Category Archives: Art & Design

“The victory of the weightlessness of dreams over the heaviness of reality.”

Master film maker and hardcore human being, Werner Herzog interviewed:

I’m trying to find these rare moments where you feel completely illuminated. Facts never illuminate you. The phone directory of Manhattan doesn’t illuminate you, although it has factually correct entries, millions of them. But these rare moments of illumination that you find when you read a great poem, you instantly know. You instantly feel this spark of illumination. You are almost stepping outside of yourself and you see something sublime. And it can be something very average, some small thing that everybody overlooks. For example, in Grizzly Man, Timothy Treadwell filmed himself. He’s in the Starsky and Hutch mode and reenacts them and does something and he jumps and runs away and the camera is rolling. Twenty seconds later he returns as Starsky and Hutch and switches the camera off. And in these 20 seconds there is only reed grass wafting in the wind. And all of a sudden I notice something very big out there. An image that wanted its own existence. That’s so powerful and so strange and so illuminating that I had to show it in the film. And everybody overlooked it and I have to point it out. It’s something very, very strange and it can be the most insignificant, which all of a sudden acquires something deep and almost illuminating of your existence. You’re deep inside into the nature of things, into the abysses of the human soul.

Herzog made a film, Fitzcarraldo, about a man man who has a steamship hauled over a mountain in the Andes. And to dramatize this crazy story, he filmed a steamship over 30 tons being hauled over a mountain. People died.


Herzog on Herzog / edited by Paul Cronin – PN1998.3.H477 A3 2002

Cobra Verde / written and directed by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 cob DVD

Aguirre, the Wrath of God / a film by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 Agu DVD

Fitzcarraldo / directed by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 Fit DVD

My best fiend / directed and narrated by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 My DVD

Even dwarfs started small / written and directed by Werner Herzog – V-F H476 Nos DVD

Nosferatu the Vampyre & Phantom der Nacht / written, produced and directed by Werner Herzog

Encounters at the end of the world / directed, written and narrated by Werner Herzog

Stroszek / ein Film von Werner Herzog – V-F H476 Str DVD

Grizzly Man / directed and narrated by Werner Herzog – V-D H476 Gri DVD

Illustrating the World by Computer

Most of the students at SVA were born after 1987, meaning they never lived in a world without the vector graphics made possible by Adobe Illustrator. For designers who trained in the pre-digital world of graphic design, the difference is vast. This short film, The Adobe Illustrator Story, talks to some of the creators, testers, and early proponents of Adobe’s groundbreaking program. It’s hard to imagine so much of the style of design of the past three decades without the relative ease and speed of creation afforded by programs like Illustrator.

More on the vector graphics and the history of graphic design:

Vectorism : vector graphics today / edited and produced by Viction:workshop. – NC997 .V437 2011

Vector basic training : a systematic creative process for building precision vector artwork / developed & written by Von Glitschka. – T385 .G5856 2011

Graphic design history : a critical guide / Johanna Drucker, Emily McVarish. – NC998 .D78 2013

Meggs’ history of graphic design / Philip B. Meggs, Alston W. Purvis – Z246 .M43 2012

Future Fonts Today!

Is Google designing the ‘font of the future‘ for the Android? At this stage in the type game, it’s hard to imagine any one typeface dominating the future, but in terms of adapting to new mediums (like smart phones), it makes sense that Google and Apple would be pushing the boundaries of type development.

To explore further:

Reading letters : designing for legibility / Sofie Beier – Z250.A4 B44 2012

Designing for small screens : mobile phones, smart phones, PDAs, pocket PCs, navigation systems, MP3 players, game consoles / design by Studio 7.5 – TK7882.I6 D47 2005

Simple and usable : web, mobile, and interaction design / Giles Colborne. – QA76.9.U83 C65 2011

Using type / Michael Harkins- Z246 .H368 2010

Lettering & type : creating letters and designing typefaces / Bruce Willen, Nolen Strals – Z250 .W598 2009

Designing Multi-Device Experiences An Ecosystem Approach to User Experiences Across Devices / Michal Levin – QA76.9.U83 2014

Happy 29,771 days! – Good bye, On Kawara


Conceptual artist On Kawara, whose most well known work was a series of date paintings that began in 1966, has stopped marking the passage of days.
Roberta Smith on On Kawara in the NY Times: >>The “Today” series, part of the Duchampian tradition of making art directly from dumb reality, treated each date as a ready-made. The works seemed straightforward — even obvious — and maddeningly repetitive, suggesting the Zen passivity of John Cage’s acceptance of noise as music. But they were also diaristic and meditative and could resonate with existential, psychological and scientific implications about the time-space continuum.<<

To explore Kawara's work and Conceptual Art:

On Kawara : date painting(s) in New York and 136 other cities / edited by Tommy Simoens, Angela Choon – N7359.K38 A4 2012

On Kawara : ‘tribute’ / Jonathan Watkins, René Denizot. -N7359.K38 W36 2002

Tokyo, 1955-1970 : a new avant-garde / Doryun Chong – N7355.4 C46 2012

Conceptual art / Tony Godfrey. – N6494.C63 G63 1998

Six years : the dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972 …/ edited and annotated by Lucy R. Lippard. – N6494.C63 L56 1997

User Centered Designs and Designers

UI vs. UX Designers – do you know the difference? Specialization in the design of interfaces and experiences is a natural effect of the growing attention paid to how people use software and objects.
To explore the field:

A project guide to UX design : for user experience designers in the field or in the making / Russ Unger and Carolyn Chandler – HD69.P75 U54 2009

Sketching user experiences : getting the design right and the right design / Bill Buxton. – TS171 .B89 2007

Designing for interaction : creating smart applications and clever devices / Dan Saffer. – QA76.9.H58 S24 2007

Simple and usable : web, mobile, and interaction design / Giles Colborne. – QA76.9.U83 C65 2011

Designing interfaces / Jenifer Tidwell. – QA76.9.U83 T55 2006

Seductive interaction design : creating playful, fun, and effective user experiences / Stephen P. Anderson. – TK5105.888 .A5285 2011

Paddle Your Trick to Sweet Sea Witness – new books!

Paddle your own canoe : one man’s fundamentals for delicious living / Nick Offerman – PN2287.O275 A3 2014

Michaël Borremans : as sweet as it gets / edited by Jeffrey Grove – N6973.B538 A4 2014 OVERSIZE

Witness : art and civil rights in the sixties / Teresa A. Carbone and Kellie Jones ; with Connie H. Choi, Dalila Scruggs, Cynthia A. Young – N8217.C36 C37 2014

Sea / Mark Laita – TR729.M37 L35 2011

The One Trick rip-off + Deep cuts / story and art, Paul Pope – PN6727.P665 O53 2013

Considering a Move to Memphis – Ettore Sottsass Redux

Is the 1980s, Ettore Sottsass spawned/Post Modern style called Memphis made a come back? In this era, Post Post Modern in a way, it’s hard to know what’s in, since we are more aware of the multiplicity of trends out in the wild.

Mod to Memphis : design in colour 1960s-80s / Anne Watson – NK2395 .W37 2002

Ettore Sottsass : architect and designer / Ronald T. Labaco – NA1123.S66 L33 2006

The Curious Mr Sottsass : photographing design and desire / Ettore Sottsass – TR654 .S589 1996

80s style : designs of the decade / by Albrecht Bangert and Karl Michael Armer ; foreword by Ettore Sottsass. – NK1390.B26 1990

Postmodernism : style and subversion, 1970-1990 / edited by Glenn Adamson and Jane Pavitt – NX456.5.P66 P673 2011