Image & Text : a Journal for Design - latest Issue
Volumes & issues
Volume 28, Issue 1, 2016
Author Jeanne van EedenSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 28, pp 4 –6 (2016)More Less
The second issue of Image & Text for 2016 is again an open issue, that is, it is not built around a specific them, but contains five articles that deal with current work by researchers. Two articles deal with the issue of the representation and consumption of African-American and Afrikaner cultural identity respectively in popular visual culture. Thereafter, one article focuses on the experiential properties of type, and the issue of design for sustainability is tackled in the next article. The last research article deals with an investigation of material conceptualism in the work of the fine artist Alan Alborough. In addition to the research articles, there is a conference report on People, images, a world. Images of human beings in missionary magazines during the time of the German Empire, held in Mainz. As always, there are common areas between the articles that indicate the richness of current research into visual culture.
From graphic passing to witnessing the graphic : racial identity and public self-fashioning in IncognegroAuthor Pramod K. NayarSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 28, pp 7 –26 (2016)More Less
This article studies Mat Johnson and Walter Pleece’s graphic novel about lynching, Incognegro (2008). It demonstrates how “passing” is central to the public self-fashioning, for public consumption, of the African-American, but it is a passing that enables the transgression into spaces of horrific racism, such as lynching. It then moves on to the portrayal of improvisation by the two main protagonists via the use of the erotic (Carl) and the acquisition of a dual cultural citizenship (Zane). The essay concludes with Zane’s fashioning himself as a crusader-witness by continuing to be ‘Incognegro’.
Imagi(ni)ng ‘alternativity’ : Loslyf, mainstream Afrikaans pornography and post-apartheid Afrikaner identityAuthor Marnell KirstenSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 28, pp 27 –58 (2016)More Less
At the time of its launch in June 1995, Loslyf was the first and only Afrikaans pornographic magazine in South Africa. Editor Ryk Hattingh was the primary creative force behind the magazine for the first year of its publication. During this time, Loslyf contributed towards the broader project of democratic expression in an expanding South African visual economy, as a simultaneously well considered and underrated (at the time of its publication) cultural product. As a powerful contributor to an Afrikaans imaginary (and a representation of a new Afrikaner imaging) emerging at a time of political renewal, Loslyf provides a glimpse into the desires, tensions and tastes of and for an imagined community potentially still shaped by a past ruled by censorship. The magazine can be seen as an example of an attempt at reinvesting the prescriptive and seemingly generic genre of pornography with cultural specificity and political content, with a view to making this genre more interesting and relevant, alongside an attempt to imbue stifling visualisations of Afrikaner/Afrikaans identity with the same characteristics. Whilst Loslyf succeeded in fracturing the “simulacrum” of pornographic representation, it also demonstrated that an image of this kind of “alternativity” is difficult to sustain.
Author Kyle RathSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 28, pp 59 –100 (2016)More Less
Letterforms exhibit a great many structural differences across a plethora of assorted typefaces. Opting for the elegance of Chronicle’s charming characters over a bolder Bebas brigade for example, suggests that the structural complexity of each typeface strikes a remarkably particular tone. In my view, these complexities embodied by the letterform are under-explored in design discourse (van Leeuwen 2005:138). I maintain that typography is largely viewed as inherently linguistic – as dependant on the rhetoric of language. Furthermore, I believe that the visual manifestation of type is really a visual manifestation of language, of thought – a “true art”. In my experience as a designer and design educator, I have observed that the majority of typographic exploration is limited to the semantic quality of type, where the appropriateness of letterforms – changes in their structural composition – are qualified by the degree to which they promote and elevate the conceptual genius of either language, illustration or other forms of parerga.
In this article therefore, I explore and illustrate intricate communicative facets of (Latin) letterforms as communicative entities in their own right. In doing so, special attention is given to type as experiential form. By this, I refer to connotations that we derive from our reminiscent and intuitive perceptions of “abstract” letterform shapes.
Design for Sustainability in Higher Education Institutions : towards a more responsive curriculum in Cape TownSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 28, pp 101 –130 (2016)More Less
In this article, the authors discuss the key findings from a study that investigated the level of awareness of, and engagement with Design for Sustainability (DfS) among three categories of actors within the Cape Town communication design fraternity: design educators, design students and design professionals. It focuses specifically on the degree of application of DfS within three selected Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Cape Town. A major gap in the teaching and practice of DfS was identified; these were the result of several tensions that existed within the academic space. The authors unpack these tensions and explore possible ways to enrich the education around DfS in order to build a community of change agents who are responsive to the environmental, sociocultural and economic impacts of their work. They showcase practical examples of how local designers have addressed sustainability issues positively through their design solutions, as well as highlight how communication designers can address the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Author Alison KearneySource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 28, pp 131 –147 (2016)More Less
Alan Alborough uses industrial materials like cable ties, plastic bottles, clothes pegs and fishing gut to create intricate installations that explore art-making processes and challenge the conventions of display and spectatorship in the field of exhibition. As a result, Alborough is regarded as a leading contemporary South African conceptual artist. Despite Alborough’s deliberate use of specific materials and the close attention he pays to the construction of his installations, much of the writing on Alborough fails to explore the apparent disjuncture between the material and conceptual in his work.
In this article, I investigate the relationship between the material and the conceptual in Alborough’s works. I argue that his preoccupation with materiality challenges the construction of conceptual art as a dematerialised art. I begin with a discussion of one of Alborough’s artworks that characterises his interest in the conceptual and material. I then consider some reasons why the materiality of Alborough’s works is overlooked. This is followed by a brief discussion of some challenges materiality poses for conceptual art. I recommend social anthropological theories of materiality which, when applied to Alborough’s works, are useful in revealing the ways in which this artist challenges the dichotomy of materiality and concept commonly associated with conceptual art.
People, images, a world. Images of human beings in missionary magazines during the time of the German EmpireAuthor Lize KrielSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 28, pp 148 –150 (2016)More Less
From 6 to 8 October 2016, I was privileged to attend a colloquium on the above topic held at the Leibniz Institute for European History in Mainz, Germany, sponsored by the Institut für Mainzer Kirchengeschichte and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. What follows is a fairly free English translation of the purpose of the colloquium as articulated by the organisers, and an overview of the presentations.