Spheres Projects are close creative collaborations between an artist and the editor, graphic designer Philippe Karrer.
The idea behind Spheres Projects
Since the 1960s, at the latest, the function of the book in the field of fine art – previously thought of as an accompanying catalogue or documentation to an exhibition – has changed. Pioneers such as “The Xerox Book” (1968) went beyond pure documentation, beyond the current understanding of the exhibition space, and expanded the concept of art. The book was thus able to establish itself as a portable and ephemeral exhibition space with its own narrative possibilities. Participating artists are Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, and Lawrence Weiner.
The book – as an analog medium – is in a constant state of upheaval. Recently, electronic media have changed the book landscape, raised new questions about publication, and fundamentally questioned the necessity of printing. Questions about the urgency of an exhibition space in relation to the digitality (immateriality) of contemporary artistic positions are also constantly being explored anew. The printed book not only attempts to counter the fast pace (of the Internet) with its analogy, but also emphasizes tendencies towards increasingly ephemeral curatorial practices. At the same time, the art book moves away from the mass medium to an auratic object – often in smaller editions.
The collaborations that I start with the artists through “Spheres Projects” are reflexive processes whose carrier is the (ultimately printed) book. I see myself primarily as a curator. In the past I have curated artist books with the artists Melanie Bonajo, Rafaël Rozendaal, Nick van Woert, Austin Lee, Yung Jake, Polly Brown and Julie Curtiss. Other national and international positions such as Jürg Lehni (CH), Joël Vacheron (CH), Lauren Groff (USA), Darren Bader (USA), Nick Mulgrew (ZA) and Carmen Maria Machado (USA) have completed certain collaborations.
My books provide an opportunity for curatorial practice to take on new forms and for the book no longer to be “merely” thought of as a container of information. Curating, which is traditionally linked to a museum context, should expand into new spheres. In addition, the still untapped potential of the “outdated” book printing is also evident.
We give workshops!
Philippe Karrer is a Swiss graphic and type designer working and living in Basel/Switzerland. He taught typography and editorial design, held workshops and lectured on design and new media related subjects. If you are a school and interested please email Philippe Karrer at email@example.com.
As a interdisciplinary design studio, we are happy to help you with design, editorial, branding or digital strategies (website, augmented reality, virtual reality) related questions. Get in touch with Philippe Karrer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Bath Spa University (Bath/UK)
– École Nationae Supérieure des beuax-Arts de Lyon (Lyon/France)
– Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (Karlsruhe/Germany)
– Pratt Institute (New York/USA)
– Ambedkar University Delhi (New Delhi/India)
– National Museum (New Delhi/India)
– ECAL (Lausanne/Switzerland)
– BRNO Biennale (Brno/Czech Republic)
– Depot Basel (Basel/Switzerland)
– ECAL (Lausanne/Switzerland)
– New York Art Book Fair/MoMa PS1 (New York/USA)
– Printed Matter (New York/USA)
– Los Angeles Art Book Fair/Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles/USA)
– Studio_Leigh (London/UK)
– Most Beautiful Swiss Books Award 2015 (Spheres Austin Lee)