General Session
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EDT)

Hosted by Roman Mars, our general sessions feature a diverse lineup of designers, artists, entrepreneurs and more.

Today's speakers:
Mitchell Chan
Las Flaminguettes
Jen Farrell
Alex Kalman
Silas Munro + Brian Johnson

Art & Financialization: Lessons From 1958's Hottest NFT
Mitchell Chan In 1958, the conceptual artist Yves Klein sold "invisible artworks" for pure gold, and then asked collectors to burn their receipts. In 2017, Mitchell F. Chan recalled that project as a premonition of the future art-world: a world where artworks were linked to non-fungible tokens on the blockchain, and the value of immaterial assets was brought into sharp focus. In 2021, that premonition has become reality. The NFT art market is billions of dollars, and demands that we completely rethink how we talk about "value" in the art market. This talk discusses how NFTs separate an artwork's display form from its commodity form, and how they trigger a long overdue discussion about the relationship between ownership and experience; and between financialization and appreciation.

Now, that’s what I call music design Flaminguettes.
Las Flaminguettes
Mara and Daniela unveil Flaminguettes' DNA, going through their manifesto and establishing what they are and what they aren’t. They will also talk about particular projects and reflect about the gap between what creatives want and the risks clients are actually willing to take.

Places & Spacing
Jen Farrell
Letterpress printing with metal and wood type is an antiquated process not necessary for modern day communication. Yet so many of these materials persevere and intrigue current practitioners of the craft, who consider the means of production as meaningful as the messaging conveyed. Working within strict parameters, like gravity and typefaces that have ceased to evolve, leads to a constant reinvention of the design process that transcends the materials. In this talk we’ll look at how the physicality of typography and ornament for letterpress work is not unlike architectural building blocks, in which the placement and spacing, like bricks and mortar, is every bit as critical. This includes how the intimacy of one’s immediate geography informs design decisions and builds resourcefulness within the confines of an established craft and actual limited mobility.

Polymodal Tendencies
Silas Munro + Brian Johnson
Polymode leads the edge of contemporary graphic design with a mission of equity. Our vision addresses aesthetic and social progress equally. Through our process—poetic research—we draw upon current and historical references that cross thresholds of exclusion. We unearth and amplify. We actively engage with the realities of our time, purposefully shining a light on marginalized lineages. Built on this deeply connected research, we design typographic, graphic, and communication systems. This presentation will demonstrate finding a balance between thought-provoking experiences and joy in making cool shit for the cultural sphere, innovative businesses, and community-based organizations. We show value in both honoring design history and willingness to throw the Bauhaus under the bus to facilitate BIPOC centered design education. We offer ways to bring a biting sense of humor and unruly optimism as we face of discrimination, oppression, and racism. Through all of our design work, we explore ways to engage in Polymodal Tendencies.

This session will be recorded and available exclusively to attendees post-event.