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Immutable

Designing History

Onomatopee 199

Publication

Onomatopee 199, Chris Lee, 2021

Immutable

Designing History

!!! STREETDATE SOMEWHERE EARLY 2021 !!!
Immutable: Designing History explores the banal genre of the document and its entanglement with statecraft and colonial(ism/ity). This is framed as a ~5,000 year chronology, imbricating the developments of money and writing — from Mesopotamian clay tablets to distributed ledgers, like the blockchain. Immutability figures as a design imperative and hermeneutic for considering a variety of techniques (material, technological, administrative, etc.) of securitization against the entropy of a document’s movement through space/time, and the political.
This project is driven by a contrast: design educators tend to teach forms like logos, books, websites, etc., but not passports, money, property deeds, etc., in spite of these being, I contend, design’s most profoundly consequential forms.
As an alternative historiography, “Immutable” gestures both towards anthropologist Laura Nader’s call to “study up” (on those in power), and the radical educator Paolo Freire’s recognition of the “limit situation” as a generative condition for emancipatory praxis. The book’s aim is to orient graphic design towards the vocation of imagining, naming, and remembering beyond the horizons of its role as a managerial, administrative, and colonial instrument that imposes a rationality of vision and accountability upon what is knowable, thinkable and sayable.

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Bio
Chris Lee is a graphic designer and educator based in Buffalo and Brooklyn, NY. He is a graduate of OCADU and the Sandberg Instituut. His research/studio practice explores graphic design’s entanglement with power, standards, and the document. Chris is an Assistant Professor in the Undergraduate Communications Design Department at the Pratt Institute.

Dimensions
127mm x 197mm; 5” x 7.75” (portrait)
Pages
192
ISBN
978-94-93148-42-0
Author
Chris Lee
Graphic
Chris Lee
Language
English
Binding
Swiss Binding
Paper
Munken Kristall Rough 100
Color
2/2 PMS
Font
Burgess Pro, National
Image specs
50 duotone images
more specs

PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT AND ALL THE ROLES THESE PEOPLE EVER HAD IN ONOMATOPEE PROJECTS