Sluit Filter
Dutch design news website

Werkplaats Typografie broadcast live from Arnhem to the LA Art Book Fair

By Katie Dominy /asdf 07-02-2013

Running 1-3 February 2013, the first edition of the LA Art Book Fair was held at MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and hosted 220 independent publishers and booksellers of artists’ books, art catalogues, zines and monographs. Werkplaats Typografie (WT), the two-year Masters course in graphic design at ArtEZ always like to present a little differently – read on to find out how.

Entitled Books on Air, the WT students broadcast sound live to the LA show from their programme base in Arnhem which is, in fact, a former radio station built in the 1930s. The project was curated by WT alumni Lu Liang and Stephen Serrato and both Armand Mevis and Anniek Brattinga from WT flew over to be present.

We asked Lu Liang how the concept for Books on Air came about.

“Several facts led us in this direction: 1) It wasn't possible to fly all the students over to LA and it was a rather short notice due to the Christmas break. 2) There is a 9 hours time difference between Arnhem and LA. 3) Werkplaats Typografie is housed in a former radio distribution station built in 1937 and the students have shown a great interest in sound over the years, expressed in projects like the Phantom Radio, Audio Nights, the Library Organ, Sound posters for Chaumont and the occasional WT rock bank ensemble… “  “Combining all these elements, we thought a late night radio show would make most sense. For the duration of the LA Art Book Fair 2013, the WT would be broadcasting live from Arnhem, directly to the project space at the fair in downtown Los Angeles at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. So the absence of the students and the time difference became positive ingredients.

“The remaining question was what to broadcast. In the context of a book fair, we came up with the idea to use the titles of WT publications as a starting point and in that way translate printed matter into sound waves. The students picked one, or several titles and from there on they were free to do whatever they'd like to do, from reading, to sound poetry, to talk show, to music, to interviews, to drama, as long as it was related to the title of a chosen publication. We brought all the publications that were chosen to the fair where they were exhibited in a specially designed setting.”

Can you explain to us in more detail how the broadcasting worked?

“Time was the key element in producing the radio show. We divided the fair into hours; there were 22 hours in total from the fair opening till it closed. Each hour a student would host the show. In between every show, the students made jingles, to clearly mark the hours and to announce the next host.

“The exhibition space was divided by time. We decided to make benches, on which you could sit and listen to the radio, as well as picking up the publications. The benches were made of pallets that we collected from a local printer. We added carpet foam onto the top to make them comfortable to sit on. The ones with the foam became the benches to sit on, the ones without, with the wooden surface, became the 'tables' to exhibit the books on.

“Four pallets in total were used to exhibit, each for one day, from Thursday to Sunday, designated by signage. The program for each day was listed on posters, put up on the wall. All the benches faced a giant speaker, which was also placed on a pallet. I created the stage, which was the central focus point in the exhibition space. As for the technical side, we were using online broadcasting which is quite easy to do.”

What was the reaction of the visitors to Books on Air?

“We received very positive responses. People were curious to find out what it was all about and once they got it, they really liked the idea! Not everyone had the patience to sit down and listen to the radio show. It became also a social meeting point, people liked to hang out in our project room while the radio was playing in the background.”

Add to favorites



Share this:

Additional information

Points of sale





star1 star2 star3 star4 star5

( 0 Votes, average: 0 out of 5)

click to vote

Mail this item

Your favourites

You have no favourites