Exhibiting Aspen

Aspen, described in the 1960s as ‘the first three-dimensional magazine’, was produced in California and published in New York on an irregular schedule from 1965 to 1971. Many leading figures in contemporary North American and European art and cultural criticism were involved in its production as editors, designers or contributors and this, along with its unique format, has contributed to its art historical importance and continued relevance to contemporary art and design practices of today. Rather than bound printed pages, Aspen was issued in a customized box or folder containing a wide range of items including posters, postcards, tickets, booklets, reels of Super-8 movie film and ‘flexi disc’ phonographic recordings. These different published formats turned the magazine into a space where artists were able to move outside the gallery and engage with a broader social and political sphere. As the magazine’s editor Phyllis Johnson put it: ‘Aspen presents actual works of art! Exactly as the artist created them. In exactly the medium s/he created them for.’ Few complete sets of Aspen remain and this exhibition provides a rare opportunity to see items from across all ten issues as well as many important individual pieces which have acquired specific art historical and cultural significance.

Hosted by the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication from 18 June – 2 July 2013 (Monday–Friday / 9am– 5pm). This joint exhibition by the Department of Art and the Department of Typography has been curated and designed by MA Book Designer Lisa Stephanides. The exhibition is supported by the Arts Committee at the University of Reading. We would like to extend our thanks to Professor Alun Rowlands from the University of Reading’s Department of Art for his generosity and support in the loan of this collection.

Reading at ICTVC 5, Nicosia

Reading at ICTVC 5, Nicosia


Reading staff and graduates have returned from the fifth International Conference on Typography & Visual Communication, hosted by the University of Nicosia. ICTVC is the brainchild of Dr Klimis Mastoridis (a Reading alumnus) who, since the first event in 2002, has given the conference a distinct character that sets it apart from most such events. Amongst typography-orientated events, ICTVC is probably the most diverse in the range of academics and practitioners it brings together. And, even in this smallest of its iterations, it attracted speakers and delegates from four continents.

The combination of research and practice makes ICTVC a very good fit for Typography, and it was no surprise to see the Department represented well. The speaker lineup included staff members Mary Dyson, Gerry Leonidas, and Sue Walker, and current PhD candidates Sallie Morris and Niki Sioki. PhD alumni Petra Cerne Oven, Sue Perks, Karel van der Waarde, and MA alumni Julián Moncada, Elena Papassissa, Vaibhav Singh, and Adi Stern also presented papers.

For a general report on the conference, head over to Mark Barratt’s post on the Eye magazine blog.