Tuesday, 18 May 2010

2nd Prize Karlspreis fuer die Jugen

So yes, surprise of all surprises occured a week ago in Aachen. BDP got 2nd prize in the huge Karlspreis for Youth. They recognised the quality of our content, our ambition to question the borders of not only 'Europe' but also what young artists and writers and activists can get away with regarding preconceptions toward them and their work. Free of any big organisation - unlike many of the other projects - our work was independent and yet sure of itself.

I was delighted to get to go on behalf of the team and pick up the prize. Line gets to go to the EU parliament this autumn.

I'd like to thank everyone here who worked with us on the book. All our great contributors, our translators (Joy!), our design team, all our hosts, all our supporters, our few and very special buyers of the book, and Youth in Action for first giving us the chance to start things.

Things went really strange just before we were all due to leave Aachen. After a week of drinking and making fun around town, I woke up with no clean clothes left, unwashed hair that was in a bad need of a haircut, a hangover, and a growing feeling that they might have meant what they said about sharing the stage with the bigwigs. An hour and a half later, live on German TV, I found myself about to vomit, and with my  great imagination sat through the first half hour of the live transmission of the prize ceremony for Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk picturing myself vomiting, or fainting, or simply standing up and walking (or running, why not?) out the door. I hate TV. Always have. Now I really hate it.

Who knew making books could be so surreal?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Rue Danielle Casanova

When I first went to rue Danielle Casanova I was homeless. But life was good and the swing of things went from very bad to very good via New York and back again. In the middle of listing all the places I'm sleeping this year, I think Danielle Casanova will remain hard to beat in terms of connotations, memoriesm setting. I think that's why I put it in The Readymades so much: I wanted to write about it the only way I could. Anyway, doing some half baked research I came across the above text. It's wonderful that Picabia - of all people! - lived just down the road, in I think the same building I went many a morning to buy tobacco. It was Picabia's work that started off my writing in my first story, Germania. He is, of course, big inspiration for Djordje Bojic and other LGB artists.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Cover Design - What's the Opposite of Covers Dictated by Marketing Departments?

Nice interview, that goes three ways, between Tom Mc Carthy, Dan Wagstaff and Peter Mendelsund around the Knopf cover of TMC's forthcoming novel 'C'. Interesting to hear that Mendelsund felt that it read less as a novel but more than a work of philosophy, that it left him 'changed'. WIll TMC follow up Remainder?

Nice to see a designer who got so into the book and wanted to reflect that as artistically as possible with an optimal design. With Broken Dimanche we of course talk a lot with FUK Laboratories on design and I think they're turning me into the type of guy that design matters to; I've found myself interested a lot in fonts and layout. I've always been taken in by texture and constuction of books of course, but it feels like it's going up a notch.  

Why do I find a Suhrkamp cover nicer than a Faber and Faber cover? And why are Gallimard covers more pleasing than both of them?