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Spring 2021 ︎ SUNY Purchase ︎ (DES3240) Design Issues

Problematic History


I saw Kelly Walters talk around Halloween 2019 as part of Hakan’s masters program. It was super great, and the talk below is an extention that research and work.

I think all of her work is interesting, but I find the idea of not hiding or forgetting problematic history (in her case minstrel show posters) and figuring out ways to make that work prescient through her own process super generative. 

This is also a way, to my mind, of interacting with the canon of graphic design and why it might uphold what it upholds and why it might not revere other work.

Required Readings/Viewings

(content warning, there’s some mentioning of word-salad-y Trump quotes in here. This was also recorded before Biden was elected president if that helps contextually. There’s also some photos/illustrations of blackface in this. ).

Contextualizing Readings/Viewings

Questions to think about

    • Should problematic history be forgotten/not recorded? Why or why not?
    • What ways, besides making, can we re-examine and recontextualize work that is problematic?
    • There’s a timelessness to how Kelly Walters re-examines work of the past and the present. How can the work of the past “speak to” the future? In what ways does it predict it?

Stuff we talked about in class (04/07/2021)

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