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Which clippings match 'BBC Two' keyword pg.2 of 3
31 JULY 2013

Was Ways of Seeing the first pre-digital book?

"Everyone is talking about the way in which digital media is destabilizing print. I thought it was interesting to choose the reverse scenario: something that started digital but found its real audience in print. Ways of Seeing started as a four–part television series on the BBC in England conceived of and written by art critic John Berger. Berger was reacting specifically to the traditional connoisseurship of Kenneth Clark in the Civilisation series, another famous television program, which inscribed the canonical march of Western culture in heroic terms. As a critique of Clark, Berger created a popular reading of the icons of western art not as aesthetic objects, but deeply cultural artifacts that reveal, upon close 'reading', the limitation, prejudice, bias, and obsession of the culture from which they sprang.

This form of cultural criticism was established in the Universities, especially Marxist leaning polytechnics, but had never before had such a popular airing. The idea that classic paintings could be decoded to reveal social facts–and in fact Berger compared them to modern advertising–was heretical and his work was met with incredulity and anger in the hallowed halls of University Art History departments around the country, But Berger's position, especially his proto–feminist critique of female nudes, would grow to become the dominant form of art criticism in the years ahead.

The television program had moderate success but shortly after it aired Berger joined with producer Mike Dibb and graphic designer Richard Hollis to produce a printed version of the televised series. Clark had also produced a book to accompany Civilisation: a huge, lavish, full–color coffee table monster that must have weighted 10 kilos. In contrast Berger, Dibb and Hollis produced a slim paperback, 127 x 203mm, of only 166 pages. Even more radical, the book was produced in black + white, reducing the famous art to mere notations on standard, uncoated paper of a trade book. It was published by the BBC Books under the Pelican Books imprint, a division of the venerable Penguin Press organized to publish books to educate rather than entertain the reading public.

Even more striking was the book's design. Hollis starts the text of the first essay on the cover: 'Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.' This simple typographic trick gives the book both a certain modesty (saves on pages) and an urgency (no time to waste). Starting on the outside also suggests a digital quality, the content is broadcast to the reader even as they pass the shelf.

The interior is equally unusual. Hollis set the entire book in a bold sans serif font, a very unlikely choice and aggressively un–civilized. There is no nod to classicism, the book is an entirely modern form. The text is broken down into short bursts, usually no more than a paragraph coupled with a visual example. Again reflecting its origin as a televisual experience the text and images work simultaneously, one form leveraging the other. There are five such text–and–image essays on everything from renaissance nudes to modern advertising. But Berger also adds for entirely visual essays. He assembles a series of examples that by the power of his selection and through their aggressive juxtaposition, he makes his thesis without any words at all. In so doing he presages the development of the curated playlist as a predominant contemporary form and creates the first pre–digital book."

(Michael Rock, 2011, 2x4)

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TAGS

2011 • 2x4 • aesthetic objectsart criticismart history • BBC Books • BBC Twoblack and white • canonical march • Civilisation (series) • contemporary form • cultural artefactscultural criticism • curated playlist • destabilising force • digital media • digital quality • educate rather than entertain • end of print • famous art • female nudes • heroic terms • John Bergerjuxtaposition • Kenneth Clark • Michael Rock • Mike Dibb • modern advertising • modern form • modestypaperback • Pelican Books • Penguin Random Housepolytechnic • pre-digital book • print and digitalprinted version • proto-feminist critique • renaissance nudes • Richard Hollis • sans-serif typeface • seeing comes before words • short formsocial factstelevision programmetelevision seriestelevisual experiencetext and image • trade book • typographic trick • uncoated paper • urgency • visual culturevisual essayWays of Seeingwestern artWestern culture

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 JANUARY 2013

Dieter Rams: lasting principles for good design

"Tom Dyckhoff meets up with Dieter Rams, whose designs have found a permanent home in museums over the world."

The Culture Show, Episode 17, broadcast on Thursday 3 December 2009 23:20 BBC Two.

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TAGS

19561960 • 606 Universal Shelving System • BBC TwoBraun • Braun PCS 5 • component systemconsumer electronicsconsumer productsdesign formalismDieter Ramsformalist design aestheticsFrankfurtgood designindustrial designindustrial designerJonathan Ivelong-lasting productslonger-lasting products • Mishal Husain • modular designmodular systemnew materialsPhilippe Starck • plattenspieler • product design • shelving • SK4 (record player) • Tom Dixon • Tom Dyckhoff • Vitsoe

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2012

Dara Ó Briain's Science Club: The Story of Music

"Special guest James May explores how music is inextricably linked to our emotions, materials scientist Mark Miodownik takes apart an electric guitar and neuroscientist Tali Sharot reports on the ground breaking research which treats Parkinson's Disease with rhythm. Plus, science journalist Alok Jha asks whether computers are ruining music."

(BBC Two, UK)

Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 6 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 30 Dec 2012 at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 19 Dec 2012 by BBC.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 DECEMBER 2012

Dara Ó Briain's Science Club: The Story of the Brain

"Dara traces the brain's journey from a useless organ once ditched by Egyptian embalmers to the centre of everything that makes us human. Science journalist Alok Jha asks whether smart drugs really make you brainier, oceanographer Helen Czerski explores cutting edge therapies allowing the brain to control limbs remotely and materials scientist Mark Miodownik takes apart a smart phone."

(BBC Two, UK)

Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 5 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 04 Dec 2012 at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 5 Dec 2012 by BBC.

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TAGS

12Foot620122D2D animationAlok Jhaanimated information graphicsanimationBBC TwoBBC2brain • brainier • consciousconsciousness • control limbs • cutting edge therapies • cutting-edge innovationsDara O Briaindissectiondrug takingdrugselectricity • embalming • epileptic • frog • heart • Helen Czerskihippocampushistory of ideas • homunculus • human speciesillustration to visually communicate information • liver • Mark Miodownikmemory • mummification • nervous system • neurosurgeon • organ • physician • reasonscienceScience Club (tv)sequential art • smart drugs • smartphone • spleen • story of sciencesubconscious • surgeon • UKunconsciousvisual representations of scientific concepts • Wilder Penfield

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 DECEMBER 2012

Dara Ó Briain's Science Club: The Story of Exploration

"Science journalist Alok Jha asks whether it is a good idea for humans to reach out to extra–terrestrials and oceanographer Helen Czerski comes face to face with extreme radiation, energy so deadly it could seriously curtail humans travelling further than the solar system. Plus special guest Josh Widdecombe visits NASA in Houston to find out the challenges we face to get humans to Mars and materials scientist Mark Miodownik takes apart a space suit."

(BBC Two, UK)

Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 4 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 27 November at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 27 Nov 2012 by BBC.

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TAGS

12Foot6 • 1492 • 20122D2D animationAlok Jhaanimated information graphicsanimationApollo 11balloonBBC TwoBBC2charts • Christopher Columbus • clockDara O Briainexploration • extreme radiation • final frontier • flightHelen Czerskihistory of ideashuman speciesillustration to visually communicate information • Josh Widdecombe • lifeMark MiodownikMarsNASAnavigationoceanographer • powered aircraft • radioactivity • rocket • scienceScience Club (tv)sequential artsolar systemspacespace explorationspace suitspace travelspaceflightstory of scienceUKvikingvisual representations of scientific concepts

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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