Back Office 1: Making Do, Making With
The first issue of Back Office considers digital technology as an invention poised between art and industry, born at the end of the 19th century. Characterized by mathesis universalis, these techniques hold as their objective the reduction of any element into discrete binary entities that can be computed mathematically. In the course of the delegation of tasks to a machine, has some part of the designer “craft” perished? The many methods of working against or “with” digital media are the core of this issue. The notions of the tool, implement, and “apparatus” within the context of graphic design are examined and questioned. A revolution for some, a field of innovations for others, the technical innovations which underlie digital technology means that it would be simplistic to merely perceive it in terms of its power to compute, store and handle information, it's association with media (multimedia) or even merely as a new “cyberculture” detached from the past.
Includes interviews with Etienne Robial, Pierre-Damien Huyghe, Signes, and Outils Libres Alternatifs (Alternative Free Tools). Articles include “Cultural Software”; “Photoshop: a Visual Synthesizer?”; “Hacker Culture and the Fear of WYSIWYG”; “Thanks for Nothing, Adobe!”
Back Office is an annual publication which examines the effects of digital technology through the lens of graphic design. The bi-lingual journal (French and English) features in-depth articles as well as shorter pieces on specific topics, innovative pedagogical initiatives, and historical analysis. Each issue includes a technical glossary.
In French and English
Designed by E+K (Élise Gay & Kévin Donnat)
Published by Editions B42, 2017
Softcover, 144 pages, color and b&w illustrations, 7.75 × 11 inches