Join us on Wednesday 15th June at 6pm GMT for the launch of Immutable, the second eBook published by the NN Contemporary Art Branch of Library Stack.
NN Contemporary Art and Library Stack are excited to announce the eBook publication of Chris Lee’s Immutable: Designing History, an alternative historiography of graphic design that traces formal typologies and technical developments across thousands of years. The book traces the evolving graphical techniques of money, passports, stock certificates, property surveys and other types of governmental paperwork to discern a kind of design imperative to immutability: a variety of material, technological and administrative techniques for securitization against the entropy of a document’s movement through space, time and politics. Immutable aims to help orient graphic design beyond its role as a managerial, administrative, consumerist or colonial instrument. To celebrate the new ebook, Lee will be in conversation with scholars Shannon Mattern (University of Pennsylvania), Lisa Gitelman (NYU) and design theorist Francisco Laranjo (Modes of Criticism).
About the Participants
Chris Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Undergraduate Communications Design Department at the Pratt Institute. His studio-based research explores graphic design’s entanglement with power and standardization, particularly through the genre of the document. He has exhibited his design work a member of the working group Collective Question, and his own clients have included the Toronto Biennial of Art, C Magazine, The Aga Khan Museum, The New York Times, The Van Abbe Museum, and Casco Art Institute, among others. His writing has appeared in Amalgam, Neshan, Decolonising Sesign, the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, Graphic, Volume, and Counter Signals.
Shannon Mattern is a non-anthropologist Professor of Anthropology at The New School in New York. Her teaching and research have focused on archives, libraries, media and information infrastructures, urban intelligence, mediated cities, field methods, and the connections between anthropology and design. Books include The New Downtown Library: Designing with Communities (2006); Deep Mapping the Media City (2015); Code and Clay, Dirt and Data: 5000 Years of Urban Media (2017); and A City Is Not a Computer (2021).
Lisa Gitelman is a media historian whose research concerns American book history, techniques of inscription, and so-called “new” media. Her second book, Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture, was published by the MIT Press in 2006. She has a recent edited collection, “Raw Data” Is an Oxymoron (MIT 2013), and a recent monograph: Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents (2014). She is currently appointed in NYU’s Department of English and the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication.
Francisco Laranjo is a graphic designer and researcher based in Porto, Portugal. His writings have been published on Design Observer, Eye, Creative Review, Grafik, Público, among others. He has been a visiting and guest lecturer at the Sandberg Institute (NL), CalArts (US), Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins, London College of Communication, Kingston University (UK), Zürich University of the Arts, University of the Arts Bern (Switzerland) and speaker at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Austria), University of South Australia (AUS), BAU (Spain), University of Porto, University of Lisbon, University of Coimbra, ESAD (Portugal), among others. Francisco has a PhD in graphic design methods and criticism from the University of the Arts London and an MA in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art. He is co-director of the Shared Institute, a research centre for design and radical pedagogy.
The event will happen on Zoom – a link will be emailed to attendees. This event will be live captioned, transcription will be available afterwards and it will be recorded for archival purposes. For help with how to set up Zoom and accessibility enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.