Thursday 4 August 2011

Mail-Order Trash

Trash has traditionally been seen as the unnecessary by-product of progress: the further we advance, the more trash we generate. But what about the discarded trash of our popular culture? All our bad ideas and mistakes that continue to fascinate us so – and fascination is always a sure sign you’re going to hate yourself in the morning…

In an attempt to placate our bad consciences we try to make an aesthetic out of ‘recycling’, which becomes the return to some undifferentiated material nirvana in which things are neither one thing nor another, distinct from each other, but the suspended – that is ‘sustainable’ – expression of a process. Suppose for one moment, however, that the hidden thinking behind this process has a psychology to it for which we are not yet prepared…

King Ludwig II of Bavaria had made plans for all his castles to be blown up after his death, so no one else could look at them – fortunately his palaces were spared and the masses are allowed to visit this extravagant Wagnerian Disneyland he created of swans and princes, grottoes, halls and artificial waterfalls – expressions of conspicuous waste…
I am pleased to announce that the catalogue accompanying April’s Pretty - Ugly event is now available by mail order from Hato Press on extremely reasonable terms. A twisted and debauched compilation that would still be ravishingly cheap at twice the price, it reproduces – in gold ink no less – an early draft of my ‘Rough Notes Towards The Psychoanalysis of Trash’: a preliminary study for a new work in progress. Make some poor kids happy this summer and order a copy today. Details as follows:

Pretty—Ugly was a series of events organised by the second year students of MA Communication design at Central Saint Martins. “Pretty ugly” is a casual phrase and a paradox imbued with a range of subtexts: aesthetics and anti-aesthetics, desire and repulsion, interest and disinterest, polish and sincerity… Through workshops, an exhibition, a series of talks and an auction, we sought to raise a critical discussion on the subject of contemporary “undesign.”

Author: Various
Editors: Angela Pescolderung, Hana Tanimura, Isabel Sierra y Gómez de Leon, Jens Dan Johansen, Shi Yuan
Publishers: (Same as above)
Designers: Hana Tanimura, Jens Dan Johansen, Shi Yuan
Pages: 100pp (50 sheets) plus a 20pp booklet-insert
Dimensions: A5 (148 x 210 mm)
Price: £8
P&P to UK: £3

Related posts:
‘How to Archive Yourself’on Radio 4
Rough Notes Towards The Psychoanalysis of Trash

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