BLT19 Creative

British Workman 1.15 (1856): 60.

One of the central concerns of BLT19 is how the aesthetics of communication inflect how we think. This includes not only the kinds of stories that we read or hear or the images that we see, but the material nature of periodicals – their size, their paper, their layout, their colour, the rhythm with which they are issued – as well as their price and how they were distributed (sold in shops? sent to subscribers?).

This emphasis on the physical nature of communication led us to think about what would happen if they were exhibited in material forms in galleries and other spaces. Not least this led us to wonder what might result if they were juxtaposed with contemporary art works which, obviously, have a very different aesthetic and ideological basis.

Hence the series of exhibitions we document here. They exploit the spaces of classrooms and galleries; they include sometimes only material from this website and they dialogue them with contemporary art; they at times feature only reproductions and at others highlight the periodicals themselves; they let the pages speak for themselves and they interpret them with printed words in booklets and information panels.

By varying the exhibition methods as much as we do, including this website itself, we learn a great deal about the material aesthetics of communication and their effect on us.

Creative processes do not, of course, end with the physical or digital. Communication always and necessarily entails telling stories in one form or another. As the artists themselves explain, there are always dynamic stories behind even the most static of art works. To stress the importance of story telling to the work of the trade press, we have started to assemble here a series of short stories written as responses to material on the website. The first of these is available here.