25 June 2012

10 January 2012

Taltal Public Library by Murúa-Valenzuela

Link: Dezeen

Designed by architects Murúa-Valenzuela, this three-storey-high library is located in the coastal town of Taltal, Chile where it faces a public square and a recently completed theatre.

Photography by Macarena Álvarez.

05 December 2011

Suzanne Dean: the secret to a good book cover

Suzanne Dean designed the cover for the Man Booker prize winner 'The Sense of an Ending' by Julian Barnes. She talks about creating some of the most striking book jackets of the past 20 years.

To judge a book by its cover is so patently unwise that it has long been a metaphor for other forms of misinterpretation. But only a very naive author would suppose that the cover of his or her book was irrelevant. It’s the first thing we see, and there’s no way to make it entirely objective: a book’s cover offers an interpretation of its contents – some inflection, if only by its typeface or colour. And yet its effect on the reader is mostly subliminal. Book designers are the ultimate hidden persuaders...

Full article: Telegraph

25 September 2011

Reverberations: The Aesthetics, Affects and Politics of Noise

Edited by Drs Michael Goddard, Paul Hegarty and Benjamin Halligan is this groundbreaking collection that studies noise not merely as a sonic phenomenon but as an essential component of all communication and information systems. It's due for publication through Continuum next year and includes a chapter that I contributed based on my MA project. Despite what it says below, the title of the chapter has actually been changed to the simpler, perhaps more intriguing "Sshhh".


Noise permeates our highly mediated and globalised cultures. Noise as art, music, cultural or digital practice is a way of intervening so that it can be harnessed for an aesthetic expression not caught within mainstream styles or distribution.

This wide-ranging book examines the concept and practices of noise, treating noise not merely as a sonic phenomenon but as an essential component of all communication and information systems. The book opens with ideas of what noise is, and then works through ideas of how noise works in contemporary media, to conclude by showing potentials within noise for a continuing cultural renovation through experimentation. Considered in this way, noise is seen as an essential yet excluded element of contemporary culture that demands a rigorous engagement. Reverberations brings together a range of perspectives, case studies, critiques and suggestions as to how noise can mobilize thought and cultural activity through a heightening of critical creativity.Written by a strong, international line-up of scholars and artists, Reverberations looks to energize this field of study and initiate debates for years to come.

Table of Contents
The Philosophy of Noise

1. Paul Hegarty, ‘A Chronic Condition: Noise and Time’
2. Scott Wilson, ‘Amusia, Noise and the Drive’
3. Andrew McGettigan, ‘Noise, Affect and Experience’
4. Cecile Malaspina, ‘Simondon, Complexity and Organised Noise’

Media Ecologies of Noise

5. Dean Lockwood, ‘Mongrel Vibrations: H. P. Lovecraft’s Weird Ecology of Noise’
6. Khadijah White, ‘Considering Sound: Language, Meaning and the Construction of Noise’
7. José Castanheira, ‘The Matter of Numbers: Sound and the Experience of Noise in Analog and Digital Models’
8. Rosa Menkman, ‘From Artefact to Filter, or how Noise Artefacts have become Commodities’

Audiovisual Noise Aesthetics

9. Laura Wilson, ‘Physical Spectatorship: Noise and Rape in Irreversible’
10. Robert Walker, ‘Cinematic Tinnitus’
11. Benjamin Halligan, ‘Noise for the Failing Image’
12. Daniel Cookney, ‘Sshhh: A Visual Exploration of Relative Silence/Noise’
13. Felicity Colman, ‘Sound manifesto: Lee Renaldo’s Notes for Robert Smithson’
14. Rob Gawthrop, ‘Thunder and Lightning: Noise and the avant-garde’

Noise Ethics and Politics

15. Mattin, ‘Anti-Self: Noise and the Destruction of Managerial Logic’
16. Marie Thompson and Clara Latham, ‘Exploitation or Emancipation? The Affect and Ethics of Noise’
17. Saeed Hydaralli, ‘What is Urban Noise? An Inquiry into its Formal Properties’
18. Bruce Russell, ‘Exploding the atmosphere: Realising the revolutionary potential of “the last street song” ’


45g of Silence by Mads Hagstrøm

45g (1.5oz) of pure silence sealed in a can for just $19.14 at FLOWmarket. (The 'Next Generation Luxury' company also sells cans of self-esteem, compassion, intimacy and 'God'.) Design by Mads Hagstrøm.

There's an obvious nod here to Marcel Duchamp's Air de Paris ('50 cc of Paris Air') from 1919: something that I referenced in the Sshhh chapter of the upcoming Reverberations book.