Åbäke with the RCA graphic design students

Thursday 5 June 5pm

www.myspace.com/abakespace

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patrick lacey
16:05
Dan
16:05

?
daniel eatock
16:05
hello
16:05

we are here
patrick lacey
16:05
Dan, can your hear us?
daniel eatock
16:05
no
16:05

can you here us?
16:06

hello?
patrick lacey
16:06
see and hear you well!
16:07

No technology!
16:07

our mac is old and has no camera or microphone
16:08

but let's try with ideas only
daniel eatock
16:08
ok
16:08

who is there?
16:08

Maki Patrick ?
patrick lacey
16:08
in fact we are now hinking that there should be two mac mice on each computers
daniel eatock
16:08
Can we ask some questions?
patrick lacey
16:09
one could type while the other could go and find images to illustrate
16:09

how is the weather?
daniel eatock
16:09
was raining now bright
16:09

hot
16:09

a bit sweaty
patrick lacey
16:09
here it is snowing. You have no way to check with skype
daniel eatock
16:10
we have asked each student to ask a question
patrick lacey
16:10
how do you want to start?
16:10

ok
16:11

thing is that you don't need to type, only us need to
daniel eatock
16:11
can you describe yourself
16:11

?
patrick lacey
16:11
we are older than 100 years old
16:11

we have 8 arms
16:11

hello flav
16:12

we have studied design for 26 years
daniel eatock
16:12
you must know about a lot of things
16:12

and cook very fast
patrick lacey
16:12
not really, we all know the same things
daniel eatock
16:13
every one is shy here
patrick lacey
16:13
although we are four, it is not as if one was a better photographer or typographer
16:13

yes we hear
16:13

start?
16:13

how we started?
daniel eatock
16:13
yes
patrick lacey
16:14
we met at the RCA
16:14

worked in pairs
16:14

then realised we would try to start our own company
16:14

first project was for an architecture teacher
16:14

signage for a dance festival
16:15

they came to us because they thought graphic designers knew cool fonts
16:15

this is how much they were preconceived about the job
16:15

yes true
16:15

repeat please
16:16

superkatkidolocious?
16:16

is it welsh?
16:16

Mary, she is nice
16:16

big question
16:17

it is quite complicated but depends on each project
16:17

when we started, we didn't have so many jobs so we made projects which involved the four of us
16:18

we are a group but we also collaborate all the time
16:18

commissioners are mostly collaborators
16:18

furniture designer Martino Gamper
16:19

He is from Bolzano and you guys from Venice call the people from there the germans?
16:19

our studio has a ping pong table
16:19

for playing, eating and meetings
16:19

microwave yes
16:19

usually we don't like microwave
16:19

but we heard a story about an irish cook
16:20

who went to prison in the states
16:20

he was protected inside by a maffia guy who wanted food in exchange
16:21

and this three michelin star chef had to cook with a microwave for a year to avoid being killed
16:22

can you read us?
daniel eatock
16:22
yes
16:22

ok just text, the conection is bad
patrick lacey
16:22
ok, we both lost image and sound
daniel eatock
16:22
just text
16:22

text is good
patrick lacey
16:22
in the world of the blind, the one-eyed guy is king
daniel eatock
16:22
who can type fastest?
16:23

without mistakes
patrick lacey
16:23
we are all crap as we have studied the same things
16:23

graphic design
daniel eatock
16:23
which is your relationship with music? how does it affect
16:23

your work
16:23

and viceverca?
16:24

+versa
patrick lacey
16:24
I propose that we can type about things and we will send them in a package, using good old postal system
16:24

music we started a label in order to avoid saying to our mothers that a record sleeve we designed
16:25

we were proud of but that we didn't like the music
16:25

in a way, we started a record label in order to design sleeves
daniel eatock
16:25
do you write the books you design/
patrick lacey
16:26
not all of them but we usually write a little text in most of them
16:26

we are not writers but there are ideas we want to express with words in publications
daniel eatock
16:26
what0's the best music you designed for?
patrick lacey
16:27
soundtracks for filmmaker Johanna Billing
16:28

old croatian rock songs
16:28

and folk
16:28

but we are quite eclectic in our taste
daniel eatock
16:28
are you inspired by listening to the music
patrick lacey
16:28
yes
16:28

myspace but also radio 4
daniel eatock
16:29
is the design a reflection of the sound/
patrick lacey
16:29
to listen to Noam Chomsky lectures is great
16:29

not always
daniel eatock
16:29
what does that look like on a record sleave?
16:29

Noam
patrick lacey
16:30
we discuss the music in terms of ideas when we design them, it is too difficult to react to sound only
16:30

For Chomsky, they are MP3 so they don't have covers
daniel eatock
16:30
Is there such thing as Chomsky aesthetics?
patrick lacey
16:30
well, there are clichés
16:31

Indie stuff sometimes look similar
16:31

death metal
16:31

hiphop
16:31

it is more interesting to go beyond clichés, perhaps
daniel eatock
16:31
what music do you like that has horrible covers?
patrick lacey
16:32
Morrissey
16:32

which is a shame because the Smiths covers were more interesting
16:32

in general, the ego consequence of the musician willing to be on a cover is sometimes boring
daniel eatock
16:33
Is it possible to design a good cover for music you dont like?
patrick lacey
16:33
same has happened with film posters
16:33

We don't want to design for music we don't like. We did it once and it was a big nothing in our life
16:34

it came out and we never listened to it
16:34

again
daniel eatock
16:35
should we only design for things we like?
patrick lacey
16:36
the question is not really about taste.
daniel eatock
16:36
ok, things we belive in
patrick lacey
16:36
yes
16:37

although it is never as black or white
16:37

we don't pretend to know everything or have an opinion on everything
16:37

Let's say that we want to work for things from which we can learn
16:38

in fact ugliness is very fascinating
16:38

for example
16:38

One thing we noticed is how you and Flavia are somehow close to us in terms of ideology and beliefs
16:39

not the same but cousins
16:39

But what is interesting is that the outcome is very different
daniel eatock
16:39
step brother & sister
patrick lacey
16:40
yes
16:40

same goes with quite a few people
16:40

this is why we approached Martin Margiela the fashion designer
16:41

weirdly, what we liked is that they were doing their design inhouse and did not need graphic designers per se
16:41

but thanks to this, we could approach them to have a chat, not have the pressure to get a job
16:42

somehow it turned out we got the job, which was lucky
16:43

did you present, represent your (Flavia and Dan) work to your students?
16:44

about technology, we have to confess that one of us is still working on a mac cube from 2000
daniel eatock
16:44
yes, we are having a conversation about the difficulties of doing the things you belive, is it hard or easy as 4 people?
patrick lacey
16:45
now that we have more projects, most works are made in pairs. We somehow manage to know what the others are doing but I guess we started to trust each other
16:45

yesterday we had a 4 hours discussion about whether we should do a commercial job or not
16:46

we don't vote
16:46

one no is enough to not do
daniel eatock
16:46
define comercial
patrick lacey
16:46
touché
daniel eatock
16:46
sorry
patrick lacey
16:47
the job is to propose a shampoo packaging for Procter & Gamble
daniel eatock
16:47
how would you react if one of your records became a number 1 chart topper?
patrick lacey
16:47
that's not a problem, it is actually an aim
16:48

we are definitely commercial in the sense that most of the things we do involve money in one way or the other
daniel eatock
16:48
Did you know soap operas where invented by Procter & Gamble as indirect product placement advertising
16:48

is it dandruf shampoo?
16:49

have you tried the shampoo?
16:49

how does it smell?
patrick lacey
16:49
yes, and right now I am reading the autobiography of Groucho Marx. The paperback is all is b&W cheaply printed from the fifties and the only page in colour is in the middle: an advert for cigarettes
daniel eatock
16:50
Can I read it next
patrick lacey
16:50
we use shampoo and we are not against shampoo but we are lucky to be busy enougfh to have priorities
16:50

Groucho, yes
16:50

but first I thought you wanted to borrow the Andy Kayfman book
16:50

Kaufman
daniel eatock
16:51
How many hours do you work? mon to Sun?
patrick lacey
16:51
We used to not work weekends but now with the travelling, we try to have the same hours as anybody else but in a very flexible way.
16:52

we can take any days off and enjoy a Saturday in the studio, for example
16:52

No phones ringing, which can be nice in terms of focussing
16:52

but ideas they come all the time
16:52

you are like that too
16:54

Dan, Flavia?
daniel eatock
16:54
I am asking questions on behalf of 30 students / they see lots of veriaty in your work, are you following a path doing constant experimentation, do you know where it leeds?
patrick lacey
16:54
It can be a problem
daniel eatock
16:55
no email after 8pm (we try)
patrick lacey
16:55
one student said that we should give the same briefs from one year to another to see how it evolves
daniel eatock
16:55
but the best part is making the briefs
patrick lacey
16:55
but it is too tempting to try new briefs
16:55

yes, exactly
16:56

What he meant is that we are perhaps not learning from mistakes
16:56

This being said, we also enjoy finding systems
16:57

such as drawing and collecting our friends/collaborators/family/musician for one type of release on our record label
16:57

we always do the same things by adding
16:58

faces for ever
daniel eatock
16:58
how has your success as a studio affected your aproach to projects?
patrick lacey
16:58
could you define success?
daniel eatock
16:59
we are trying
patrick lacey
17:02
Our partnership is a bit too young perhaps to discuss success.
daniel eatock
17:02
how old are you?
patrick lacey
17:02
35, 34, 33, 32
daniel eatock
17:03
perhaps now more than in the begining when you started you have more projects coming in and you can choose what projects you want to do
patrick lacey
17:03
we are currently working on a project which involves artists from 1988. So many have seemingly stopped working in that field that it is a very humbling experience
17:04

We can choose but also each decision seems to influence what comes. Right now we are designing a lot of publications (in our standard).
17:05

As for choice, it is more that what comes is already filtered.
17:05

We are not solicited all the times, far from it
17:07

We also start things to do by ourselves. In a way, we are very busy but maybe we don't have so many commissions???
17:07

We need to check this.
daniel eatock
17:07
How different it is now from when you started?
patrick lacey
17:08
The more we push the field of work, the further away we go from what we thought graphic design was.
17:09

it is not forbidden to do something we don't really know. We can learn
daniel eatock
17:10
we are discussing how to do the projects we like and also earn a living
patrick lacey
17:10
In fact, the graphic designer is the one who knows the less about the subject when the project starts, right?
17:11

When we started the record label, we also started a magazine. The magazine has ended but the label makes enough money to pay for one and a half salary for us.
17:12

Teaching is also amazing as it pays regularly but mostly it is completely part of our practice. We were lucky that the head of the course let us propose the topics of what and how we would teach
daniel eatock
17:13
this workshop will end in 10 days / can you propose a colabarotive project for that duration
patrick lacey
17:14
Can you tell us more about context?
17:14

We know it is in Venice
17:14

How many students?
daniel eatock
17:14
30
patrick lacey
17:14
All italians?
daniel eatock
17:14
yes
17:15

apart from 2
patrick lacey
17:15
How many from Venice itself?
daniel eatock
17:15
1
patrick lacey
17:15
Have they known each other for long?
daniel eatock
17:15
we all know each other
patrick lacey
17:15
all from Communication?
daniel eatock
17:15
5 week friends
05/06/2008 17:16

yes communication
17:16

apart from 4
daniel eatock
17:16
3 visual art 1 architect
patrick lacey
17:16
what about making groups of three
daniel eatock
17:16
no bakers or gondalers
patrick lacey
17:17
then allocate each group to a remaining day (10 days, right?)
daniel eatock
17:17
yes
patrick lacey
17:17
each group has to come up with a one hour activity which needs to involve 30 people
daniel eatock
17:18
we accept the challenge
patrick lacey
17:18
for every remaining day, all 30 meet at a given hour
17:18

then the group of the day make the mini project happen
17:19

etc.
daniel eatock
17:19
.
17:19

.
17:19

.
patrick lacey
17:19
I want to give a task to you and Flavia as well
daniel eatock
17:19
go on
17:20

no microwaves
patrick lacey
17:21
one of you will take one photo and one photo only to document the 'activity' while the other has to come up with one sentence with only one verb to describe the activity.
daniel eatock
17:21
ok
patrick lacey
17:22
wow, wish we were there!
daniel eatock
17:22
before we wrap this up we have two questions
patrick lacey
17:22
ok
daniel eatock
17:23
1. can we put this text on the website?
patrick lacey
17:23
yes
daniel eatock
17:24
2. how do you add you own content while working with others content?
patrick lacey
17:29
It is not so much adding but we can compare it to translation or more precisely 'interprétation' which is the french term for it.
17:29

can see you
17:29

but cannot hear
17:30

ok, we can hear
17:30

yes
daniel eatock
17:30
which is the most important verb for a designer?
patrick lacey
17:30
You really come up with mega questions
17:31

Speaking of Megadeth, have you seen the Metallica documentary?
17:31

very good
17:32

yes
17:32

the singer of Megadeth is almost crying in that film
17:32

because he was kicked out from Metallica
17:32

I kmew you were a death metal fan
17:32

ok, sorry, back to the question
17:33

'make'
17:33

but you would only hear us typing
17:34

ok
17:34

ciao
17:34

thank you
17:34

can still see you