Shapeshifters 2010 | Source – In 2010, Shapeshifters explores the knowledge of the origins of our visual thinking in order to understand the complex anatomy of graphical communication systems. When and where did images merge with meaning(s), and how and when did the use of images and signs develop into autonomous graphical systems? Or were they integrated into existing systems? How are graphic designers using these ‘universal’ visual standards (symbols, icons, writing or structural systems, etc.) nowadays in an innovative way? And what is the impact of our download/copy-paste/sample culture on these developments? Shapeshifters presents 6 lecturers who will share their views on this topic:
5 January: Gerhard Jäger and Markus Hanzer
2 February: Timothy Donaldson and Johannes Bergerhausen
2 March: Marius Watz
2 April: Hannah Higgins
Gerhard Jäger (AT) — 5 January 2010
Gerhard Jäger worked for fifteen years for the Serapions theatre in Vienna. From 1990 til 1995, he realized cultural productions in the south of Austria, close to the Slovenian border. Eight years ago, he started up the ABC-project (Art Basics for Children) in Brussels. Until today, he is the general and artistic coordinator.
Markus Hanzer (AT) — 5 January 2010
Markus Hanzer is one of the founders of the mira4 agency. He worked for many TV channels, like SAT1, ARD, ORF, Phoenix, Premiere, ATV or ZDF – while also focusing on a series of complex issues involving mobile communication, interactive television and the internet – for Deutsche Bank, Allianz, Bertelsmann, Verizon Wireless, and others – in the field of trademark communication.
He teaches at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and the college of MultiMediaArt in Salzburg. His book ‘Krieg der Zeichen’ (War of symbols) was published in May 2009.
Timothy Donaldson (UK) — 2 February 2010
Timothy Donaldson is a letterworker. He developed an obsessive interest in drawing during his first decade which matured into another obsession with writing during his second one. During his third decade he was a journeyman signwriter.
By his fourth decade he had become a lettering artist and type designer and a lecturer at Stafford College School of Art. Now into his fifth decade, he focuses on the convergence(s) of research, practice and teaching in his work at University College Falmouth, UK.
Johannes Bergerhausen (DE) — 2 February 2010
Prof. Johannes Bergerhausen, born 1965 in Bonn, Germany, studied Communication Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf. From 1993 to 2000, he lived and worked in Paris. First he collaborated with the Founders of Grapus, Gérard Paris-Clavel and Pierre Bernard, then he founded his own office. In 1998 he was awarded a grant from the French Centre National des Arts Plastiques for a typographic research project on the ASCII-Code. He returned to Germany in 2000 and, since 2002, is Professor of Typography at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz. Lectures in Amiens, Beirut, Berlin, Dubai, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Prague, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Weimar. Since 2004, he is working on the decodeunicode.org project, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which went online in 2005. Semester of research 2007 in Paris.
Marius Watz (NO) — 2 March 2010
Marius Watz is an artist working with visual abstraction through generative systems. After abandoning his studies in Computer Science, he pursued graphic design and media art in parallel, becoming known for his hard-edged geometric compositions and bold use of colors. After winning multiple awards for his design work, he was featured in I.D. Magazine’s “40 under 30” list in 2000.
In 2002 Watz quit design to focus on his artwork, exploring software processes as an aesthetic medium. He has since exhibited at venues like Todaysart (The Hague), Künstlerhaus (Vienna), Melkweg (Amsterdam), ITAU Cultural (São Paulo) and Club Transmediale (Berlin). He continues to explore the boundaries of code as method, producing work that ranges from realtime software works to physical output using digital fabrication technology.
In 2005 Watz founded Generator.x, a curatorial platform that has resulted in a series of events related to generative art and design, including a conference, a travelling exhibition and an audiovisual concert tour. The most recent incarnation, Generator.x 2.0, focused on digital fabrication and computational architectural processes and was a part of the Club Transmediale 2008 festival.
Watz is a lecturer at the Oslo School of Architecture and at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Department of design. He presents workshops and lectures on computational aesthetics, live cinema and digital fabrication. He also does audiovisual performances with musician Alexander Rishaug.
Marius Watz is represented by [DAM]Berlin. He is currently based in Oslo and New York.
Hannah Higgins (US) — 2 April 2010
An Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Higgins is currently a Senior Fellow at the Phillips-UIUC Center for the Study of Modern Art in Washington and the daughter of Fluxus artists Alison Knowles and Dick Higgins. Higgins is the author of Fluxus Experience (University of California Press, 2002) and The Grid Book (MIT Press, 2009). Her recent work charts the history of Western culture through the lens of its grids from the brick to the World Wide Web. She is currently finishing an edited anthology with Douglas Kahn called Mainframe Experimentalism, which details the mainframe phase of experimental computer art from 1960–1970 (University of California Press, expected 2010). She is also working on a book on the legacy of Black Mountain College, a small school in North Carolina. This project is provisionally called The Long Shadow of the Supine Dome.