Split Portraits & Deconstructivism

Bobby Neel Adams is a photographer from North Carolina. He is a god making portraits, mixing old and present faces, like a collage with more strenght. What they were and what they are.  Over time is for everyone a reality … The origins of collage can be traced back hundreds of years, but this technique made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century as an art form of novelty. In graphic design deconstructivism gave its name to one of the major typographic movements, starting in the early 1980’s and continuing into the late 1990’s: Deconstructive Typography. Designers sought inspiration in unlikely items such as old ticket stubs, torn billboards and discarded packages and the expression and legitimisation of the vernacular.

Punk was also one of the inspirations, along with ‘postmodern’ fiction for the science fiction genre known as ‘cyberpunk’. The technological potential unleashed by desktop publishing and graphics software allied with the methodological potential offered by variously by punk and French deconstructionist philosophy produced a style of graphic design and typography known sometimes as deconstructionist graphic design, and sometimes as ‘The New Typography’. Though obviously coming out of different contexts and circumstances, these developments shared a fascination with contemporary technology and in both its utopian and dystopian possibilities, as well as its glamour. They also evince similar tropes and strategies, of appropriation, juxtaposition, detournement, montage, collage, repetition, facilitated by or reflecting upon the extraordinary capabilities of that technology. The deconstructionist graphic design’s use of layers and experimentation with typography all reflected a world of diffused and distributed communication mediated through networks of powerful information technologies.

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