The second part of my last lesson was looking at manifestos, and in particular Vorticism’s, BLAST Manifesto.
Vorticism was formed in 1914, through its London-based members who were artists that wanted to establish themselves as a radical group that were united in bringing art into a new era. They felt the current art needed updating as it was behind its time, and they developed a completely new aesthetic design and through their industrious efforts, it was seen by vast audiences.
Their Manifesto, BLAST was edited by Wyndham Lewis and inside, amongst illustrative artworks were pages of blast and blesses where the group hit out at or praised individuals/institutes/events and characteristics of particular situations.
Again, the inside pages show a very outrageous and provocative design where there is disturbance in the layout and typography. During 1914 this design would have been extremely unheard of and scandalous. On the left page, there is intentional blank space left on the bottom of the page and this would have been very uncommon and opposing to the view of traditional and proper language and literature design.
I very much like the design of this manifesto and think its quite abrupt in its layout. I think the experimental ‘play’ with typography is very effective in that it draws you in and makes you want to look – and this is itself is a trait of successful typography. Furthermore I enjoy the contrast of BLAST and BLESS and think it gives it quite a light tone to the overall experience of the magazine.
Continuing on with typography, another manifesto I came across which caught my eye was ‘The Holsee Manifesto. According to the companies founders, “they sat together on the steps of Union Square in New York to write down how they define success. The goal was to create something they could reflect back on if they ever felt stuck or found themselves living according to someone else’s definition of happiness.” – https://www.holstee.com/
Again, the experiment with typography is very evident here; whilst the type face is cleaner and easier on the eye, the layout in both the size and placing is still very playful and even abrupt in some aspects. However, the read still feels natural and easy, and the language is very instructive but at the same time very passionate and thoughtful.
Referring back to the BLAST Manifesto, it reminded me of this particular video from Scroobius Pip below in the sense that is is structured in a list format. It is very much one thing, and then the next, with little regard to narrative or continuation.
During the song the vocals form a rant at modern British culture. The songs message is essentially to like what you like and think for yourself, rather than to feel the need to get pulled in to trends and get caught in hype. The structure of the song is a manifesto in itself for individual behaviour of the people of Britain, although just produced in a different form of media.
I like the language and serious tone of the song and especially the message. As this weeks study task is to produce a manifesto and the theme was social media and participatory culture I have decided my manifesto would be a list of common trends of participatory culture within social media, in particular Facebook, and in the words of the Vorticist’s it shall BLAST them. And it Shall blast them in the tone of Scroobius Pip.
Thou Shalt Not invite you to play pointless games
Thou Shalt Not #Hashtag to death
Thou Shalt Not post pictures of everything they eat
lesacvspip. (2011) “Thou Shalt Always Kill (Original Video) Higher Quality – dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip.” Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWrMGXwhFLk [Accessed on 21/11/14]
Figure 1. BLAST Manifesto cover. Available at: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/64/Tate-blast.jpg [Accessed on 21/11/14]
Figure 2. BLAST Manifesto. Available at: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2NrJSTf7Cxc/UDN1xinswPI/AAAAAAAAACg/g0VkQICUKCM/s160/blast+no+1+review+of+the+great+english+vortex+page+11+copy.jpg [Accessed on 21/11/14]
Figure 3. Holstee Manifesto. Available at: http://www.tedxplazacibeles.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Holstee-Manifesto.png [Accessed on 21/11/14]