (bolts) to finish it off. well, after that was all said and done, both my professor and my wife feel that the original green cover was better — more real and grungy as opposed to this blue one which was very clean and proper. i have to agree, since the inside is very weathered as well as the story, a grungier cover matches. so, i'll be putting the green cover back on, but this time with some leather bindery. here's the cleaner, blue version that will soon be changed back:

here's the original.

15 December 2008

Chicago 2016. complete campaign.

this is it. the complete Chicago 2016 Olympics campaign: logo. welcome package. tickets. poster. and finally, temporary tattoos...

originally i had stickers designed to finish off the promotional pieces to this campaign, but my professor suggested temporary tattoos instead, and i thought that was a brilliant idea. so here you have it...

i also decided a poster was a better fit than a t-shirt. especially since the posters are in a series and are more likely to be collectibles. (original blogs: process. final.)

the "element of surprise" packaging that contains a welcome letter, the tickets, and venue directions pullout. (original blogs: concept. mock-ups. finishing techniques. final.)

and last, but not least, and actually first. the logo. the most thought-out of them all. (original blogs: process. comps 1. comps 2. comps 3. final 4.)

12 December 2008

448 artists' books: narrative book.

the biggest, most in-depth project for artists' books was, by far, this one, my narrative book. i decided to construct a 48-page book illustrating a homeless journey i took at the beginning of 2007. long story short — i slept in my car (Etta) for 4 days and documented it with pictures and a narrative the day i got back. it was fun to re-read my experience and put this book together.

the technicalities: first of all it's a stab-bound. i laid the pages out very sporadically, just how my trip was lived: completely random, and printed separations in reverse. i printed all the black from the 48 pages on 48 plates and all the color ink onto another 48 laser printer plates (that's why the reverse printing). i did transfers using Xylene Solvent onto a random stack of colored card stock that i had laying around. this required many hours on the press at school.

i used book cloth to cover book board for the covers. i also used a Lazertrans transfer and matte medium (decopauge) to put a photo "Etta and I" on the cover. and spot varnished it with an embossing treatment. to cover the inside of the covers, i coffee-stained local maps of the areas i traveled in. i also used specific maps throughout the book to give the reader a sense of where i was at that moment in the story. the book, in general, is pretty random and uniquely messy, exactly like my trip. and wa la - there you have it:

due to the many ink blemishes that happened by accident in the letterpress room, i already started a new cover for the book. it's essentially the same, just this time i used a light blue book cloth and i made the 'etta and i' image more clear. this time you can see me in the reflection of the taillight, hence etta and I. it should be done real soon...

10 December 2008

483A poster. final.

the final product for the chicago 2016 promotional poster. i stuck with the typographic configuration from one of the computer comps as well as the diverse organic vertical stripes. i decided to minimize the RISE by creating a tag line with it below the logo: "The World is Watching. Rise." while maximizing the GO leading into the copy block making it the theme for the series of athlete posters. Rather than spelling out RISE real big, i went with symbolism in the imagery and graphics. the athletes represent victory and move your eye towards the logo in the upper right, while the colorful stripes cap off the top and bottom of the poster vertically — metaphorically saying RISE. to soften it, i went with a less-industrial, serif font for all supporting copy and i alternated the color in the stripes for each of the posters keeping a congruency but also mixing things up subtly. i also muted the colors slightly along with the off-white paper giving it an over all vintage feeling. i'm happy with it especially since it still works with the somewhat "standard" colors in the logo...

09 December 2008

483A poster. concepts. process.

the final stages of my Chicago 2016 campaign are wrapped up with some promotional goods starting with a poster. i started to go through a process that we learned called distortion: using descriptive terminology. my results don't necessarily reflect the process because, unlike the logo, i strayed from the protocol and just followed my intuition. mainly because i didn't draw any blanks to where i needed a stimulating exercise to gather ideas and also because the nature of the subject (olympics) — with a set color palette and a call for clean communication — i opted to just deliver a consistent poster that fit the theme of my packaging.

i did, however, start with a descriptive terminology exercise. but since i explored terms that weren't new, it didn't really expand my range of already-thought-out processes. i continued to dissect the words GO and RISE — basically my theme for this campaign. the distortion process starts with taking the definitions of the select terms and experimenting with them by adding Simile, Irony, and Parody. and from there applying a technique for final application.

i chose to just sketch out what was in my head and later translate the ideas into the computer...

another part of my research was to find any previous olympic posters from chicago and perhaps mimic (parody) or borrow from the style. since there has never been an olympics there, the closest thing to it was the 3rd ever modern olympic games in 1904, st. louis. the games were actually intended to be in chicago but since the world's fair was to be held at the same time in st. louis, officials feared a conflict and low attendance so they mashed them together. both the olympics and the world's fair were held simultaneously in st. louis on Teddy Roosevelt's decision. (source) now, since there wasn't much to go from, i opted out on that whole idea.

some other research and fun was watching these videos on WHY chicago should be THE city...

05 December 2008

brion gysin: introduction.

brion gysin's life is a work of art as i'm quickly discovering. i found myself engulfed in it my entire thanksgiving break. i couldn't get my nose out of José Férez Kuri's book, Brion Gysin: Tuning in to the Multimedia Age and John Geiger's Chapel of Extreme Experience...

i'm studying poetic styles as the beginning research for my thesis. that lead me to the "cut-up," in which william s. burroughs gave gysin 100% credit for. burroughs is famous for his cut-ups and it seems brion gysin was the unsung hero for them as well as in numerous other disciplines.

he was a painter and poet, and expressed himself through other outlets like performance, calligraphy, collage, writing (novels) and sound poetry. this is the reason why i suddenly became heavily interested in him over burroughs. not discounting burroughs, just got way into gysin at the moment. as you can see by the books i recently bought about and by him:

some highlights i found thus far are his cut up poems and roller poems that manifested out of the Beat Hotel with burroughs in the 60's:

his calligraphic paintings are inspired from his time (25 years) in Tangier, Morocco:

and here are samples of his early paintings inspired by his time in the sahara desert. other paintings (not posted here) have a lot of explanation to time and space relationship:

this stuff is heavy, and very inspiring to me.

furthermore, and completely off that track, he helped devise the "Dreamachine," a flicker-induced stroboscopic light that, when looking at it with eyes closed, can cause the effects of hallucination. more on that later. and more on him, too. can gysin's life get any more interesting? this is powerful.

for artists' books (448) class we had to do a quickie artist report on an artist that influences us. guess who i picked? yeah. the pdf is ://here.

04 December 2008

history of graphic design: essay six.

the final write-up of six. "Graphic Fantasies: Relections in the Glass Ceiling" by Véronique Vienne seemed like a women's lib essay from the beginning, but turned out not to be completely gender-focused, but more of a generation analysis. Vienne makes it clear that the next generation of designers is much less cautious of conflict and will express freely without hesitance compared to the older generation. She speaks from a woman's perspective, but in a very dry, to-the-point, guy-tone. Again, another thought-provoking essay that had me questioning everything all the way through. Bouncing back and forth between the stances: young, old, male, female...

whatever way it goes, graphic design needs to look through the glass with only using the reflection as reference.

my pdf ://here.

01 December 2008

chip kidd: video presented by dwell

"the next step for graphic designers is to figure out how to meaningfully generate their own content...whether it's a book...music...a film...or whatever...it's the natural growth...rather than just strictly working for a client." —chip kidd


i'm in school now not to learn how to please clients. i'm not here to better my portfolio. or to add to my resume. i'm here to discover my own art.

in 3 short weeks i will discontinue any undergrad projects and in the days to come, i will focus solely on my thesis. it will mostly be very dense the next year as i research and write, research and write. but when the time comes to experiment, it's going to be explosive. a hint on what will be involved is: poetry, cut ups, dreams, kaleidoscopes, visual structure, and blowing my own mind.

30 November 2008

483A packaging. final product.

the Chicago 2016 Olympic Games welcome package consists of a customized/interactive brochure/ticket holder. it opens to an athlete running with the word RUN with custom typography. you pull up on the tab to raise the tower with the word RISE in the same type, revealing the ticket slot and a tab that works with the word chicago. you pull the GO tab to reveal the Chicago welcome letter and pull the insert all the way out to have the venue instructions on the back. i think the pictures tell the story:

to see the process of this project, check out the previous blogs:
concept (original words - rise and go).
mock-ups (3D folding fun).
finishing techniques.

all i have left now is to create a couple promo items to go along with this package. stickers, a poster, a t-shirt... still in the works.