أخطاء في مدونة بصرية /Errors in a Visual Diary; 2015

“A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he’d taken and the corners he cut in Night City, and he’d still see the matrix in his dreams, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colourless void.”

—William Gibson, Neuromancer.

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All images are mine from a project called أخطاء في مدونة بصرية /Errors in a Visual Diary. I took and broke all of them last year, 2015.
The project is inspired by William Gibson’s Novel “Neuromancer” , A visual diary broken and recreated to explore a dream-like state.

30/01/16

 

It’s 9:00pm. It’s cold. I’m laying in bed. I bought this book for a history class, loving it so much, very easy read, quiet informative a very visual at the same time. I’m listening to my favorite Boards of Canada’s album for the first time in a long time. Haven’t slept much the past few days but I’m functioning perfectly. Yesterday was my birthday and I didn’t feel bad like everytime. Am I getting wiser? Am I getting more comfortable being myself? I’m still quiet aware of what I lack but I’m not angry anymore. I’m working on my flaws instead of dwelling in depression. I have just discovered Simon Scott’s solo work and I’m crazy about it, It ranges from drone to ambient electronic with some elements of shoegaze, in other words: perfection, him and Evan Caminiti are definitely my new obsession, have been listening to them repeatedly the whole month. don’t you just love it when you discover music that change you in a way? God I love it! Tim Hecker released a new album, it got leaked right after he announced it, first I wanted to download it but then decided to wait and order it so I added it to my cart with the rest of records I wanted to buy. I’m also saving up cause I need more power, I love my laptop but I need a new one. But also kind of torn between spending the cash I saved so far in the book fair or wait for next year and double them. Either way I’m winning. It’s funny how four years ago my life was almost empty and now I’m so busy I don’t even have time to catch up with my best friend but then again who am I kidding? I have always been a loner. My favorite songs at the moment are Radiance , Forever Dilating Eye, Flood Inn , and Near Dark. I found a new site called letterboxd, it’s a bit like Goodreads but for movies, so nice and helped me sort my movie library, found so many amazing titles that should be an interesting watch, made 3 lists till now. I decided I want to watch at least one movie everyday this year. I dig movies and they are a source of inspiration, why the hell not? Favorite movies I’ve seen lately are The Lobster, Possession (which fucked me up big time and I’m still thinking about till now but it made it to my all time favorite movies) and Beyond the Black Mountain, the last made me discover Sinoia Caves, that’s one thing I love about a good movie.

Maybe I should do this every once in a while, my days in pictures, and rant for a little bit about whats going on.

It’s 9:00pm and it’s cold. But I am warm. I’m alright.

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Book Review: Logo Modernism.

image on the left is of my copy when it first arrived, right is after few days

Logo Modernism is a book by Jens Müller a German graphic designer born in 1982. He is a creative director at Optik Design studio and teaches graphic design history and editorial design. The book was published in January 2015 by Taschen.

This book is huge! It’s an A3 in size and weights about 5kg, one of the pretties books I ever laid hands on. That been said, let’s move on.

The book consists of 6 Chapters.
-Logo
-Viva Modernism!
-and then divided into sections of:

Geometric (like circular, square, lines, grid, triangle)

Effect (like duplication, rotation, split..etc)

Typographic from A to Z. Each one of them has a case study.
-Profiles (of great and influential graphic designers from 60’s to 80’s)

It’s very nicely laid-out with all of the designs being black and white so you’d focus more on the ideas instead of colors and gradients which might be distracting at times. Also the A3 dimensions makes it pretty easy and comforting for the eyes to move through the huge amount of logos.

Muller was able to gather a collection of about 6000 logos from the time period of 1940 till 1980.

I’ll probably keep visiting it every now and then so I could take it all in. I don’t wanna saturate my brains with all the amazing ideas.

It’s a must have for any artist slightly interested in logos and abstract art or patterns. It’s on the pricey side I paid a total of 900 L.E to buy it and have it shipped to my address in Egypt, but was totally worth it, I’m already working on an R for my self branding project. Definitely one of the best buys I made this year. A true classic in the making.

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Bits and Pieces of My Graphic Design Work. (on going)

Some of my work, mostly posters.

First poster is from a series called “Designs for Imaginary Subjects” that I worked on last November.

The series is of minimal poster designs based on non-existent / imaginary subjects.

Each design is an idea mainly inspired by a favorite electronic or drone music track. My favorite of the series is a piece called “Static Variation”

Static Variation is one of the first projects I worked on, the design is inspired by my favorite genres of music which are electronic/ drone/ glitch and idm music, also one of the main reasons I got into designing was album covers, specially those made by The Designers Republic; a graphic design studio based in Sheffield, England. 

The design is inspired by a playlist by the same name I made on spotify, featuring artists like: Tim Hecker, Ben Frost, Oneohtrix Point Never, Jon Hopkins, Kangding Ray and Rival Consoles, you can listen to it here.

Favorite tracks from the playlist are:  Ten Days of Falling by Shlohmo, When We Were Queens by Kangding Ray, Away by Subhiem and Holding Horses by Colleen

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imaginary subject #3 Artists write about the process of creating noise from “Designs for Imaginary Subjects” by Radwa Abd El-Moniem

 Another poster from the same project is called “Fragments of Space and Time.”

The concept of the design comes from the fact that space is infinite while time has a beginning and an end.

Color Scheme used: Nebula for space.

Patterns and distances: References for time.

Lettering: For fragments

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 Imaginary subject #1 Fragments of Space and Time by Radwa Abd-El Moniem

Another poster that I worked on recently is called “White Noise” from a project called Geometry of Noise.

The whole project combines my love for both Geometric designs and Noise. It’s abstract and flat minimal but in this particle poster I added a sort of glitchy feel to it, to stress about the structure and nature of white noise waves.

It’s done with illustrator where I created and used brushes to give the glitch-like  effect.

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White Noise from “Geometry of Noise” by Radwa Abd El-Moniem

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A personal set design project of mine that I love so much and also one of the first projects I worked on is called “RRRRRRAAAAAAAA (What I learnt)” is based on photo manipulation and breaking images to create some interesting visuals. And is dedicated to special someone to me, and to Ellen Lupton and Alan Fletcher, iconic graphic designers and writers that I admire greatly, I have had just finished reading Thinking With Type and The Art of Looking Sideways  at the time, first books about design and Typography I have ever read and was left very inspired.

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“RRRRRRAAAAAAAA (What I learnt)” by Radwa Abd El-Moniem

 

The Haunting Beauty of Electronic Music Audiovisuals.

I have always been interested in visual art and its massive relation with electronic and drone music. From Brian Eno to Ryoji Ikeda. Magnificent light illustrations and audiovisual performances.

I love electronic music, it’s a passion to me and I’m drawn to it. Most of my designs are either for or inspired by music for electronic and drone geniuses. So I decided I want to do a research and post some of my favorite audiovisual performances and light exhibitions. I first got into light illustrations when I stumbled across the work of James Turrell, an American artist primarily work is of light that inhabits space. He creates a magnificent world, his compositions look like they just been cut off a sci-fi epic. Anyway here are some of my favorite audiovisual performances:

 

• Ryoji Ikeda’s Test Pattern


Ryoji Ikeda is a Japanese electronic musician, sound and visual artist who lives and works in Paris and Kyoto. He has been releasing materials via Raster-Noton, a well known German electronic record label since 2005. He uses mathematical rules and aesthetics to focus on the important characteristics of both sound and light. Ikeda magnificently combines sound frequencies, visuals, philosophy of art, and mathematics into overwhelming live performances and installations. He has performed and exhibited all over the world.

 

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People walk over the installation 'test pattern' (100m version)People walk over the installation ‘test pattern’ (100m version) 

test4test pattern [nº3], 2010. (Marc Domage/Courtesy of Ryoji Ikeda.)

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ryoji-ikeda-test-pattern-5-3Above and Below: Test Pattern [No 5] Ryoji Ikeda.

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Watch Ryoji Ikeda’s Test Pattern

I’m in awe by just how perfect it’s executed. I’d die to attend any of his audiovisual performances. Watching this feels like I’m trapped inside a broken maze of digital data and noise but I never want to get out. Test pattern is also re-imagined for Times Square using digital screens over several blocks.

 

• Ryoji Ikeda’s Data Matrix


Another outstanding audiovisual performance by Ikeda, I wouldn’t mind watch it forever, because it’s basically just organized white noise frequencies with some stunning visuals, I have had a huge interest in white noise for a long time, I find it fascinating, watching this, you’re literally across a wall of data Matrix.

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H                                 A                               U                           N                   T          I N G

Finally, another project that you probably want to check out is Superposition, a project about the way we understand the reality of nature on an atomic scale and is inspired by the mathematical notions of quantum mechanics.

Watch Ryoji Ikeda’s Superposition

Favorite Ryoji Ikeda album: Opus.

Favorite Ryoji Ikeda track: Op.3 String Quartet.

 

• Alva Noto’s Unicolor


Another Raster-Noton sound and visual artist who make incredible audiovisuals and illustrations is non other than German minimalist Carsten Nicolai who releases materials under the name of Alva Noto. One of my favorite pieces for him is Unicolor, a series of expanding visuals of many colors that unfold over a wide projectors that seem to be going on forever, it creates a gorgeous world of visual effects that provoke the viewers perceptions. He previously made similar works to this project like univrs  in (2010) and unidisplay in (2012) and also made a couple of Collaboration with his fellow artist Ryoji Ikeda which were just as good as their solo works.

 

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Watch Siisx / Mur by Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto @ Aural Festival 2012

Favorite Alva Noto Album: Xerrox Series specially vol.2

Favorite Alva Noto Track: Xerrox Monophaser 3

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• Murcof+ Simon Geilfus (Antivj)


I first listened to Murcof music 4 months ago when a friend of mine recommend him to me, Murcof is the solo project of Fernando Corona that he founded in 2001. I listened to Remembranza an album of 8 tracks released in 2005. It’s dark and beautiful and definitely unique ranges from minimal electronic sound to experimental, he is known for his way of combining the digital sound with the classical music while adding elements of abstract sound, sometimes samples and other times glitch. I fell in love with this album, and naturally wanted to listen to more of his music so I decided to give Cosmos a try, here’s the thing, it quite different from Remembranza, and reminded me so much of Biosphere’s work, which I absolutely adore, from the album’s name you can correctly assume it’s an electronic space ambient/ dark ambient. Very enjoyable and meditative. I started to look online for live performances when I came across his audiovisual work with Simon Geifus of Antivj, and damn! Those performances are so good and visually stunning. Here is one of my favorite performances.

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Watch Murcof and the AntiVJ label, Södra Teatern 2010-10-22

I also done some digging and found a very interesting graphic designer and Visual artist named Marcos Montane who make incredible work and happened to have designed realtime visual system for Murcof album Martes. You can check out his work here.

Favorite Murcof album: Remembranze

Favorite Murcof track: Rostro and Reflejo

• Another hauntingly beautiful audiovisual performances worth mentioning


Imposition audiovisual performance by electronic musician Edisonnoside and Daniel Schwarz.

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Konkreet was used in an immersive audiovisual performance called Dromos, at the Mutek Satosphere.

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I sincerely hope more electronic and drone artists get into performing audiovisuals, specially Tim Hecker and Ben Frost, like imagine they make a light illustrated performance together?!

Peter Saville, Central Station, and The Factory Records.

Artworks of Central Station Desings

“It was a fantastic idea to differentiate our little cottage industry record label (run out of Alan Erasmus and Charles Sturridge’s flat in a Manchester suburb) by having sleeves that were glossier, more expensive and more beautiful than those of the multinationals. Great idea, only we never had it. We just did what we wanted to do. And then post-rationalised it. We clothed out single in glossy sixties-EP-style packages. And then men like the great and sadly late Scott Piering, Rough Trade plugger extraordinaire, would stand outside Radio One pulling the indie vinyl out of its glossy arty sleeve and inserting it into a white nondescript 7-inch bag to make it look as if it came from a major label.
“Why was packaging important to us? Because the job was a sacred one. Music had transformed our young lives, children of the sixties all. And now we were in the privileged position of putting out records ourselves. Does the Catholic Church pour its wine into mouldy earthenware pots? I think not.”

Peter Saville is an English art director and graphic designer. He came to fame for the many record covers and posters he designed for The Factory Records of which he was a director, The Factory Records was a Manchester based British independent record label, started in 1978 by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, which featured several prominent musical acts on its roster such as Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column.

Saville was inspired by Jan Tschichold, chief propagandist for the New Typography. According to Saville: “Malcolm had a copy of Herbert Spencer’s Pioneers of Modern Typography. The one chapter that he hadn’t reinterpreted in his own work was the cool, disciplined “New Typography” of Tschichold and its subtlety appealed to me. I found a parallel in it for the New Wave that was evolving out of Punk.”

1The beginning of it all: The poster for Factory 1 designed by Peter Saville.

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Poster for the second birthday of The Hacienda, (Factory 51)

I loved the amazing usage of typography.
 
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Poster for the second birthday of The Hacienda, (Factory 51)
His designs are of a minimal compositions where he experimented with typography and colors.

Peter Saville, who had previously designed posters for Manchester’s Factory club in 1978, designed the cover of the album. Sumner chose the image used on the cover, which is based on an image of radio waves from pulsar CP 1919, from The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy. Saville reversed the image from black-on-white to white-on-black and printed it on textured card for the original version of the album. It is not a Fourier analysis, but rather an image of the intensity of successive radio pulses, as stated in the Cambridge Encyclopaedia. The image was originally created by radio astronomer Harold Craft at the Arecibo Observatory for his 1970 PhD thesis.

Peter Saville cover of this first Joy Division album speaks volumes. Its white on black lines reflect a pulse of power, a surge of bass, and raw angst. If the cover doesn’t draw you in, the music will.”

 

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This is Peter Saville’s iconic design for Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album
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A  fantastic  detailed 3D model of the design by Peter Saville
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It appeared in the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy in 1977, which is where Joy Division drummer Stephen Morris saw the design 
 
Another very important Saville work for Joy Division is Closer album cover, released shortly after Ian Curtis’ suicide in May 1980.
It was controversial album art since it reflected the tragedy Curtis suicide but was later proved that Saville had worked on the cover months before Ian’s death. (which gets me every time I read about it!)
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Staglieno Cemetery, Genova, Italy.
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Closer font and back album cover by Peter Saville
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Listen to Ceremony by Joy Division: here
Peter Saville will remain one of the greatest designers and one of the most influential and inspiring to me. His work not only reflect his masterful vision of design as an art but also his ability to merge between visuals and music.
The factory Records have released some of the most important pieces of art to date, and albums that changed music industry and remain in my top favorite albums of all time. (on an slightly unrelated note, if you are into Joy Division music or post-punk in general two albums that are great and I would recommend other than early the National and Interpol of course are Motorama’s Alps and Black Marble’s A Different Arrangement, they are so fresh with a lot of Joy Division vibes without being a rip-off. I discovered in late 2013 and was immediately in love.)
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Club Flyer for FAC 51, The Hacienda, Factory’s second club. 
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Beautiful minimal Cover by Central Station Design
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Factory 88 cover designed by Jackie Gribbon and The Wake.
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First Anniversary Party flyer for the Hacienda, as found in the archives of the Cerysmatic Factory.

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Waste Painting New Order Poster by Peter Saville’s, 2003
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A redesigned Factory Records poster,2008
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Black Monday – The Last Days of FAC251, The Factory Records Office
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A Factory poster for Record Store Day 19 April 2014 by  Trevor Johnson
a recent poster that I dig so much!
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Ambient works by three of the world’s legendary creatives set to music
 An absolutely gorgeous yet very simple poster also you can’t go wrong with Maeda, Saville and Sakamoto. Geniuses. Geniuses everywhere.
Finally, here are some famous beautiful album covers and designs made by The Central Station Design and Peter Saville. My favorite remains Technique by New Order, just ordered it in a black frame to hang it above my desk!
If you would like to know more about Saville : An interview with Peter Saville
Factory Records wasn’t just a records label that released masterpieces of music, it was also a new wave of approaching graphic design and visual communication. It represented music in a new iconic way, proved how important graphic design is to music and set the pass for many designers.

References:

Wikipedia

-Cerysmatic Factory info,  flyers: here

-Factory Records: The Compelete Graphic Album (book)

Artist; John Meada/ The 10 Morisawa Posters

John Meada is a graphic designer and computer scientist who has been a highly influential artist in technology and designing with a specific interest in the way where those two fields merge and intersect.

He was a Professor at the MIT Media Lab for 12 years, and then became the President of the Rhode Island School of Design from 2008 to 2013. He is currently Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers where he advises startups on the business impact of design. He also serves on the Board of Directors of consumer electronics company Sonos and global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy.

Maeda was originally a software engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, when he became fascinated with the work of Paul Rand and Muriel Cooper. Cooper was a director of MIT’s Visible Language Workshop. After completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MIT, Maeda studied in Japan at Tsukuba University’s Institute of Art and Design to complete his Ph.D. in design.

Meada’s work lay the groundwork for the interactive motion graphics that are taken for granted on the web today. He has exhibited in one-man shows in London, New York and Paris. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Cartier Foundation in Paris.

Meada’s early work is a combination of code and design aesthetics – a combination that redefined the use of code and electronic media as a tool for visual communication.

In his very famous work “The 10 Morisawa Posters” he focuses on digital design using technology, the set demonstrates a digital typography experiment to improve the legibility and quality of typographic documents.  He used the method Design by Numbers (DBN) it was a programming language designed and created by Meada in 1999 as a part of his aesthetics.

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The goals of the project were to introduce code as a way of creating design for the screen and to provide useful tool for a visually literate community. The language provided a unified interface for writing and running simple programs using a grid 100×100 pixels and limited set of set of commands and functions.

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The associated DBN is beautiful and it’s as much of a discussion of the concepts of code as it is an instruction manual for the language. Although the programming language is no longer in use, the project proved to be highly influencing on the development of the processing programming language.

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John MeadaThe 10 Morisawa Posters

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Aside from designing Meada is a brilliant writer, he wrote many books about graphic design and coding and the laws of simplicity. He keeps inspiring designers now and generations to come. 

“A designer is someone who constructs while he thinks, someone for whom planning and making go together.”

Refrences:

-Wikipedia

-John Meada’s TED talks

-Data-driven Graphic Design: Creative Coding for visual communication

(new promising book that discusses coding from a graphic design prespective, can’t wait to own it)