During his lecture, Neville Broday told us about his project:  The Anti-Design Festival, a response to the London Design Festival.
Here is the manifesto:
“We are living in an age where millions of colours became 256. Difference is the enemy. Generic culture hypnotises us all into generic patterns, where control is visibly invisible. Danger is replaced by fear. New means upgrade. Risk is obsolete. Art made money stupid, and money made us fools. We welcome no_use, no_function and no_fear. Anarchy, crash and burn, the new awaits.
From Learning to Earning, and now to Yearning, we have forgotten why we are here. We have lost touch with what made us tick, the fire of creative possibility that once consumed us from within.
Revolutionary thought is but a distant memory. I grew up as part of a generation that thought it could help improve society; that our sole function was to be conscious and to spread that consciousness through creative awareness, exploration, observation and questioning.
This generation was replaced by the Thatcher/Reagan paradigm of Culture=Money. Thinkers became earners, Creatives became entertainers, and a whole dumbed-down generation now feels entitled to success and profit without having to work or think too much.
We are now left with a spiritual hollowness. The belief systems of consumption and commodity have been exposed as empty. Revolution is a distant echo lost in the white noise, and religion has been largely subsumed by globalisation. Virtual experiences have replaced human touch. Analogue culture is now the exotic.
We have managed to create for our children, perhaps for the first time in history, a future which is less hopeful than the one we live in today (…)”

Posted on February 22, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Unfortunately, I didn’t attend to Nevile Brody’s lecture, I had a bookbinding workshop at that day. but Ive heard what he was talking about and it sounded very interesting, however after being in ADF website and reading its manifesto, I have to admit that it looks and feels like a bunch of cliches. Firstly I think that the manifesto bombards us with anti design branding propaganda, witch is in my opinion getting a bit outdated, and secondly I think that the design of the website is trying to hard to be different and cool. Does this is how an anti design festival should look like ? why does it have a designed website ? why does it have to have a logo ? the type looks like its making such a big effort to brake the rules that at some point It just feels a bit to much.

  2. I kind of agree in a way but just in a way! I think that even when making “anti-design” (if that it´s possible) , if you are communicating/promoting something so might choose to play the same game with different rules.
    The game here are the posters, videos, the website, the logo and their rule is to play with the legibility, colours to make a contrast.
    In my opinion anti-desing is not the absence of design but a contrast with the commercial design that it´s been done nowadays.

    • fionahasbadtaste

      Sorry I’ve not been here been v sick but back in the land of the living now. Hmm, interesting stuff! Really odd as some stuff I’m thinking about is much the same. I think you may have had to lived through the 80’s to get some of where he’s coming from. (I’m sure you’re both much to young to remember those days- I wish!). I’m sorry I missed this lecture I think I should have been there, Que sera! However I do agree with him about some things,Thatcher/Reagan paradigm of Culture=Money – but then again I’ve been reading an odd mixture of Lucacs, Adorno and Situationist Publications. I have also been reading news articles on the art markets which could also be applied to ourselves. On a more serious note I do think that if you’re interested you should check out the Situationist International’s ideas. Vive La Revolution! I personally am fed up with good taste which is often saturated with ideology that frankly seems to benefit a plutocracy, privileging the haves over the have nots. But then again I am an angry young woman. I am also fed up with everyone thinking the 80s was all synth pop and the human league. I don’t know where they were but my 80s contained a lot of riots, mass unemployment and deepening socio economic divisions. To quote someone else “it does in your brains”. And here we are back again same old schtick different stories, riots to boot. As for the aesthetic, yeah get angry, do sick, do bad and naff. The aesthetic says a lot itself about how they feel. I personally couldn’t agree more. Hint: if you hated that you’re really gonna hate me. Couldn’t believe it when I saw it I promise I haven’t ripped it off just something in the air. I agree the goal is to pose a counterpoint to commercial design. Yes its cliched, yes its been done before but I suspect they’re trying to mobilise a particular aesthetic for a particular time in order to draw parallels with past times, situations and events to raise peoples consciousness. Perhaps even to shock, upset and make people question design or their own practice? Personally I have had enough of a mass monolithic culture concerned only with creating commodities and commodifying and exploiting human beans into the bargain. In fact I’m so fed up with whats on offer in the main stream and so BORED by it that I am frankly considering going underground after the course, even if I only get an audience of one, at least I’ll get something that I want to engage with. I am rapidly coming round the thinking of Rob and Roberta Smith, make your own damn art and go in for institutional critique! Here’s a Situationist slogan from 1968 for you both “Boredom is counterrevolutionary” and from the student riots in Paris 2006 “We are the unfinished business of 1968.” Finally here’s one from moi for these awful times we live in “Good design is obsolete. Long live bad design.””Taste is tasteless.” – especially when it further serves to atomise and already disjointed society or places an exploitative aspirational culture in front society manipulating it into consumption and promoting debt. Last thought I ‘m beginning to wonder if there is such thing as good design? Perhaps there is only ideology. It appears for Mr Brody the writing is on the  wall, I mean, web. Interesting stuff Julia, thanks for posting.

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