Back in a certain writer’s younger days, before he succumbed to the bleak assembly-line life that is a day job and posting to a certain website about design, he used to like buying things to read that would get him really angry at all kinds of stuff. One of these things he loved, so much so that he had a subscription for a couple of years, was “Adbusters.” Really fantastic design, terrific artists, and if you didn’t hate everything and assume everyone was corrupt and soulless before you read a copy, you sure did after! What fun!
But personal-story-weirdly-told-in-third-person aside, the new book by Adbusters’ founder, Kalle Lasn, “Design Anarchy” might be the thing that brings us back out of this fat and happy state we’re in now and get us back to where we should be: joining our middle-class brethren and pretending to be Zapatistas at anti-Bush protests. Here’s a little from the book’s introduction:
A radical new aesthetic vision by Adbusters founder Kalle Lasn, Design Anarchy takes an unflinching look at contemporary art and design, implicating its seemingly innocuous practices in crimes against our culture and our planet. By turns intimate, abstract, accusatory, and hopeful, this book is an urgent call for artists, designers, architects and communicators to re-engage with the world, to explore their role in the pollution and future redemption of our mental and physical commons. In the battle for a new kind of meaning, Design Anarchy is 400 pages without precedent.
Despite that paragraph, really, the book does look interesting. You just have to look past all the shouting and weird ideas about how humanity really functions.