WE'RE GOING: COLLAGE CULTURE AT PRINTED MATTER

Printed Matter is pleased to launch Collage Culture, a new work of non-fiction (and part artists’ project) from Aaron Rose and Mandy Kahn, published by jrp | ringier. Please join us for a reception Thursday, November 17, 6-8 PM. Printed Matter is located at 195 Tenth Ave, New York, at 22nd Street.

Collage Culture examines the state of creativity in the 21st century, what authors Rose and Kahn call the “era of collage.” Are musicians, writers and designers busy with borrowing instead of creating work from scratch, and is this a crisis of contemporary culture? The book is a call to arms, urging the next generation of artists to turn away from collage and adopt a philosophy of creative innovation.

The book is comprised of two essays and an additional section of sixteen color pages including original works of art created especially for the book by graphic designer Brian Roettinger. With the help of artist/programmer Chandler McWilliams, Roettinger compiled 25 rules for collage-making and translated those rules into a computer application to produce the book’s center section.

The first essay, by Mandy Kahn, chronicles collage’s original forays into the realms of music, fashion, design, literature and architecture, with special attention paid to the birth and rise of sampling and mash-up in music. Kahn investigates why collage has become the it-expression of the new century.

The second essay, by Aaron Rose, examines how the current subcultural aesthetic is an amalgamation of those from movements of the 20th century, incorporating visual aspects from punk, new wave, the beats, and the hippie movement, but only externally—so that meaning, politics and message have been neutered out. What we’re left with is a collage of visual references without the guts.

For the occasion of the launch, visitors will be invited to use an I-phone app that creates artworks (supposedly) “devoid of influence,” and contribute to an organic collage work that will be constructed on-site.

Collage Culture, published by jrp | ringier in 2011, is softcover, 96 pages, measures 6.25 x 9 inches, and retails for $29.95. It can be purchased at the Printed Matter storefront or online here.

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