On [Activism] talk

Last night It’s Nice That hosted their last talk of the series at the Red Bull Studios.

Speakers included:

Lucienne Roberts: debated whether she is an ‘Activist’ or an ‘activist’ and as such how campaigns need to decide which of these two they are before they are visualised. She vocalised her fear that "graphic design is becoming synonymous with consumerism" and so furthermore Lucienne questioned if activist based design is stronger in the eyes of the audience if it has less of an expensive / over designed feel.

Francesca Gavin: gave a very interesting talk on open source art projects in the age of the internet. Specifically she focused on the politics of participation in contemporary art. Francesca noted how collaboration in art completely changes how a piece of art is deciphered by the viewer. The links she shared can be found on her blog

Ken Garland: danced through a very lively, thought-provoking and entertaining talk on the role of graphics in campaign since the 60’s (the whole presentation was done on an easel showing the original last remaining artworks). His focus was the graphics he created to campaign against nuclear disarmament including The Committee of 100. Ken feels "we need more sneaky behaviour" when it comes to campaign design and techniques of message proliferation like that used for the poster below. The Underground committee refused the poster to be shown at tube stations unless they removed the word ‘Resistance’ as they felt it may encourage ’bad behaviour’. Ken did as they asked then had fellow supporters go out and re-post the word back on after they were stuck up. The other key take-out was his opinion that we should be wary of blanket bill-posting of campaign imagery due to it’s strong likeness to "the strongest brand identity of the 20th Century - the Nazi’s".

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