10:30 Doors open
11:00 Welcome from Franciska Zólyom, Director Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst
11:15 Barbara Steiner, Curator und Organiser, Introduction to the conference
Barbara Steiner will introduce the subject of the conference. Having a visual arts background, she will look into correlations between conceptual/critical positions in graphic design and visual arts, and into economic processes that affect both fields. Seen against the growing gap between commercially driven practices and critical-conceptual projects, Steiner aims to discuss the danger of new social divides and ask how critical practices in design might be able to intervene in today’s socio-economic fabric.
12:00 Rebecca Stephany: Being Caught between Two Stools Doesn’t Have to Hurt
Immediately after graduating from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2006, Rebecca Stephany moved to Switzerland where she worked on a book project with designer Cornel Windlin. There, she was paid the usual monthly salary for a junior designer—at that time 4.500 CHF. Back in Amsterdam, she worked on a couple of interesting, yet not particularly well-paid commissions. Her practice turned towards fine arts, and Stephany applied for funding at The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. From 2008 to 2013, a total of 165,000 EUR was invested in the form of grants and stipends in the development of her practice, exactly 0.1% of the overall Dutch public cultural funding in 2010. Alas, 130,000 EUR of the 165,000 EUR were directly transferred to the Rijksakademie, where Stephany was artist-in-residence in 2010 and 2011. After the budget cuts and tired of the ‘dependent independence’, Stephany has noticed more designers becoming critical towards working in a funding-dependent niche. In her lecture, she will address the economic and conceptual challenges and opportunities for her own practice and in the field of art and design education.
12:30 Rebecca Stephany and Barbara Steiner in Conversation
13:00 – 14:00 Break
14:00 Elisabeth Klement: San Serriffe & Asterisk or: Making Ends Meet?
Elisabeth Klement will talk about how she makes ends meet being a graphic designer who organises a summer school in Estonia, and runs an art and design bookshop in Amsterdam. The Asterisk Summer School (organised with Laura Pappa) and the art and design bookshop San Serriffe (run with Pieter Verbeke) have both evolved from a direct response to growing urgency, to audience, economy and locality. In 2013 and 2014, Klement’s activities were supported by the Dutch Government with The Talent Development Grant to further develop her talents in the creative industry context. This makes her wonder what value her endeavours create in the sphere of this new industry and how they are translated into funding.
14:30 Zlata Boruvkova and Elisabeth Klement in Conversation
15:00 Stuart Bailey: DDD to TSL or Publishing in its Most Exploded Sense
Stuart Bailey will talk about two long-term projects set up to explore publishing in its most exploded sense. First, Dexter Sinister (with David Reinfurt), initially conceived in 2006 as a ‘Just-in-time workshop and occasional bookstore’ on the Lower East Side of New York, which slowly turned into something even less easy to define. Second, The Serving Library (with David Reinfurt and Angie Keefer), which grew from a reconsideration of the pros and cons of Dexter Sinister in 2011, and can be summarised as: 1) an ambitious public website; 2) a small physical library space; 3) a publishing programme that runs through #1 and #2. Both projects are rooted in the journals Dot Dot Dot and (its successor) Bulletins of The Serving Library. Bailey will try to recount how and why these projects have changed along the way.
15:30 Oliver Klimpel and Stuart Bailey in Conversation
16:00 – 16:30 Break
16:30 Radim Peško: RP Digital Type Foundry. Too Sophisticated or Too Vulgar, and Vice Versa
Using the example of his recent work, Radim Peško will talk about his practice, its different modes and shifts having type design in the centre of it. In 2009, he established RP Digital Type Foundry, a small-scale type foundry focused on the development of fonts that are both formally and conceptually distinctive. The foundry serves both as platform for his initiatives and as an economical model, and offers some independence from the unfathomable stream of commissions and the (more or less) accidental subsidies. Moreover, the foundry provides space to think about practice as something not given and with its rules laid down, but rather as an evolving process fed by external circumstances and challenges that can, from time to time, expand to other territories—be it teaching or organising a biennale. In 2014, Peško co-organised the 26th International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno with the focus on design schools and education. In this connection, he will also talk about its objectives and motivations, as well as learning from its visitors and organising institution.
17:00 Franciska Zólyom and Radim Peško in Conversation
17:30 Bart de Baets: Lend Me Some Sugar, I Am Your Neighbour!
Collaborations like the ones with Sandra Kassenaar on Success and Uncertainty, and Dark and Stormy, fanzines Bart de Baets created with Rustan Söderling, have become significant contributions to his body of work. Although not blessed with a large clientele, a handful of artists, art institutions, cultural events and bands pick up on the work and want to see it applied to their events, exhibition design, invitation cards or record sleeves. The commissioned work de Baets has done in the last few years is influenced by these projects. The one would not exist if it weren’t for the other. Bart will introduce his work, discussing his practice and the conditions of working on various collaborations, projects with friends, and the difficulties that come alongside such projects.
18:00 Anna Lena von Helldorff and Bart de Baets in Conversation
18:30 Further Thoughts (To Be Continued…)
19:00 End of Conference