PSU GD...you have the chance to take a summer workshop with the brilliant Jessica Helfand. Space is limited, so please sign up asap! ART 408 Studies in Visual Biography. This is a one credit class that will start on June 13th and run through June 17th.
What is this workshop about?
The scrapbook was the original open-source technology — a unique form of self-expression that celebrated visual sampling, culture mixing, and the appropriation and redistribution of existing media. Part personal diary, part cultural stockpile, they've since evolved as homespun calendars, enabling us to chronicle the major events and minute details of our own personal odysseys. In this workshop, students will consider the role of the scrapbook in the context of the studio, and learn how to excavate meaning, interpret history, and express compelling new narratives from the lives of old paper. What is the relationship between material evidence and evocative storytelling? How does the artist reconcile research with making work, history with true innovation? And finally, to what degree can visual thinking advance the understanding of the human condition? Come prepared to dig deep and look hard.
Who is Jessica?
Since 1997, Jessica Helfand has worked in partnership with William Drenttel at Winterhouse, a studio focusing on publishing, new media and cultural institutions. Recent clients include Archives of American Art, Errol Morris, Teach for America, New England Journal of Medicine, The New Yorker, NYU Institute for the Humanities, NYU School of Journalism, Paris Review, Legal Affairs, University of Chicago Press, Yale School of Forestry, and the National Design Awards.
Prior to co-founding Winterhouse, Helfand was an award-winning editorial and interaction designer, whose clients included The New York Times, Newsweek, Times of London and The Discovery Channel.
Helfand is a founding editor of Design Observer, a blog of design and cultural criticism: today, the site is the largest design publication in the world with over a million site visits a month. She is also a co-editor of Below the Fold:, a journal of visual culture published by Winterhouse; and the founder of the AIGA Winterhouse Writing Awards, a $5000 prize for innovation in design writing and cultural criticism. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Communications Arts and Eye magazines, she has written for numerous national publications including Aperture, The Los Angeles Times Book Review and The New Republic, and has also appeared on National Public Radio. She is the author of several books on design and cultural criticism, including Paul Rand: American Modernist (1998), Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media and Visual Culture (2001) and Reinventing the Wheel (2002), which formed the basis for an exhibit in 2003 at The Grolier Club in New York City. Her next book, Scrapbook : An American History will be published in October, 2008 by Yale University Press.
Helfand has taught for the last decade in the graduate program in Graphic Design at Yale University, where she is a Fellow at Jonathan Edwards College and a member of the committee on graduate admissions in the School of Art. She has also been a visiting artist and visiting lecturer at The Cooper Union, Cranbrook Academy of Art and NYU School of Interactive Telecommunications. She has been a visiting critic at most of the other major educational design programs in the United States and Europe, and has lectured at the Netherlands Design Institute, the Walker Art Center, Smithsonian Institution, the Annenberg Center for Public Policy, and two AIGA national biennial conferences, among many others. In October 2006, Helfand was appointed to the Postmaster General's Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, the group responsible for evaluating the subject and design merits of all stamp proposals in the United States.
Jessica Helfand received a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Architectural Theory and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, both from Yale University. She lives in Falls Village, Connecticut with her husband, William Drenttel and their two children, Malcolm and Fiona.