Erik Brandt: Conglomerate Identity

Erik Brandt

Opening: October 4th, 3:30pm
Artist Talk: October 4th, 4:00pm

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Artist Statement:

Most of us connect with some form of identity, often local, and then by extension, national. These identifications define us in part, but it is almost impossible to define all the things that make us who we are. In a sense, we all swim within conglomerates of self and essentially unknowable being. We are, as a teacher of mine once liked to say, parts to the whole.

I was born on a snowy morning in Missoula, Montana. My early childhood was spent in Cameroon and Malawi, then moving to Germany where I entered elementary school. My first languages were French, Swahili, and German, with a smattering of heavily accented English. My family then moved to Cairo, Egypt where I finished high-school with an international student body.

As a consequence, I have never had a national identity, but instead identify very strongly with this concept of a conglomerate. The phrase is meant in a geologic sense, of course, as opposed to it's contemporary identification with corporations.

The work created for this show is thus both new and old, and hopes to provide pathways to approach my larger body of work within this context of conglomerate identity, and its influence on form making. The selected pieces range from the experimental to the applied, including a larger series of what I have called, Ficciones Typografika (typographic fictions).

Brief Bio:

Erik Brandt is a graphic designer and educator who has been active since 1994. He is currently an Associate Professor at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Educated internationally, his creative and research interests focus on issues of globalization that affect and drive the complexities of inter-cultural visual communication systems.

His career began as a cartoonist in Japan in 1994, and he's since found focus largely in print media. He authors the design blog, Geotypografika (Visual Communication und Wissenschaft), and maintains a small graphic design studio, Typografika (Visual Communication und Konditorei). His work has been exhibited internationally and he has also received recognition for his very, very silly short films.


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