SUNY Purchase ︎ (DES3240) Design Issues
BackgroundI love my family; but like…in the truest sense of the word. That is to say, I accept their criticism and jokes as being from people who ultimately care. I uses to carry around a big ass spiral bound sketchbook all the time, and one of my cousins used to call it my “manifesto.” I secretly kinda loved it. The point of this story is that the term manifesto has a clear cultural location; a lil freaky, a lil weird, a lil problematic (most contemporary popular iterations, very problematic). The product of someone who is off in some way. However, I think you can also see a definite aspirational “stance” in manifestos. Your next assignment will be creating a “manifesto” of sorts, so trying to set up the path to that assignment.
Required Readings(Here’s the deal, hopefully it is obvious you don’t have to read all of them for next week; pick one from each category, or three for a single category, and attempt to draw a correlation or contrast. Otherwise, pick a super long one to try and examine it in detail.These are not necessarily “recommended” or “good” but a curated list of polemical ones, societally relevant but problematic ones, ones I’ve never read but would like to hear more about; believe it or not I’ve never read the Communist Manifesto, and ones I’m interested on your thoughts on)
- Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels︎
- The Revolutionary Theatre by Amiri Baraka︎
- Futurist Manifesto by Tommaso Marinetti︎ (Also sharing Destruction of Syntax, also by Marinetti)
- A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Harraway︎ (I feel like everyone I know who has read this doesn’t fully understand it but it’s full of really poetic and interesting language)
- Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler︎
- Industrial Society and Its Future by the Ted Kacyznski (aka The Unabomber)︎(The Unabomber is an endlessly fascinating, but obviously problematic, figure to me, if you’re interested in this one I’d seek out the documentary The Net, not the eponymous Sandra Bullock movie)
- S.C.U.M. Manifesto by Valerie Solanas︎
- Dogma 95 - The Manifest︎ (If it helps to have a video, here ya go)
- The Art of Noise by Luigi Russollo︎
(if you want to see what they were talking about)
- The Suprematist Manifesto by Kazimir Malevich︎
- Agile Manifesto︎(This is boring and short, but this is the software paradigm from which “move fast and break things derives)
- De Stijl Manifesto︎
- First Things First by Ken Garland (1964)︎ &
First Things First from AdBusters (2000)︎ (statements on the state of graphic design from two very different designs)
- An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth by Bruce Mau︎
(This verges on self-helpy, but worthwhile to read)
Questions to think about while looking at one or more manifestos
- Why do dictators and problematic white folks need manifestos?
- Is the “centralized urgency” of the manifesto still appealing? Necessary? Relevant?
- Do centralized (aesthetic) ideas help homogonize visual culture? Is that a dangerous direction?
- Wikipedia page on manifestos︎ The list here is pretty comprehensive, and nicely organized (political, technological, artistic)
- Cate Blanchett in Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto︎ You can watch this on Amazon Prime, but if you ever have the opportunity to watch it as a multichannel installation, it is your homework to watch it. See this page to see which manifestos are in that. (It’s where the thumbnail for this page is from if that wasn’t already evident)
- Publishing Manifestos︎ I came across and bought this recently for this class, so recently in fact, that I haven’t read it but some great looking stuff in here; feel free to borrow it.
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