Notes, Misunderstandings and Fan Art

2019 - ongoing

“Notes, Misunderstandings and Fan Art” is an ongoing series of typography based posters. They revolve around themes such as art history, pop culture and natural science. These areas is of great interest to me and the posters servers as a casual way to engage with these subjects. Needless to say I’m not a professional in any of these areas therefore the posters could be thought of as a kind of fan art. Fan art is usually thought of as a fringe phenomenon not worthy of serious creative effort but maybe fan art can be a legitimate form of artistic expression? Maybe the fact that I am an amataur to these areas opens up some interesting possibilities of misunderstandings and misinterpretations leading to new and (arguably confusing) connections. Maybe the great strength of being a professional designer is that you can engage with other subjects as a complete amateur in a somewhat authoritative way? The artist is always expected to be a mad man…

“Stairway to Heaven” 2019, digital print on 170g silk A2 posters. From the modernist idealism of Mies van der Rohe (Less is More) to the postmodernism of Robert Venturi (Less is a Bore) over the sarcastic nihilism of Philip Johnson (I’m a Whore) to the neoliberal pragmatism of Bjarke Ingels (Yes is More). A century of architectural discourses simplified and distilled into a list designed like a stairway that can be both ascended and descended. There is probably more people who have chipped in on Mies original quote (notably Rem Koolhaas with “More is More) but I feel that the ones selected for the poster is sufficient to describe some mega trends in the past century of art history.

“FEMA” 2019, digital print on 170g silk A2 posters. The three sentences being gradually deconstructed on this poster is all seen in the intro sequence for the television show The X-Files. The show mixed b-movie plots with 1990s paranoia and distrust in government to created some highly effective and exciting television. The somewhat provisional intro featuring the eerie X-files theme song captured not only the mood of the show but also pictured the zeitgeist of the era. This is a piece of fan art through a typographic interpretation and homage to the iconic intro sequence.

“Kaboom” 2019, digital print on 170g silk A2 posters. This poster features a poem consisting only of onomatopoeia (words imitating sounds). The words is organised is a casual manner almost like a drunk wobbling through a narrow side street on the the way back from a long night at the dive bar.

“Utzon” 2019, digital print on 170g silk A2 posters. This poster features a list of locations where the Danish architect Jørn Utzon has build projects. Utzon achieved worldwide fame with his winning design for the Sydney Opera house. The list is a testament to the distinct geographic scattering of his buildings while the relatively few locations points to Utzon’s turbulent career. Utzon left the Sydney Opera House project half way through due to political pressure from the Australian government. Afterwards Utzon struggled to get commissions partly due to massive distrust from the Danish architectural community. He did however manage to complete masterpieces like The Kuwait National Assembly, Bagsværd Church and his own houses on Mallorca. The poster is a kind of Utzon fan art that seeks to highlight the bumpy career of this remarkable architect. He was ahead of his time and did only received the recognition that he deserved very late in his career (He received the highest honour in architecture, The Pritzker Prize, in 2003 as the only Dane ever). The typography on the poster in inspired by printed matter from Utzon’s architectural studio where he often used bold extended typefaces with all letters in lowercase.

“M-theory” 2019, digital print on 170g silk A2 posters. Various concepts from theoretical physics and astronomy organized in a circle and gradually dissolving towards the center. The circular layout could be referring to the accretion disk of a planet, radiation from a star, the event horizon of a black hole, the orbits of planets, the electron’s paths around the nucleus of an atom, a wormhole through space and time, elementary particles or gravitational waves propagating outwards.

“Prefix Movement” 2019, digital print on 170g silk A2 posters. Movements within art and politics seems to be having a weak spot for prefixes. Here the prefixes has been liberated from their stem words and is floating around the poster in a spacious grid. The prefixes is left by themself and can attach to whatever words comes floating by. A kind of meaningless manifesto of sorts.

“Oh, Oh, Oh” 2019, digital print on 170g silk A2 posters. This poster consists of choruses from various pop songs organised into one continuous lyric. The respective choruses all have in common that they are based on nonverbal sounds instead of actual meaningful words. Songs using these kind of choruses has been the subject of their fair share of ridicule, so the poster is a kind of homage or support to this lyrical phenomenon.

“Complementarity” 2019, digital print on 170g silk A2 posters. “When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry” is a quote attributed to the Danish physicist Niels Bohr. Bohr made significant contributions to theoretical physics especially to quantum theory. One of Bohr’s key insight was that the realm of quantum mechanics (the theory governing the world at subatomic scales) was fundamentally different to our everyday understanding of reality. It can even be argued that reality, as we know it, breaks down at those ultra small scales. Bohr did not find language sufficient to describe what was going on in the indeterministic world of quantum mechanics and thus evoked the comparison to poetry. On the posters the quote is gradually dissolving as a kind of metaphor for the counterintuitive world of theoretical physics.