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Sternberg Press publishes Mari Shaw's new book

Happy @#$%&?! Holidays from this Special Character Book Designer.

Books. Mari Shaw, Paul Chan and new bookstore, Ulises, in Philadelphia

Posted 11/19/2016

Inside the entrance at Ulises in Fishtown, Philadelphia. Photo by Ricky YanasInside the entrance at Ulises in Fishtown, Philadelphia. Photo by Ricky Yanas

 

New independent art bookstore in Philadelphia now open!

Mari Shaw knows of what she speaks AND writes! After designing Thomas Chimes, Painter and Pataphysician with her, I am now fully engaged in the design of a new series of books she is writing for Sternberg Press in Berlin. Each week brings intense and inspiring conversations between us on books, reading, book design, art, libraries, archiving, history and more.

"On Saturday, November 12, Ulises, a honey of a new independent bookshop dedicated to artist books, independent art publications, and publishing and art activities will open its doors at 31 E. Columbia Avenue (the corner of Columbia and Front Streets), with a stocked reading room, more than 300 titles for sale in its shop, and a bit of hoopla."

http://www.theartblog.org/2016/11/ulises-art-books-talk-and-performance-in-a-book-store/

http://ulises.us/

"Ulises is named after Mexican artist Ulises Carrion (1941-1989) and inspired by the bookshop he founded in Amsterdam in 1975, Other Books and So. Other Books and So (1975-1978) became a vital cultural center for exhibitions, collaborations, performances, and the making and publishing of artist’s books, and later, an archive. In Carrion’s conception, an archive is a work of art that has no set time limit."

https://monoskop.org/Ulises_Carri%C3%B3n

Ulises Carrión emerging from Other Books and So, Amsterdam, c. late 1970s
https://monoskop.org/File:Ulises_Carrion.jpgUlises Carrión emerging from Other Books and So, Amsterdam, c. late 1970s https://monoskop.org/File:Ulises_Carrion.jpg

 

When Mari and I first started working together, Mari spoke highly of Paul Chan and of his deep interest in the book. His work plays a significant part in the first volume of the series for Sternberg Press. The massive 1,092 page New New Testament is stunning evidence of this obsession. Winner of Most Beautiful Swiss Book Award and Bronze winner at the Frankfurt Bookfair Stiftung Buchkunst, I highly recommend taking the time to find a copy for further investigation.

http://www.chadkloepfer.com/paul-chan-new-new-testament

Mari wrote an in depth look at the exhibition, Paul Chan — Selected Works at the Schaulager, Basel, Switzerland (May-October 2014) on the Artblog. Here is part one of that series of four:

http://www.theartblog.org/2014/09/paul-chans-selected-works-at-the-schaulager-mythos-part-1/

New New Testament and other publications by Paul Chan can be found here:

http://paulchan.schaulager.org/paul-chan/en/informationcontact/publications.html

 

New New Testament by Paul Chan. First edition 2014, 1092 pages, with color reproductions, German and English, hardcover. Schaulager, Basel.New New Testament by Paul Chan. First edition 2014, 1092 pages, with color reproductions, German and English, hardcover. Schaulager, Basel.

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EMKS in situ

Löydä Uusi Maailma, Avaa Kirja

Posted 7/5/2016

Discover a new world, open a book. Sastamala, FinlandDiscover a new world, open a book. Sastamala, Finland

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Listening

Posted 3/29/2016

Listening to a selection of books about music in the EMKS office library.Listening to a selection of books about music in the EMKS office library.

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An early state of the EMKS office in central Finland.

Music accompanying some of the books designed by John Hubbard / EMKS.

Reference books in the EMKS office

And So It Was Written . . . and Designed (by John Hubbard)

Posted 1/1/2016
 John Hubbard in the EMKS office, Finland. 2013John Hubbard in the EMKS office, Finland. 2013
 
 

 *Originally published on the Degenerate Art Stream, May 23, 2013

 

Tervetuloa! Welcome!

My name is John Hubbard and I’m the next curator of the Degenerate Art Stream! I’ve been asked to say
a few words about who am I, what I do and so on, so you, the reader, have some context for the material presented here over the next two weeks. My primary occupation is as a museum book designer—
cover-to-cover, cradle to grave, manuscript to printing press book design. I design other things, take
many photographs, read books and listen to almost more music then there is time in a day. I designed
and photographed everything posted today, except as noted. Future posts will include my obsessions, inspirations and that which acts as some sort of whimsical diversion.

 

New Life, New Appreciation

As I approach the age of 50, I find myself at the beginning of a new life . . . that of my 20-month-old
daughter, Ava Sofia. Saija and I met by chance—the best kind of meeting—at the birthday party of a
mutual friend three summers ago. Needless to say, our shared interests in music, art, books, architecture, photography and more led to the very fruitful gift of our daughter, Ava Sofia. The only bump in the road
was that Saija lived in Finland, visiting Seattle for only six months to study Finnish-American architecture.
We discussed sharing time between two cities but after my first visit to Finland, I was hooked and ready
to move. Mind you, I lived in the Seattle area since 1968, growing up on Mercer Island, with deep roots
of friendship and connection along with a healthy collection of books, records and ephemera to support
and inspire my occupation as a book designer. Decision made, we packed up my entire life into a 40-foot shipping container, weighing in at close to 9 tons when finished, and shipped it off to Helsinki. 

 

 Saija holding Ava Sofia at Powell’s Bookstore. Portland, Oregon. March, 2012Saija holding Ava Sofia at Powell’s Bookstore. Portland, Oregon. March, 2012

 

 Ava Sofia at the Book Museum. Sastamala, Finland. July, 2012
Ava Sofia at the Book Museum. Sastamala, Finland. July, 2012
 

 
Finland

I now live in central Finland, continuing my design work collaborating with clients across the globe. It’s a
rough commute to my office across the hall from our upstairs living room. I take care of Ava during the
day while Saija works as curator at the local museum.

 

 EMKS office. Finland, 2012EMKS office. Finland, 2012
 

 

Background to becoming a book designer

I attended Cornish College of the Arts from 1990-1994 in the graphic design program, with an eye towards
book design and music packaging. During my senior year I was hired as an intern at Marquand Books. For
15 years I designed hundreds of art books, trained interns, and traveled to untold numbers of museums
and printers, making some amazing friends along the way. Now, under my name and the name of my
new Finnish company, Erikoismerkki Kirjasuunnittelu (Special Character Book Design), I have my own
client base as well as continuing my relationship with Marquand Books. You’ve likely seen my design
work at the Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, Portland Art Museum,
Museum of Art at WSU, American Folk Art Museum, and so on. A special thank you to Ed Marquand for
fostering my love of Asian art, Outsider art, Northwest artists, and music, giving me the opportunity
design books with and about some of my favorite people including Trimpin, Maya Lin, Chris Jordan,
Robert Lyons, Morris Graves, Arthur Tress, Henry Darger, on subjects as diverse as Adolf Wölfli to 
Zheng Chongbin
 
http://luciamarquand.com/
 

 

 
 collection of books designed by John Hubbard, principal photography for each book by iocolor, produced by Marquand Books for various museums. Photography by iocolor. collection of books designed by John Hubbard, principal photography for each book by iocolor, produced by Marquand Books for various museums. Photography by iocolor.

 


Music

Working with many of my favorite musicians, labels and collectors, has been a highlight of my design
career, including The Young Composers Collective (pre-DAE), Nurse with Wound, Climax Golden
Twins, Mr. Epp and the Calculations, Robert Millis, Paul Rucker, Jim Linderman, Steve Roden, Sublime
Frequencies, Dust-to-Digital, Anomalous Records, etc.

 

*Each post of my week on the Degenerate Art Stream featured a Suggested Listening 
link to music I like or may have been listening to when I wrote the post.

  

 The Young Composers Collective poster. Woodcut by Thomas Rude. circa 1990sThe Young Composers Collective poster. Woodcut by Thomas Rude. circa 1990s

 

The Young Composers Collective poster. Woodcut by Thomas Rude. circa 1990sThe Young Composers Collective poster. Woodcut by Thomas Rude. circa 1990s
 
Victrola Favorites, Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor, 144-page hardcover book with 2CDs, Dust-to-Digital, DTD-11. 2007 (12-inch 78 rpm not included)Victrola Favorites, Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor, 144-page hardcover book with 2CDs, Dust-to-Digital, DTD-11. 2007 (12-inch 78 rpm not included)
On the Boards, Stuart Dempster. CD, Anomalous Records, NOM 11. Photography by Dale Blindheim. 2001
On the Boards, Stuart Dempster. CD, Anomalous Records, NOM 11. Photography by Dale Blindheim. 2001
 

 

Outside the outside 

I’ve always been attracted to the outside, be it from culture or just wandering in the plain old outdoors.
I studied music growing up but found traditional music wanting. With a love of humor, satire and the
absurd, I pursued interest in Spike Jones, Frank Zappa, Tom Lehrer, The Fugs, Monty Python, Dada,
Fluxus and almost anything that poked fun at the establishment . . . and yet my mathematically precise
mind needed to create order out of all of the nonsense. Thus, a shift to design.

 

 

“I fundamentally think rationally – but I love the strange and the absurd”
—Hans Rudolf Bosshard, designer and typographer
 

 


 
Outdoor museum reflected on the lake. Jämsänkoski, Finland. October, 2011 Outdoor museum reflected on the lake. Jämsänkoski, Finland. October, 2011

 Local forest. Jämsänkoski, Finland. September, 2012Local forest. Jämsänkoski, Finland. September, 2012

 


The eternal circle
 

Attending Cornish included the exploration of the multimedia worlds of art, dance, music, performing arts,
theatre and collaboration, not just design. John Cage had written The Future of Music credo whilst at
Cornish
in the 30s and his work had made an impact on me after checking out the Cartridge Music album
from the Seattle Public Library as a kid. I was self-taught in design and photography prior to Cornish but
the connections
made there are  priceless. Meeting John Cage completed the circle. Each project I pursue
is a new journey,
meeting new friends along the way, discovering more about the world and myself in
the process.
 

“Your real responsibility is the one that you discover. However you work.
Your best work is what you yourself discover.”
—John Cage, Tricycle interview
with Laurie Anderson, 1992

  



Cartridge Music album cover. Mainstream Records. Designed by Murray Stein. 1970 Cartridge Music album cover. Mainstream Records. Designed by Murray Stein. 1970


Cartridge Music album interior detail. Mainstream Records. Designed by Murray Stein. 1970 Cartridge Music album interior detail. Mainstream Records. Designed by Murray Stein. 1970

  Think, therefore, I Ching.
Linocut after photograph of John Cage taken during his visit to CCA, handset type and phonograph record letterpress. Printed in the Cornish Letterpress Shop. 1992 Think, therefore, I Ching. Linocut after photograph of John Cage taken during his visit to CCA, handset type and phonograph record letterpress. Printed in the Cornish Letterpress Shop. 1992
 
Cornish Faculty Exhibition postcard. 1992
Cornish Faculty Exhibition postcard. 1992
 
Abo. Unused magazine spread design. 1990Abo. Unused magazine spread design. 1990 
Man Ray commemorative postage stamp. Photo collage and hand lettering. 1990.Man Ray commemorative postage stamp. Photo collage and hand lettering. 1990.
 
Cock-Ups ad for Robert Lawson. Photography and Design. Early 1990sCock-Ups ad for Robert Lawson. Photography and Design. Early 1990s
 Jerker ad for Robert Lawson. Photography and Design. Early 1990sJerker ad for Robert Lawson. Photography and Design. Early 1990s

A Streetcar Named Desire promotional photograph for Robert Lawson. Early 1990sA Streetcar Named Desire promotional photograph for Robert Lawson. Early 1990s
 The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant poster for Robert Lawson. Photography and Design. Early 1990sThe Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant poster for Robert Lawson. Photography and Design. Early 1990s
 
 

Stray from the path

Free time with Saija and Ava Sofia often involve trekking to the middle of a Finnish forest to see
forgotten wooden architecture, and other such exotic travels. My life and work are my interests . . .
time is given to raising our daughter with Saija, listening to music, reading books and designing
from within a library of sights and sounds built up over a lifetime.
 
 
 
 
 Suggested listening: 
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