Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles
Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles
Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles
Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles
Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles
Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles
Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles

Dispatches and Directions: On Artist-Run Organizations in Los Angeles

Willem Henri Lucas, Los Angeles, California, 2010

Description

Project brief: ART2102 approached me to design what would be their final publication and project, Dispatches and Directions. The client wanted not only to document ART2102’s vibrant history as a critical platform for artists and curators in Los Angeles but also to emulate the organization’s role as a platform and a network by spotlighting a number of the artist-run collaborations that remain active in LA and that will continue to thrive as ART2102 recedes. They wanted the publication to provide not only space for these organizations to describe their work but also an overview of the legacy of ART2102 in light of the diverse range of programming emulated by these groups.

A publication in four parts, Dispatches and Directions features contributions from eight artist-run projects; thoughts and essays from numerous artists and curators; a directory of more than 60 artist-run and nonprofit organizations; and a specially commissioned “Star Chart” to help navigate the scene by artist Jim Skuldt. The publication deals with the issues of setting up artist-run galleries, informs about their importance in the LA art scene and encourages their existence. The writers struggled with four chapters different in length and worried that some of them would lose their importance. The commission also needed to be completed, from design to publication, in four weeks with a shoestring budget.

Approach: A publication on alternative, artist-run galleries needed an alternative book form. The aim was to combine the “annual report” from the established corporate world and the “handmade” artist book. The content was presented in four distinct chapters. In response, the book was conceptualized as a whole made up of four distinct parts: Each chapter is designed as its own separate booklet, each with its own cover and title. All four components are bound together with a metal prong fastener, which allows each booklet to have its own integrity as a stand-alone and maintains the integrity of the combined whole as well. Each booklet establishes its singularity through a different size and different color of uncoated paper stock. Since the publication looks back on the history of ART2102, the order of the chapters was reversed from the order in which the content was given, i.e. the index was first and the introduction was last. However, the size of the books (index is the smallest and introduction is the largest) makes reference to the original order of the content. A dust jacket, which doubles as a poster, is wrapped around the publication as a cover. We were able to work with the very limited budget by printing on inexpensive stock in black and white with one fluorescent spot color. The book was also printed as a limited edition of 500, which allowed us to meet the budget while increasing the book’s value as a specialty publication. ART2102 is distributing this book solely through a series of special events (panel discussions) that they are holding in conjunction with their final program series, via their website and distributor, Textfield Inc.

Effectiveness: The clients were very happy with the formal solution for their editorial problem and loved the overall look and feel of the publication. We were able to realize a creative solution to their project with a minimal budget.

Juror Notes

Everyone loved this book, which was actually a set of four modestly produced bound booklets in different sizes, wrapped in a poster showing the contents and folded into a dust jacket. Simple typography and a consistent graphic help hold it all together.

Collections: 50 Books/50 Covers of 2010
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book, Book cover

Credits

Design firm
Willem Henri Lucas
Designer
Willem Henri Lucas
Editors
Jesse Aron Green, Ronni Kimm
Publisher
ART2102
Trim size
8.5 x 10
Pages
160
Quantity printed
500
Typefaces
DIN, Garamond Premier Pro
Printer
ColorNet Press
Printing method
Offset
Client
ART2102
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