Graphic commons: an unexpected drift

Date: 10.12.2020
Distance: 2.4 miles
Steps: 5271
Start: 07:37
Ground covered: Residential area to dockside, return via university campus

What started as simple exercise, to try to stave off a bad back from sitting at a desk for far too many hours, turned into a drift; the first one proper since my Lockdown 1.0 Constitutionals side project back in April.

Although I have been out walking for exercise now and again in recent months, these occasions have been few and far between, and mostly involved a round-about trip to one of our many local Coops. And while I started on this occasion only intending to go around the houses, I instead ended up down by Ipswich docks staring across the water.

The territory is very familiar, but I have not walked it for a while. It took me close to my place of work, where I haven’t ventured since the last week of October. An accidental collage I had discovered in the summer was still on the side of an old phonebox, (see below), it was a little bit more decayed than when it first caught my eye, but still resolutely stuck in its vinyl resistance to the elements.

There was a new missing cat on the block though, (or not, as the case may be). I assume this homemade poster had fallen and a passer-by had reapplied it to the wall, given its precarious positioning behind a cable. The poster looked as lost as the cat on the wall I found it on. There is something Sagmeisteresque about the hand-lettering, or so I thought as I got closer to inspect it at the time. I tag such examples of the Graphic Commons as #untutored in my research documents, and now wonder if I would do the same had I come across a missing cat poster put up by Sagmeister.

As ever, I remain bemused by images of the Union flag when treated with disregard, and imagine nationalists apoplectic with rage at such desecration. Those who complain about BLM protesters dumping statues of racist colonialists in the sea should maybe look closer to home.

Of equal bemusement was an item of graphic design telling me to stop taking notice of it, while still fulfilling its function. A postmodern double whammy, no less, albeit in Helvetica.

Although a shorter walk than many of my Graphic Commons dérives, it felt good to do one again, however accidental. I really do need to get out more!

iPhone shuffle selection
Sam Lee — The Moon Shines Bright (feat Elizabeth Frazer)
Girl Band — Prolix
African Head Charge — The Big Country
Robert Wyatt — Solar Flares
Cath and Phil Taylor — Lady Dysie
These New Puritans — Inside The Rose Orchestral Mirror
Autechre — M4 Lema
Asher Senator — Bubble With I
Young Fathers — Turn
Stick In The Wheel — Budg and Snudg (feat John Kirkpatrick)
Lealani — Floating
Ty Seagall — Rotten To The Core

Published by Nigel Ball

Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design

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