Troika : ‘Irma Watched Over By Machines’ (2019)

Once a camera has recorded an image in this way, and to then obtain a usable full colour image that mimics what the human eye sees, algorithms in the camera or in the computer interpolate the red, green and blue values for each pixel. The strangely green hue of the paintings is the result of there are being twice as many green pixels compared to red or blue, a method to counter the greater sensitivity to green light of the human eye.
We thus created an acrylic paint palette of 16 gradual colours of red, green and blues (48 colours in total), from dark to light. If downsampled – as the computer sees 256 shades of each – our palette very closely approximate computer colours. A Hi-fi paint version. 

Eva Rucky, Conny Freyer, Sebastien Noel
Troika, ‘Irma Watched Over by Machines’, 2019 | Troika (Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki, Sebastien Noel)
Troika, ‘Irma Watched Over by Machines’, 2019 | Troika (Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki, Sebastien Noel)
Troika, ‘Irma Watched Over by Machines’, 2019 | Troika (Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki, Sebastien Noel)
Troika, ‘Irma Watched Over by Machines’, 2019 | Troika (Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki, Sebastien Noel)
Troika, ‘Irma Watched Over by Machines’, 2019 | Troika (Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki, Sebastien Noel)

Source :

First TV Image of Mars (Hand Colored)

A real-time data translator machine converted a Mariner 4 digital image data into numbers printed on strips of paper. Too anxious to wait for the official processed image, employees from the Telecommunications Section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, attached these strips side by side to a display panel and hand colored the numbers like a paint-by-numbers picture.

The first ‘image’ of Mars from NASA’s Mariner 4 Mission team members for NASA’s Mariner 4 spacecraft, incredibly anxious to see the first up-close photograph of Mars, devised a way to see the image before it made its way to Earth by color-coding binary code on strips of ticker tape. The resulting collage became known as “the first image of Mars.” Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Hand-colored image of Mars from orbit.
First Mars Image Color Key
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Dan GoodsPublished: July 15, 1965

Photojournal: PIA14033

Le toucher – lecture croisée de Levinas et Merleau-Ponty

Jérôme de Gramont

Quand deux mains vont à la rencontre l’une de l’autre, il faut que l’une des deux s’approche la première. Commençons ou plutôt recommençons avec Le visible et l’invisible au moment où a lieu la fameuse expérience du touchant-touché. Merleau-Ponty en donne plusieurs versions, dont celle-ci : 

quand ma main droite touche ma main gauche en train de palper les choses […] le « sujet touchant » passe au rang de touché, descend dans les choses, de sorte que le toucher se fait au milieu du monde et comme en elles. (VI 176)

Toucher ma main quand elle palpe les choses c’est toucher deux fois – expérience qui n’a rien de simple, ou plutôt expérience élémentaire dont nous devinons qu’il faudra bientôt la décliner de diverses façons : comme toucher des choses, de mon autre main, et de la main de l’autre. L’une des forces de la description merleaupontyenne consiste à tenir ensemble ces trois dimensions. 

Art in the Age of Social Distancing

Dans cette conférence illustrée, le commissaire Cliff Lauson examinera la relation complexe entre la culture de l’image réalisée avec caméra et « l’économie de l’expérience ». Récemment, la plupart des pays autour du monde ont fermé leurs frontières et imposé des mesures de confinement en réponse à la pandémie mondiale. Cliff s’intéresse à la condition de la médiation éléctronique et l’actuel tournant extrême. Pour l’instant, l’art et les expositions peuvent seulement être expérimentés à travers nos appareils et écrans, ce qui teste les limites de nos sensibilités virtuelles.


‘What Do We Need to Talk About?’ post-Covid Zoom play

In his new play “What Do We Need to Talk About? The Apple Family: Conversations on Zoom,” which was live-streamed by the Public and YouTube, playwright-director Richard Nelson has brought together characters from a former piece, but each is now isolated in their upstate homes during this pandemic, connected only through the internet for this joint family call. With this play written during the last few months, Nelson creates the first original internet play that deftly responds to the form and the times.

A paper version of Zoom

Le prêtre Georges Nicoli célèbre la messe du Jeudi saint en live sur Facebook, dans l’église Notre Dame de Lourdes, le 9 avril 2020 à Bastia. Photo Pascal Pochard-Casabianca, AFP, parue dans Libération.

Images as a symbolic presence. A paper version of Zoom. Real life is starting a lot like contemporary art. This vernacular installation, taking place in a church, would have had its place at the exhibition Le Supermarché des Images, that le musée du Jeu de Paume just had to shut in the context of the Great Lockdown. The oddity of everything, the big cities empty streets, the extravagant self-made protective gear, the spontaneous online participative performances on Instagram Live and Zoom, the creative ways we see people coming up with in order to navigate this new reality, make it look like contemporary art has sneaked out of galleries and museums, and taken over the world as an alternative reality.

Erwin Van Den IJssel : Playgrounds 2020 – Main Titles

[Extracts of a text by Jenny Brewer]

When Dutch motion designer and animation director Erwin Van Den IJssel was commissioned by creative festival Playgrounds to make this year’s titles, the organisers had just decided to move the event online for the first time. The Playgrounds team wanted to provide a sense of community and inspiration for the swathes of designers working from home and struggling during the crisis, and in turn, Erwin knew from the outset that his treatment should celebrate the aesthetics associated with our shared situation.

“From the start I wanted to do something highly collaborative, and something that would feature the current circumstances rather than hide them,” Erwin explains. “To create kind of a tribute to working from home, together.” The same day he spoke to the festival, the director was in a meeting with his colleagues at production house The Panics, and quickly realised his chosen format. “It struck me how everyone is suddenly looking at the same thing; these online grids of different webcam views, little portals into everyone’s homes. I thought it would be interesting to combine this very modern thing that we have suddenly all become very familiar with, with something as traditional as stop motion animation.”

Erwin set about planning the animation and creating the 962 stills, then dividing the sequence into different parts. These were then printed and distributed to all of his 22 participants at The Panics, who pop up throughout the titles holding up their collection of frames. The whole thing took three weeks to make, including sound design and music by Amp.Amsterdam.

Playgrounds 2020 – Main Titles from The Panics on Vimeo.

Read the whole article here:

Suze May Sho : Project Probe

Probe #21 Ellen Boersma & Rob Sweere

In 2008 collective Suze May Sho built a small exhibition space in our studio in Arnhem. The space was called Probe (‘test’ in German) and was designed as a test lab for radical exhibition concepts. The space – open to public only online – measures a somewhat six cubic meters. Its dimensions were flexible: walls could be extended, doors removed, the floor made of glass, mirrors or wood.
Probe enabled artists to investigate their smaller works and sketches.

Studies for Probe > Space: rectangular / Reference: Malevich in The Last Futurist Exhibition ‘0.10’
Probe #20 Mirjam Kuitenbrouwer
Probe #22 Paul Bailey

Visit Probe’s online projectspace

Dina Kelberman: I’m Google


I’m Google (direct link) is an ongoing digital art project by Baltimore artist Dina Kelberman that documents digital patterns through non-artistic photography found on Google Image Search. When I first started scrolling through her Tumblr I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at: frame after frame of airplanes pouring orange fire retardant on fires which slowly morphed into an orange kayak and then an orange bridge and on and on until I realized every single image shared a slight visual characteristic with the image before it. Via her artist statement:

I’m Google is an ongoing tumblr blog in which batches of images and videos that I cull from the internet are compiled into a long stream-of-consciousness. The batches move seamlessly from one subject to the next based on similarities in form, composition, color, and theme. [… ] I feel that my experience wandering through Google Image Search and YouTube hunting for obscure information and encountering unexpected results is a very common one. My blog serves as a visual representation of this phenomenon. This ability to endlessly drift from one topic to the next is the inherently fascinating quality that makes the internet so amazing.

I cannot urge you strongly enough to spend a few minutes scrolling through this impeccably curated collection of seemingly mundane photography that collectively creates something visually transcendent.

Photographing the invisible: methane gas, by Jonah M. Kessel and Hiroko Tabushi

New York Times photographer Jonah M. Kessel and climate investigative reporter Hiroko Tabushi traveled to America’s largest oil field in Texas in roder to show us the invisible but dramatic extent of methane leaks.

Read the full article and see the original infrared videos here.

EagleClaw Midstream Pecos Plant​ Nov. 8, 2019,
Jonah M. Kessel for The New York Times

Here is Jonah M. Kessel’s article on how this was technically achieved.

The FLIR converts infrared energy into an electronic signal to create moving pictures. It relies on an external computer backup battery and is controlled by a laptop.
The FLIR converts infrared energy into an electronic signal to create moving pictures. It relies on an external computer backup battery and is controlled by a laptop.Credit…Jonah M. Kessel/The New York Times

“We used a custom-built FLIR A8389sc infrared camera to capture these images. The camera converts infrared energy into an electronic signal to create moving pictures. Its filter allows infrared wavelengths between 3.2 and 3.4 micrometers on the electromagnetic spectrum to pass through to the sensor. For reference, humans only see between 0.4 and 0.7 micrometers. In order to visualize the gas, the camera uses helium to cool the sensor to the temperature of liquid nitrogen, around minus 200 degrees Celsius. This requires a lot of power. So we had to lug around an external computer backup battery as well as a laptop that controls the camera. Our setup was not exactly nimble or discreet.

Instead of using traditional photography lenses, which are of course made of glass, the infrared images were created using lenses made from germanium, a metal that is transparent at infrared wavelengths.”

These clothes use outlandish designs to trick facial recognition software into thinking you’re not a human

Read full article by Aaron Holmes here:

In a study funded by KU Leuven, Simen Thys, Wiebe Van Ranst, and Toon Goedemé designed “adversarial patches”, graphic prints that can be added to clothing to baffle surveillance technology.
HKU Design/Jin-cai Liu
A portable device projecting a sequence of faces onto the wearer.
HKU Design/Sanne Weekers, a headscarf that confuses softwares with an information overload.
Cha Hyun Seok/Coreana Museum of Art, reusing WWI war ship dazzle technique with make up and accessories.
Martin Backes
Christine Butler/Courtesy of Zach Blas
the Facial Weaponisation Suite: collective masks made in workshops, modeled from the aggregated facial data of participants.
HKU Design/Jip van Leeuwenstein
The mask’s curvature blocks facial recognition from all angles but allows interaction with other humans by allowing facial expressions to be read.
National Institute of Informatics/Isao Echizen
Isao Echizen, a professor at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, designed the Privacy visor, googles fitted with LED that prevent facial recognition.

Dr Julius Neubronner’s Miniature Pigeon Camera

In 1902, German apothecary and inventor Dr. Julius Neubronner read a news report about pigeons and got angry. The news came out of Boston, where an American pharmacist was using carrier pigeons to deliver prescriptions. What so upset Dr. Neubronner was how the report entirely omitted the true pioneer behind the practice: his father, Dr. Wilhelm Neubronner.

Using a miniature, time-released camera and an aluminum breast harness, in 1907 Dr. Neubronner began experimenting with a novel way to capture aerial photographs: deploying a squad of pigeon photographers.

So Dr. Julius Neubronner, inspired by the slight, purchased some pigeons and began training them to deliver vials of medicine to a nearby sanatorium. He took a liking to the birds, evidently, because he soon integrated them not only into his family business, but into his personal passion: photography.

Neubronner sought a patent for his pigeon camera, and the German patent office initially rejected his application. Things changed when patent office officials saw the pictures themselves. Sure, they could have been taken by a hot-air balloonist, but the wings, visible on the periphery of the snapshot, gave up the true identity of the photographers.


Barbara Probst: A moment in space

Using a radio-controlled release system, Barbara Probst triggers simultaneous shots of the same event, gesture or action from different distances and angles. This moment multiplied into several views constitutes an exposure, a constellation of perspectives that induces multifaceted, sometimes contradictory readings of the image. Barbara Probst is not interested so much in what is represented as in the way it is represented. Using gestures, faces and objects that are as neutral as possible, she minimises the narrative character of each view and seeks a more open, more ambiguous rendering. She has always been intrigued by the 1960s writers and filmmakers who broke with classical narrative, like Alain Robbe-Grillet and Jean-Luc Godard. “Their way of storytelling was to go against the expectations of the reader or viewer by creating cracks and gaps in the story or by unexpectedly changing the perspective. They treated the narrative not unlike a cubist painter treated space…”
(Diane Dufour, Frédéric Paul, LE BAL)

One hour photo

The premise of One Hour Photo is simple: project a photograph for one hour, then ensure that it will never be seen again.

The experience of One Hour Photo is also, on the surface, simple, almost programmatic: project one work per hour, each by a different artist, for the duration of the exhibition; provide a simple, meditative space for viewers; finally, document the exhibition on this web site with release forms signed by the artists.

From this simple concept, a range of themes emerge, some of which we present below, many of which we leave to the viewer to discover and experience.

In One Hour Photo, photography’s original impulse to capture a moment, to freeze and frame it, is turned outward, to the experience of viewing itself. The hour is the exposure, the moment that is captured in the frame of a temporary, provisional observation. Each work ceases to be a photograph: it erases its medium, its status as art object, as it becomes a pure moment of perception to be experienced, framed, and captured by the viewer. In this sense, the viewer becomes the camera, recording the moment on the unreliable format of memory. The viewer also becomes photography itself, as it feels its familiar constructs slip away: permanence, reproduction, ownership, control. 

One Hour Photo is also a collective exercise in giving up control, of letting go. The release forms signed by the artists and curators serve as literal testament to this release.

A project by Adam Good, Chajana denHarder, and Chandi Kelley.

Mishka Henner

Using Google Street View, Mishka Henner collects images of isolated women in remote locations identified by research reports and online forums of people looking for sex workers.

With this work he raises the question of the rights of the subjects whose images are shared, stored and circulated online in an alienating process.

His use of satellite imaging began when he and his partner, Liz Lock, with whom he lives, were documenting prostitutes in Manchester in 2010. While researching locations on the Internet, the artist discovered that some women appeared in the Street View images, which led him to make Google Earth photographs of them soliciting along rural highways or freeway exits. This turned into his own series, “No Man’s Land.” With an eye in space, Mr. Henner said, he sees things he would never encounter with a camera on the ground.

(Philip Gefter, New York Times)

Franklin Till: The world’s favourite colour, for G.F Smith

FranklinTill is a futures research agency working with global brands and organisations to explore and implement design, material and colour innovation.

FranklinTill worked closely with master papermaker GF Smith and design agency Made Thought to research, develop and broadcast The World’s Favourite Colour project for Colorplan. Drawing attention to GF Smith’s bespoke colour service, the project invited people across the world, including the global creative industry, to consider and select their favourite colour using an innovative and interactive digital platform – attracting more than 30,000 votes from respondents across over 100 countries. The winner? Marrs Green – a deep, vivid shade with a strong hint of blue.

Joy Buolamwini’s work AI Ain’t I A Woman explores how AI can discriminate against minority ethnic faces

MIT grad student Joy Buolamwini was working with facial analysis software when she noticed a problem: the software didn’t detect her face — because the people who coded the algorithm hadn’t taught it to identify a broad range of skin tones and facial structures. Now she’s on a mission to fight bias in machine learning, a phenomenon she calls the “coded gaze.” It’s an eye-opening talk about the need for accountability in coding … as algorithms take over more and more aspects of our lives.

Hito Steyerl: Power Plants

Hito Steyerl is a German filmmaker and artist whose work explores the complexities of the digital world, art, capitalism, and the implications of Artificial Intelligence for society. Her recent artworks cover subjects as diverse as video games, surveillance and art production.

Steyerl’s series of projects at the Serpentine Galleries is positioned around ideas of ‘power’. Beginning from the premise that ‘power is the necessary condition for any digital technology’, the artist considers the multiple meanings of the word, including electrical currents, the ecological powers of plants or natural elements, and the complex networks of authority that shape our environments. She addresses the notion of power through three interrelated research strands and projects: Actual Realityos, a collectively-produced digital tool; Power Walks, a series of guided walks and a tour that draws upon conversations with campaigners, community groups and organisations in the local area surrounding the Serpentine, and finally this exhibition, Power Plants, which features new video installations created using artificial intelligence trained to predict the future.

James Bridle: New Ways of Seeing: can John Berger’s classic decode our baffling digital age?

The hidden architecture of surveillance … Bahamas Internet Cable System (BICS-1), 2015, by Trevor Paglen.
Photograph: Trevor Paglen/Metro Pictures, New York

(…) It’s one of the ironies of the present age that while we feel that everything has changed, our view seems to be unaltered. If you walk down the street, the buildings, vehicles and people all look much the same as in Berger’s heyday. The digital revolution is largely an invisible one – until you start to look closer. The people are mostly talking to themselves, or staring at their hands, and the banks, post offices and libraries are coffee shops, because most of their functions have moved online. As a result, we rarely “see” the digital world as it really is – even as it makes more and more claims over our lives.

In the first episode of New Ways of Seeing, I meet artists such as Ingrid Burrington and Trevor Paglen, who explore this hidden architecture of the internet. In New York, Burrington takes us inside 32 Avenue of the Americas, an art deco temple to telecommunications dating from 1932, when it was the headquarters of AT&T’s transatlantic network. The atrium contains a grand mural depicting nation calling nation across the telegraph wires – but Burrington also shows us the manholes and markings on the street outside that allow us to read the fibre-optic cables snaking under the city today.

Paglen in turn takes us to the bottom of the ocean, where he photographs the same cables that connect nations today. We’ve got used to hearing about “the cloud”, the numinous neverland where the machines do their unseen work, but this is where it comes back down to earth. Looking at a map of the ocean-going internet, we can see how its real shape maps on to the trading routes of old empires; how former colonies are still dominated by connections to their old rulers, and forms of digital colonialism persist into the present. It’s artists who are mapping these sites in order to try and draw a truer picture of the world today, one so often hidden under glass, buried under the ground, or concealed in lines of inscrutable code. (…)

Read the whole article here:

Listen to the podcasts:

Jonathan Jones: How to use John Berger’s ‘language of images’ on Trump, polar bears and Kim Kardashian

In the 70s, the late critic revolutionised our appreciation of the visual arts. How do his ideas translate to contemporary culture?
Photograph: Jerome Delay/AP

A statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Firdaus Square, Bagdhad, April 2003

Berger was strongly influenced by Marxist ideas of class struggle. In Ways of Seeing, for instance, he calls such art historians as Kenneth Clark “a privileged minority … striving to invent a history which can retrospectively justify the role of the ruling classes”. What might he see here? A statue of an authoritarian ruler is being pulled down in what looks like an image of liberation. It is a picture that evokes revolutionary hope and yet shows the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s image after the US led invasion of Iraq. Few see this as a hopeful image now. It marks the birth of a new age in which left and right often look bizarrely similar, when, for instance, the champions of Brexit can sound like French revolutionaries denouncing elitist “enemies of the people”. It might have stumped Berger, but not Karl Marx himself, who in his most subtle essay, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, writes that the new often wears the robes of the past. A conquest borrows the garb of liberation, a rightwing reaction dresses itself as a peasant’s revolt.

Photograph: PR

Kim Kardashian on the cover of Paper magazine, September 2014

“A woman must continually watch herself,” says Berger in Ways of Seeing. “She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself.” These words written in 1972 apply uncannily well to this image of Kim Kardashian. The queen of self-promotion has embraced what Berger saw as the oppressive demands of patriarchy. Does her self-portrayal and the hypersexualised selfie age confirm or mock his analysis of the nude? The early 70s saw a feminist intellectual revolution and Berger brought a feminist perspective on art into the mainstream. He argued that Renaissance paintings of the female nude by the likes of Tintoretto and Bronzino are just as much instruments of male power as are modern porn images. It has all got so messy since then. Perhaps every would-be Kardashian taking a saucy selfie is a self-oppressing victim of the patriarchy, but that’s a lot of false consciousness to go around. As with any severely moralising critique of modern life, you risk dismissing the people as idiots. I would argue that Berger also got Renaissance art wrong, as some of the paintings he condemns can be interpreted as sex guides that put all the stress on female sexuality (he sees Bronzino’s Venus and Cupid as an objectifying image and misses the fact that Cupid is pleasuring his mum). It all comes down to ways of seeing.

Read the whole article here: How to use John Berger’s ‘language of images’ on Trump, polar bears and Kim Kardashian

Cooking with Scorsese, Hato

Iron-cooked ham and cheese sandwiches, cailles en sarcophagi, explosive pissing beef balls; low, high, accessible, obscure, comical – food, like art, is served up in various guises, but whatever form it takes, it shares the common traits of being a stimulant as well as a necessity for living. Food and art also share a common space at the heart of Hato’s practice. Each day they serve up a communal afternoon meal, creating an opportunity to down tools and enjoy the moment. Now, with this book – a black- and-white trailer for a full colour feature to be published soon – they welcome you to join in this homage to both food, and to films that celebrate eating in all sorts of compelling ways. – Ananda Pellerin, Editor, The Gourmand

Cooking With Scorsese Vol. 1 by Hato Press


The Clock, Christian Marclay

A major work by New York–based artist Christian Marclay, The Clock mines the history of film for moments from everyday life and thrilling only-in-the-movies events that indicate the passage of time. Synchronized with local time, cinematic and actual time run parallel in a 24-hour montage.

Sobriety coins

sobriety coin is a token given to Alcoholics Anonymous or other 12 step group members representing the amount of time the member has remained sober.

When a twelve-step member is presented with his or her first chip, they are often told, “This chip represents AA’s commitment to you – not your commitment to us”. Sobriety coins themselves do not necessarily help the holder stay sober, but studies have shown a connection between the visual presence of the coin and the holder’s self-resolve. The coins are meant to motivate the holder to continue their abstention from the subject of their addiction.

How to Wrap Five Eggs: Traditional Japanese Packaging by Hideyuki Oka


Sections of fresh bamboo are split to form the sticks for these traditional candies from the old castle town of Sendai. The holder is also of bamboo, and the arrangement, suggesting sprays of flowers, displays both the charm and the great usefulness of the plant.


 Ordinary rice straw is used imaginatively to create a most functional and beautiful container. Since a set of items in Japan is five rather tha half a dozen (five teacups, five cake plates, and the like), this carrier contains just five eggs. Devised by farmers in Yamagate Prefecture in northern Japan, it is an example of packaging born of rural necessity. Interestingly enough, it seems to emphasize the freshness of the egg.

Walking Type Workshop


Join me on a walking type workshop on Saturday the 18th February, an event organised with Moments Like This, a multi-disciplinary art and design practice curating convivial events as a way to generate research and outputs addressing environmental, social, cultural, political, and economic issues.

We will leave from Shoreditch Church at 11 am and walk our way through Hoxton across estates, victorian, georgian and vernacular architecture and new developments, looking for letters in the buildings around us.
Fellow walkers will be asked to share their finds on twitter with the hashtag #walkingtypeworkshop to later re-trace them and this way create a collective letterform.

Graphic Gathering, V&A


On the 3rd of October 2016, I will be participating to the Graphic Gathering in the Raphael Gallery of the Victoria & Albert Museum, with a performance-based typographic workshop for 14 to 18 year olds and their teachers, working on a brief set by BBC Radio 1 to promote their New Music Friday playlist. Other participants include Studio Hato, Zoe Payne and Bethan Durie.

Book Launch at the Whitechapel Gallery


We would love you to join the launch of our new book Big Letter Hunt London at the Whitechapel Gallery on Thursday 1st September at 6.30pm.

This new book, published by Batsford Books, is a super colourful version of The Big Letter Hunt in the East End of London for our fellow typography, architecture and London lovers. Our new architectural treasure hunt winds its way past some of our favorite London spots such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum, as well as 20th century architectural gems like the Barbican, the Brunswick Centre and the Southbank Centre. It includes a glossary with quirky facts about each of the buildings where our specimens were found (did you know that Liberty’s façade had been built from the timber of two ships?!), as well as an alphabet poster.


Come say hello, get your copy signed and watch a projection of giant letterforms sent to us by our friends from across the world. It’s not too late to have your building-letter featured! Please Tweet or Instagram your finds tagging #bigletterhunt and you’ll also be entered into a draw to win a copy of Big Letter Hunt London.

Big Letter Hunt: London

This has been a busy year so far.
I’ve had a baby and quite a lot of interesting projects which sometimes are almost babies of their own kind.

One of the most exciting ones was a second book with my partner in crime (and architect!) Rute Nieto Ferreira. This new publication brings together pretty much everything we both love and got us to even meet at first: photography, architecture, typography, children, playfulness, exploring London.

Big Letter Hunt: London is an alphabetical picture book for both children and adults that takes the readers – young and old – on a tour of England’s capital to find giant letters hidden among the city’s buildings and streets. The architectural treasure hunt winds its way past London landmarks such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum, as well as architectural gems such as the Barbican and the modernist Brunswick Centre.

Letters also appear in the skyscrapers of the City of London, on tube stations and in the detailing of windows and facades. Some letters are easy to spot while others need a closer look. Rute and I obviously got quite contagiously obsessed with this game and have been sharing our finds since, both between ourselves and with our friends from around the world (#bigletterhunt, in case you want to join!).

The book includes a glossary with quirky facts about the buildings where our specimens were found, a map to follow the letter hunt around the city, and a A-Z poster to hang on the wall hidden at the back of the book jacket!

We’ll be signing books at the Whitechapel Gallery bookshop on the 1st of September; meanwhile please please please do share YOUR own letter finds online using the tag #BigLetterHunt @amndne or @towerblockbooks for a chance to win a copy; your letters will be projected at the book signing! Can’t wait to see your catch!

Big Letter Hunt: London is published by Batsford/Pavilion Books and is available from Foyles, Tate, the British Museum, probably your local bookshop (if not, ask!), and of course online from the usual suspects.

100 hands typeface: Typographic workshop at Ravensbourne College

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I was recently invited by Maiike Van Neck to plot a typographic workshop for 50 Graphic Design Students at Ravensbourne College in London.

I asked the students to take advantage of their critical mass, and of the large open-space building of Ravensbourne, which offers a birds-eye view from 4 stories.

The students slipped into white overalls for uniformity and contrast on the dark floor, and worked in groups, each team art-directing the rest of the small crowd to perform their idea of human typography. Some used the individuals as pixels, others had a go exploring motion blur, while others organised a human chain that could be choreographed to elegantly (and efficiently!) merge from one letterform to the next.




More about the workshop here.

All pics and GIFS by the brilliant students of Ravensbourne.

Now Play This


Rute Nieto Ferreira and I are showing the games we are playing in our heads finding letterforms in architecture with the big letter hunt (see Tower Block Books) this weekend at Now Play This at Somerset House, as part of the London Game Festival.

The festival explores the notion of games: the ones you play on your own, or in teams, on tables, under tables, on screens or in person.

A limited edition of Big Letter Hunt prints will also be available to purchase on the spot, and I’ll give a 5 minute talk on games on Friday afternoon at 5pm.

1 – 3 April 2016,
Somerset House

The typographic form in the Umbrella Movement


“No to Pre-selected Candidates” banner on a back-lit bus shelter advertising. Unintentionally combining the written banner with the calligraphic artwork of a property development artwork.

In a city where the majority of writing is finger scribbled on the screen of a smartphone, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement has developed into an unexpected platform for handwriting and handmade typography.

Creative Review – Words of the Umbrella Movement.

Friday Late at the V&AWhat the Font?


One Word at A Time is a classic improv theatre exercise:
in a circle, a story is started, with each person in turn adding one word.

Join us and dress up as a human letter as part of a typographic performance;
form words with other visitors and watch as a story unfolds through the evening.
Each word will be photographed so that you can decide what word to contribute next, and you can follow the story live on my twitter account @amndne.
See/Read you there!

Friday 28 November 18.30 – 22.00
Raphael, Room 48a

The Creative Process talks at the V&A


Last week I was one of many speakers invited by Curator to discuss design process
at the V&A Friday Late programme on curating, called Collections of Collections.

Using the Curator App, which has been my tool of choice for a while anyway (honest!), and no more than 25 slides, a performer, food designers, a baker, a curator, editors,
art directors and a couple of product designers discussed work processes and research rather than actual outcomes. The variety of practices and the rather snappy rhythm contributed to keeping the level of excitement high, when the huge amount
of information could have been totally overwhelming; the use of Curator allowed seamless transitions within the presentations and from one to the next, keeping
the flow of the discussion.

It’s always the greatest reward to see people in the audience giggle when discovering my work. In a separate talk, my new partner in typographic crime, Rute Nieto Ferreira, also explained the process behind The Big Letter Hunt, and how at the origin of our work is something called apophenia, or the fact of seeing patterns or connections (OR LETTERS!) in random or meaningless data (OR BUILDINGS).

This also reminded me how much I love Friday Lates at the V&A; that’s something I will now be looking forward to. The next one this month is on Typography, more about this soon!

Big Letter Hunt: Re-launch & Workshop


So last Sunday was the launch of the second edition of The Big Letter Hunt ( also back on our webshop!), in the context of Hackney with a Twist, organised by L’Entrepôt.

Rute Nieto Ferreira, who I imagined Tower Block Books Publishing with, and I had also prepared various workshop activities for young hunters: Letter Hunting in a book, Letter Hunting/coloring in large urban landscape photographs, and dressing up as letters, with some interesting typographic interpretations there!

Making it happen


I was invited to talk about my work in the brand new building of the School of Art of Bedfordshire University, in Luton. This was the first of a series of talks called Making it Happen, organised by Becky Ford. Very impressed by the attendance, and amount of questions at the end, which is always great.

I’ve taught there a few years ago, but the energy was quite different this time (in a good way); it probably helps to gather the arts in their own very open space (totally sans corridors!) building. I’ll be back!