Design project finds practical use for ‘blogorrhea’

Wondering what to get the blog-hater who has everything? Well, young Wellington designer Josh Barr has the answer: Blog Roll, a sculptural piece that “challenges the notion of graphic design as two-dimensional and questions the value of digital communication”. And it’s so good it’s been selected to show at the upcoming Anti Design Festival in London.

Barr, who works at designworks in Wellington, created Blog Roll by developing a software programme that takes the content of any blog and prints it through a fax machine into a 45-metre long roll of one-ply paper (the definition of polishing a turd?). He then hand perforated it and rolled it up. No word on whether the Blog Roll is scented or has unparalleled softness.

“In essence, the work provokes debate about the value of what publishing is,” Barr says. “I’m asking: do review, thoughtfulness and editing go out the window in an era when anyone can quickly publish anything online? And what is the value of publishing anymore?”

Blog Roll was Barr’s final presentation for his fourth year bachelor of design at Massey University and apparently quite a bit different to most of his fellow students’ work, which was presented in book format. And, to show the power of zigging when everyone else is zagging, he believes his work was accepted into the Anti Design Festival because it critiqued graphic design and the antithesis of good design principles.

“Each Blog Roll is printed using web fonts such as Arial and Verdana: that’s a real challenge to graphic designers who are used to spending a lot of time considering the typography of each work,” says Barr. “The presentation of these fonts didn’t go down well with my design lecturers, but ironically that’s probably what got me into the Festival.”

The Anti Design Festival, which runs parallel to the London Design Festival, provides an outlet for new risks and creative exploration in art, image, design, product, film, fashion, performance, 3D, digital and sound through a series of events, publications and venues.

Obviously the scatalogical realm is a rather fertile one when it comes to inspiration: Apollo Marketing won an APMA Star award recently for its Kleenex Cottonelle campaign and this toilet roll art is pretty choice.

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