Faire is a bi-monthly publication dedicated to graphic design. Produced by Empire, the publishing arm of French design studio Syndicat (designers Sacha Léopold and François Havegeer), Faire is aimed at students as well as researchers and professional designers. Each issue addresses a specific object or theme and is written by a renowned author.
This anthology set includes four issues:
N° 5 — An Instagram post: P/Pa/Para/Paradiso by jetset_experimental (July 1, 2017). By Manon Bruet
On July 1st, 2017, just as Bruet was about to begin research into the use of social networks by graphic designers, the Dutch studio Experimental Jetset posted a slideshow containing 7 images on Instagram. Entitled “P/Pa/Para/Paradiso” it presented, as a whole and in its details, their new posters for the Paradiso center for music and culture in Amsterdam.
Apart from the obvious formal relationship with the Blow Up poster that they had created in 2007 for the London Design Museum, this slideshow gives very few keys to read what seemed to be a new aspect of the center’s communication, something that Experimental Jetset had been working on since 1996.
This post—which had over 1,500 likes and tens of comments at the time of writing—is where Bruet’s article begins. The publication takes the opportunity to investigate and review the longstanding collaboration between Experimental Jetset and the Paradiso, which over 20 years has taken various forms (flyers, programs, posters), as well as examine the singular and radical practice of Experimental Jetset.
Bruet also provides a theoretical view of the way that graphic design is shown and seen on different platforms, and explores how these platforms have become an integral part of the teaching and the evolution of the discipline.
N° 6 — A series of gestures: Invisible Touch, from Farocki to l’Architecture Aujourd’hui, some notes on the handling of things. By Catherine Guiral (with special thanks to J. Dupeyrat and L. Sfar)
N° 7 — A book: Parallel Encyclopedia by Batia Suter. By Jérôme Dupeyrat
Since the end of the 1990s, Batia Suter has been collecting books—second hand for the most part—that she acquires for their iconography, in such a way as to build up an image database that sits on the shelves of her personal library. All of this has become the basic material for an artwork that consists of presenting the images according to a logic of visual editing, providing them with new modalities of appearance and thus new possibilities of interpretation.
Parallel Encyclopedia is, at the time of writing, the artist’s most significant work. Ongoing since 2004, it has taken the form of a number of installations and two imposing publications from Roma Publications published in 2007 and 2016. Each version of the project is characterized by the association of hundreds of heteroclite images (historical, artistic, scientific, and technical), grouped according to typological and formal links. From one system to another, the conditions of presentation of these images taken from books are renewed: the sequencing and seriality of bound pages; constellations or, on the contrary, linear sequences of images reproduced and exhibited on wall panels; constellations or linear sequences of book pages opened and placed on flat mounts. Though the exhibited images are the same, these various exhibition possibilities determine differential readings.
Beyond the fascination that such a project can generate, this text will attempt to seize all of its complexity. To do this, Batia Suter’s work will be re-situated within the context of a history of iconographic practices that run through different fields of activities and knowledge. There is also a focus on the trajectory of the images gathered in Parallel Encyclopedia and the effects of the process of remediation to which they are subjected. Ultimately, the project becomes a question of drawing a figure of the artist as an “editor” and of studying both the function of graphic design in the artist’s work and the place that we can attribute to the artist in the field of graphic design, a field to which Batia Suter doesn’t directly belong, but one that runs through her productions, and to which she was confronted in a concrete fashion in the context of her collaboration with the graphic designer Roger Willems in the design of the two volumes of the encyclopedia that, in fact, is today a reference for many artists, as well as an inspiration for a large number of graphic designers.
N°08 — A residency: Coline Sunier and Charles Mazé at Villa Medici. By Thierry Chancogne
While still a student in the Ésad Valence, Coline Sunier, along with Grégory Ambos, created a striking front cover for the booklet associated with the Zak Kyes program Forms of Inquiry, using a series of jewels sampled from the more or less heraldic graphic patrimony of highly local emblems.
When she founded her studio with Charles Mazé, the duo continued the work of collection, which is at the same time one of the etymologies of reading, and one of the characteristics of the conceptual aesthetic of the list that emerged in the 1970s—first, in the re-casting of the Ésad Valence’s identity in 2012-2013; then in the work created during a residency at the Villa Médicis, Come vanno le cose?, dedicated to records of 1,512 graffiti found on the walls of Rome illustrating the portrait of a mysterious survivor, perhaps imagined, of the Red Brigades; and more recently in the identity developed for the Centre d’art contemporain in Brittany.
This collection of signs of power—and traces of resistance—profoundly inscribed in the always political matter of public spaces, is often accompanied by an attempt at typographic translation bringing to mind the work of typification in the personal writings of Fernand Baudin, created for the catalog of the eponymous prize in 2012.
Published by Editions Empire
Bilingual, in French and English
60 pages total, each issue separately bound, b&w and color images, 8.25 × 11.75 inches