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Pictoplasma Publishing, Berlin
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
April 2009
Peter Thaler, Lars Denicke
Bernd Scherer
328
18,4 x 22,3 cm / 7.24 x 8.78 in
full colour,
hardcover

978-3-98104-587-1

45,00 EURO

THEORY OF CHARACTERISM

This 328 page and colorful publication, assembled on the occasion of the Pictopia exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in 2009, is the first to bring together essays by leading theorists and works by international artists, designers and illustrators, all investigating the aesthetic principle of reduction and abstraction in the design of anthropomorphic characters.

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The explosion of character design at the beginning of the millennium has changed visual culture distinctively. Graphically pared-down and bright-eyed pictograms spread like wildfire across digital media, advertising, fashion and art. By engaging the viewer on a direct emotional level they bypass language and cultural barriers – but do abstract designs really have the potential to fulfil a utopian fantasy of global visual communication? Contemporary artists employ a common visual vocabulary of archetypal forms and pop-cultural icons, reconfiguring these into startling, life-radiating combinations. Yet they remain trapped within the picture plane, while our physical existence is bound to reality’s imperfections.
The 328 page and colorful catalogue, published on the occasion of the Pictopia exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in spring 2009, assembles texts and works by international artists, designers and theorists, all investigating the aesthetic principle of reduction and abstraction in the design of anthropomorphic characters. Including work by AJ Fosik, Akinori Oishi, Ben Frost, Borris Hoppek, Daniel & Geo Fuchs, Doma, Doudouboy, Dylan Martorell, Edwina Ashton, Faiyaz Jafri, Fons Schiedon, FriendsWithYou, Gary Baseman, Golan Levin, Hideaki Kawashima, James Marshall, Jeremy Dower, Mark Ryden, Motomichi Nakamura, Nagi Noda, Olaf Breuning, Rinzen, Sam Gibbons, Shoboshobo, Tim Biskup and many more…
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With essays by Paul McCarthy (artist, Los Angeles), Jochen Gros (professor for graphic design, Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach), Kristof Nyiri (philosopher, Budapest University of Technology and Economics), Wolfgang Ullrich (art historian, Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe), Lev Manovich (media therory, University of California), Thomas Macho (cultural history, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Anneleen Masschelein (literature studies, Katolieke Universiteit Leuven), Kirsten Anderson (curator, roq la rue Seattle), Gregor Jansen (curator, ZKM Karlsruhe), Woodrow Phoenix (author, London), Peter Schneider (psychoanalyst, Zürich), Terry Harpold (literature studies, University of Florida), Brian Duffy (robotics, Paris), …