The Visual Archive

Critical Thinking and Making

December 2, 2019
by Pascal
Comments Off on WEEK 15 | Almost Final

WEEK 15 | Almost Final

This is the last time you will receive feedback in class before the finals. Develop Project A and Project B as far as possible and think about which feedback you need to finalize them.

This will be helpful for all your classes in art school. It also helps you better understanding somebody who is giving you a crit. Read. This. Now.

November 7, 2019
by Pascal
Comments Off on WEEK 12 | Visual Essay

WEEK 12 | Visual Essay

1 → Manifesto/Visual Essay (Project B)
Prepare the following steps for your visual essay:

→ Proposal: One paragraph about content and media channel: a book, a series of posters, an artist publication, (…)

→ Moodboard: Collect things that have the look and feel you will be going for. Arrange them into a digital collage (1600 X 1200 pixels) and upload to google drive before class.

→ Prototype: Use 1 to 5 images to create a quick prototype of your visual essay. This is the first sketch and it can be simple. It should be in the medium of your final work.

2 →  Inventory (Project A)
Continue the work. Use at least 25 pictures

3 → Expanding the Archive (optional)
Enact one more program developed by a peer?

Ellen Jonsson and Irene Albino: </unravel;> It’s Nice That

ASTRONOMICAL – The Movie from Mishka Henner on Vimeo.
Our solar system in twelve volumes. The width of each page is a million kilometers. On page 1 the Sun, on page 6,000 Pluto.

Manifesto by Julian Rosefeldt

Volume-No-3 by kristine Kawakubo (make sure to look at the other projects too)

Anissa”s Book by London-based studio proud

#oneSecond by Philipp Adrian. Visualizing 5522 Tweets within the same Second.

November 1, 2019
by Pascal

WEEK 11 | Ghosts & Designbots

In our google drive, you will find a PDF called “Exploration8_Designing Programs”. This is a compilation of programs developed by your peers. Select one that speaks to you (and your research) and enact it. Bring the described deliverables to class.

Continue the work on your Inventory (Project A). Add at least ten pictures of your archive to the prototype, print it, and bring it to class.

Talking about programs, this is a fun read: eye magazine, Ghosts of designbots yet to come
Automated graphic design and the rise of robot creatives – Francisco Laranjo files a critical report from the perspective of Christmas 2025

October 27, 2019
by Pascal

WEEK 10 | Individuals

We will be meeting individually in our usual classroom. You only have to come in for your time slot and can use the rest of class time for individual research. Make sure to be in time and bring all things listed last week. If you don’t find your name on this list send me an email.

12.00 Lucas
12.10 Keaton
12.20 Grace
12.30 Nittika
12.40 Manasi
12.50 —
1.00 Isabel
1.10 Lexie
1.30 Yiquian
1.40 Mengqi
1.50 Emily
2.00 Allison
2.10 Arunima
2.20 Ramita
2.30 Gabrielle

Installation view, ‘Julian Rosefeldt. Manifesto,’ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2018 © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018 Photo: Photo: Mario de Lopez @ Hauser & Wirth

Julian Rosefeldt, Manifesto: Project Website

Also by Julian Rosefeldt and not related but worth watching: In the Land of Drought

October 23, 2019
by Pascal
Comments Off on WEEK 9 | Designing Programs

WEEK 9 | Designing Programs

1 → Expanding the Archive
Develop a program (set of instructions) that can guide somebody else to develop new entries to the visual archive. It can be inspired by the methodology of an artist/designer, by a book you read or anything else (or just be your idea). Use the template provided in google drive. You can either enact your own or the ‘Typographic Systems” program for next week. Bring the outcome and printed instructions to our individual meeting next week.
→ Reading for this week: Designing Programs by Karl Gerstner (excerpt in google folder).

2 →  Inventory (Project A)
Develop a simple prototype for your Inventory. A prototype is a simple mock-up of the final product to see which elements work and which don’t. This can be sketched, hand-made, printed… Don’t develop this too far we just want to get your idea.

3 → Manifesto/Visual Essay (Project B)
Come up with a list of ten things you want to include in your manifesto. You can narrow this down later.
Dogme 95
De Stijl
First Things First (1964)
Yvonne Rainer’s “No Manifesto”
Print (source not confirmed)

Designing Programmes by Karl Gerstner: More images on Page-Spread

Monograph Review in eye magazine

Think program: Synopsis of the exhibition “designing programs/programming designs” by Karl Gerstner.

October 15, 2019
by Pascal
Comments Off on WEEK 8 | Field School

WEEK 8 | Field School

We will meet at 12.30 in front of David Zwirner Gallery, 533 W 19th. Read the instructions in the right column before we meet. Below is the itinerary and your assignment:

Introduction to the work of Roy DeCarava (2 min)

Take us to David Zwirner on 20th, 537 West 20th
Introduction to the work of Annie Albers (2 min)

Take us to 303 Gallery, 555 W 21st
Introduction to the work of Jeppe Hein (2 min)

Take us to to Gagosian 522 W 21st
Introductions to the work of Richard Serra (1) (2) (2 min)

Take us to to MILES MCENERY, 520 West 21st
Introduction to the work of Patrick Wilson (2 min)

Take us to Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, 521 West 21st
Introduction to the work of Sarah Sze (2 min)

take us to Gagosian (2), 555 West 24th

take us to Pace Gallery, 540 West 25th
Introduction to the work of Calder (2 min)

Take us to printed Printed Matter and tell us what this place is.

Sarah Sze@ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Field Trip
→ Before we go, click through the galleries / exhibitions and find the things you are most curious about.
→ Bring a camera / phone and make sure you document the day including the work inside the galleries but also things you come across in between.
→ Focus on the methodologies of the artists. If they would give you an assignment to create the next 10 images for your archive, what would their instructions be?
→ At home, take a look at all images again and select the ones that speak to your research inquiry (directly or indirectly) and add them to your digital archive
→ Also collect printed matter for your visual diary book.
Introductions to the work should not be longer than two minutes.

October 10, 2019
by Pascal
Comments Off on WEEK 7 | Inventory & Manifesto

WEEK 7 | Inventory & Manifesto

Chelsea Gallery Visit
Until Friday, Oct 11, 5pm:
For our visit to Chelsea on October 17, select two exhibitions that relate to your research interest and post a link to the gallery into this document. Add one sentence how this is relevant to the class or your research. The schedule for Oct 17 will be shared on this website. Bring your camera and take at least 100 pictures.Research:
See Saw Gallery Guide — APP
NY Art Beat — Website — Website

Found Objects
Until Thursday, Oct 24:
Use a printing technology of your choice—ranging from potato to risograph—to print visuals and/or words on found printed matter.
Occupied Mono
Karel Martens Process Video
jekyll & hyde

You will be using your growing visual archive to create two works:

→ Brief: Final Project A: Inventory
Document your visual archive: organize, translate, formulate and articulate its content. Print.
“zwarte strepen”—archive of a moment
Gerhardt Richter—Atlas
Herman Rahman
Otto Treuman monograph
Karel Martens (google drive)
Martin Venezky (google drive)
Pei Yu Sun (google drive)

→ Brief: Final Project B: Manifesto | Visual Essay
Use your archive to make a visual commentary on political, economic, ecological, or cultural concerns. Any kind of media.
Dogme 95
De Stijl


(1) Karel Martens, Untitled, 2018
Letterpress monoprint on found card, 127 x 200 mm, unique, (KM2018-05)
(2) Karel Martens, Untitled, 2018
Letterpress monoprint on found card, 127 x 200 mm, unique, (KM2018-04)

Optional Reading:
Art from bureaucracy
Sven spieker
(find it in our google drive)

September 26, 2019
by Pascal
Comments Off on WEEK 5/6 | Material Culture

WEEK 5/6 | Material Culture

→ Because of the Festival Of The New we will not be meeting on Oct 3. I will check in individually with you via email. Make sure you submit your Research Sheet on or before Wed, Oct 2 (see below).

For Oct 10:
Urban Lab Experiment 2
Traces of the Everyday

→ Step 1 — Observe 
Use pencil and paper to create rubbings of surfaces or things related to your research inquiry.

→ Step 2 — Animate
Use these rubbings to create an animated gif in Photoshop.
Frames: at least 10
Color: black and white
Dimensions: free, stay below 1000px

→ Step 3 — Share 
Upload the gif to our google drive.

Urban Lab Experiment 3
Found Objects

→ Step 1
“Browse” :
“See how you feel” by David Gibbs
“Triangle” by Bruno Munari
Fill in the Research Sheet template (google drive). Make a copy of the google doc, add your content, download as PDF and send it in an email to Pascal on or before Wed, Oct 2.

→ Step 2 — Prepare
Collect Material. For the next experiment we will use found objects and print on them. Start collecting printed matter that crosses your way: flyers, poster, newspaper, magazines, cheap books from STRAND…. Try to find things that fit your research topic but also allow randomness.
What??? → See examples in right column.

→ Bring your Laptop to class on Oct 10

Oskar Fischinger: Kreise (excerpt) Realized with  GasparColorStudie Nr 8. More about Fischinger on CenterForVisualMusic

Viking Eggeling: Symphonie Diagonale. Paper cut-outs and tin foil figures were photographed a frame at a time. More information about Eggeling on MonoskopMore about Eggeling and his work


Texture Rubbing Collection Sheet by OLIVIA SUH
City Rubbings by Alexis Williams
Rubbings from Rose City by Christopher Gossett
Rock Drawings by Richard Long Concept

Animated Gifs
Examples: 1 2 3 4 5

Found Objects
Occupied Mono
Karel Martens
jekyll & hyde

September 18, 2019
by Pascal
Comments Off on WEEK 4 | Urban Street Collages

WEEK 4 | Urban Street Collages

Urban Lab Project 1: Type Street Collages

→ Step 1—Prepare 

Based on your research inquiry, decide for a location in one of the 5 boroughs that you would like to visit. Select 7 feelings that are related to your research inquiry/research topic. These can be your feelings or those of a relevant community. You can use the provided list (Feelings Inventory) or come up with your own ideas. 

→ Step 2—Observe

Take a camera (mobile phone) and and spend at least two hours at your location. As a visual journalist, study the environment from different perspectives (zoom in, zoom out) and take pictures of lines & shapes, positive and negative spaces, patterns & textures, and typography & letters. 

→ Step 3—Create

Read “Understanding Comics”, chapter 5, pp 118-137.
Use your images to create 7 collages that express the feelings you defined before you went on your trip:
1. 7×7 inches, black on white only.
2. Apply the demonstrated method combining: Image>Adjustment>Threshold and “Multiply” layers.
3. Work with the concepts of balance, rhythm, pattern, emphasis, contrast, unity and movement.
4. Take into consideration how your seven collages become a series and represent the same thing in different ways. 

→ Step 4—Share

1. Print your collages (black only) on a white paper and crop them. Size: 7×7 inches.
2. Upload a PDF of all seven collages to the folder week 4 > Upload UrbanTypeCollages

→ Document your MiniZines
(see for examples) and upload 5 images to the folder week 3 > Documentation MiniZine

Printed Matter’s 2019 NY Art Book Fair (NYABF) takes place on September 20–22, 2019 at MOMA PS1. It can get quite irritating because of the absurd number of visitors but it is free and definitely worth a visit and a great inspiration for class. They also sell lots of interesting zines. If you go and buy anything, please bring it to class next week.

Also, don’t miss this:  Book as System: The Artists’ Books of Sol LeWitt, organized by curator and editor Emanuele De Donno, with the collaboration of the LeWitt Estate.

September 12, 2019
by Pascal


Design 3 Mini-Zines using the one-page folding instructions. Each Zine has 8 pages and a poster on the back.
You can use as many pictures as you want for each zine but they have to come out of your visual archive. You can crop and edit the images. Feel free to add new images to your archive but they have to be yours!

In case this is your first semester at Parsons, it might be enough of a challenge to create the digital files and get them actually printed. If this is your senior year, think about paper you always wanted to work with or even experiment with a printing technology that is new to you (e.g. our risograph).

Zine 1
Images are organized by formal aspects.

Zine 2
Images are organized by content.

Zine 3
Read “Beatrice Warde (1932) Printing Should Be Invisible [printed 1937]” (find it in our shared google drive)
Use text from this reading—letters, words, sentences, or full paragraphs—and create a narrative with these excerpts and selected images.

→ Also bring your Visual Diary book.

The Typographische Monatsblätter was one of the most important journals to successfully disseminate the phenomenon of ‘Swiss typography’ to an international audience. This is less about the typography but about the sequencing of covers.

→ Additional Introduction to the grid:
Ellen Lupton explains the history and usage of the grid
An Introduction to Grids and How-to by Andrew Maher

→ More inspiration

September 5, 2019
by Pascal
Comments Off on WEEK 2 | 10 Visuals, 20 seconds each.

WEEK 2 | 10 Visuals, 20 seconds each.

For each of your 10 images, find another 9. That gives you 100 images related to your research inquiry. 10 images out of your 100 need to be your own!

Out of your 100 images, print:
24 images size 4×3 inches
3 images 8×6 inches

You are free to choose which images you print and you can use the provided templates but don’t have to. Make sure to crop all images. Don’t edit them yet. Use them as found.

We are still at an early phase. You can change topic, images, ideas, perspectives whenever you want.

→ READ these two articles:
1—”Fuck Content” by Michael Rock
https://2× (scroll down)
2—”Grid Systems” by Josef Mueller-Brockmann, pp10-12
Find it in our google drive.

Inspired by the readings, come up with 10 ways to organize 24 pictures. Don’t do it! Write them down in single-line instructions and add these to the google doc “Instructions” in the folder week 2. Your instructions can be based on content or form.

August 28, 2019
by Pascal


This class explores the relationship between form and content: How is meaning constructed and communicated through visual language? Through observing, collecting, analyzing, writing, and form making, students apply design processes involving visual research, concept generation, and craft skills. 

Driven by research interest, you will use digital and analog means to build visual archives. These collections are approached as a resource of critical inquiry and to respond to current socio-political issues. 

So, what is your research interest?

A Pecha Kucha presentation (10 images, no Text, PDF, upload to the shared google drive into the folder week 2: PECHA KUCHA) and be able to talk about each image you select for 20 sec. Make a test at home. There are two options:

1. If you already have an area of interest (maybe based on your previous education), this presentation should cover diverse aspects of it. Don’t limit yourself. Broaden up.

2. If you do not have a specific area of interest, select 10 things that you consider relevant for living in 2019.

Add one last page to your PDF with the following sentence and fill in the blanks:
I am studying ___________ because I want to find out who / what / when / where / wether / why / how ____________

John Berger: Ways of Seeing, pages 7-10 (min)
Hillary Collins: What makes a good research topic?

Your Visual Diary

→ Martin Venezky’s Appetite Engineers Promotion Book

Examples for Visual Diaries:
→ Lance Wyman: The Visual Diaries 1973—1982. Every day Lance Wyman documents his creative process in his black “designlogs”. Help us publish Lance Wyman: The Visual Diaries.
→ More of a sketchbook. Paula Sher’s Typography Sketches

Occupied Mono was developed for a final year typography research project at The Queensland College of Art by Luke Robertson and Aaron Gillett.