Publishing as artistic practice

The Design Research Society has launched their Digital Library. It is an open-access hub for all things design research.

_ Graphic designers who publish, compare to publishing as artistic practice.

_ Marshall McLuhan's copy of Finnegans wake. Writing in books is ok!*

_ Naming my abstract prints is hard. Sometimes a cool word seems to suggest a characteristic that resonates. Manifold, for example. Not exactly what I was looking for, but I remember seeing thesecrocheted manifolds in Helsinki some years ago.

_ On publishing: the main job last week was wrapping up my new zines and sending those to the printer. Now to reflect on the proces and get ready to share bits and pieces. More soon.

I put the zines together using mostly open source tools. Scribus for page layout. For photo editing a la photoshop, there's GIMP, but it's very clunky. Glimpse improves on it considerably.

_ Sounds: new for me sets from Acid Pauli.

#weeknotes 2020-03

— A post by Roy Scholten

Working on my zines. A 21st century European Bauhaus? Snow fight!

Nick Sousanics maps out a selection of books as a reservoir from which to derive his own course contents. I did a similar thing last year as a way to take inventory of topics and inspirations for my own artistic production. It's become the main structure behind one of the zines I'm finishing up. More on that once those are done. _

I'm using a selection of blog posts I wrote on here over the last year. It's super interesting to see how those small pieces of writing connect with the visual work I produced. _

I wrote up a small piece about the concept of forma formans and forma formata. In dutch. The forming form and the formed form and how the first produces the latter. _

Those zines are put together with Scribus, like InDesign, but free and open source. It really works quite well. _

Last september, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced a new European Bauhaus. A new cultural project for Europe. Unesco has a Futures Literacy programme. Compare/contrast with we're all preppers now.

Optimism is work*. _

#weeknotes 2020-02

— A post by Roy Scholten

Een term die ik tegenkwam in Umberto Eco's verzamelde lezingen Op de schouders van reuzen. In het stuk “Over enkele vormen van onvolmaaktheid in de kunst” parafraseert Eco zijn leermeester, de filosoof Luigi Pareyson:

“Omdat hij een hoofdstuk van zijn Esthetica wijdde aan opvullingen, dacht Pareyson blijkbaar dat structuur en opvullingen essentieel zijn voor het werk. Dat moest worden gezien als een organisch geheel waarin alles een functie heeft en in het voltooide werk (sterker nog, vanaf het eerste moment waarop het uitgangspunt het vormingsproces in gang zet) tout se tient, alles verband houdt met elkaar en wel vanuit het oogpunt van het organische ontwerp dat het werk draagt, van die “forma formans (vormende vorm) die er in het duister aan voorafgaat en het leidt in zijn ontstaan, en dan verschijnt als resultaat en onthulling van de forma formata (gevormde vorm).”

Cyptisch, maar het onderscheid tussen de vormende vorm en de gevormde vorm is een nuttig gegeven. In esthetica: is alleen de bloem zelf wat “mooi” is en de rest (steel, blad) niet? Maar ook:

Vormende vorm in grafiek

In de grafiek gebeurt dit heel expliciet: de graficus komt op indirecte wijze tot de gevormde vorm. De energie en aandacht gaat in eerste instantie naar de vormende vorm van de plaat, het zetsel, de stempel (matrix in het Engels).

Vormende vorm als thema

Daarnaast is de vormende vorm, de vormende energie, de vormende kracht een belangrijk thema in mijn werk. De onderstroom van waaruit de gevormde vorm kan ontstaan. De infrastructuur van het onderbewuste. Vooral in mijn abstracte etsen is het onderwerp en de aanpak gericht op het in beeld (in kaart?) brengen van de vormende vorm zelf, de onderstroom van het potentieel. __

In de steigers zetten

Maar ook vormende vorm als een manier om “in de steigers zetten”. De wellicht onzichtbare onderdelen die (ook) nodig zijn om de gevormde vorm te kunnen tonen.

(In complexe vraagstukken: scaffolding around coherence towards entanglement across all levels of the system, but that's another post.)

— A post by Roy Scholten

Spent quite some time this week sorting brass lines in type cases and books in the library of the GAH printmaking studio. Making time for the mind to do its own background processing. Quite the week, huh.

— Get your dragons here*. I'm partial to this particular style of book illustrations. The motifs in the border, the double outlines around the ears, the highlights around neck, hooves and over all stylized representation. Even more decorative motifs on this silver engraved panel.

— More medieval goodies: the Vatican is digitizing its library: Good resources for the calligraphic explorations I'm currently working on. Started re-reading Maerlants Wereld.

— About those silver engravings, this is where the intaglio/etching technique has it's roots. At some point someone found out that if you rub an engraved plate like that with ink, then remove it again from the top surface, this leaves ink only in the grooves of the engraving. If you then put a piece of paper over it and press really hard, the image on the plate gets transferred to the paper.

— A beautiful web essay on easy to create newsletters and hard to build websites. Ease of use for creation, ease of discovery for consumption and straightforward payment options are all available for email, less so for websites. “Instead, I see the web as this public good that’s been hijacked by companies trying to sell us mostly heartless junk.” But it could still be done and would still be worthwhile. I.e. here's a service that turns a folder with files into a blog: RSS could still be the browser's built-in notification system for new content. Payments still need work.

Why Everyone Should Write puts it so well.

Tools for a livable future. Ways of learning/doing.

#weeknotes 2021-01

— A post by Roy Scholten

Started following @typographica on the twitter this week. Started looking at some of the serif fonts reviewed there. Brabo looks very nice*. Equity has been my workhorse serif so far. Brabo would make a good addition, a bit roomier and with more flair. Pensum is nice too, but I can't get past that lowercase e. __

Somehow really glad about the happy ending of the Queens Gambit, which we watched with the whole family. __

More beautiful ink drawings of animals, like that bear previously. Qi Baishi apparently thought highest of his seal carving. __

Still listening to “Awakening from the meaning crisis” lectures by John Vervaeke. Periodic reminder to use huffduffer to turn youtube videos into your own curated podcast. __

“Writing” was last year's theme. “Image” will be back in focus this year. So I'll be listening to Drawing as a Human Practice: an interview with D.B. Dowd. Already ordered his book as well. And this one and will revisit this one, too. Oh and: “Sequentials is a hub for scholarship conveyed through comics.“ __

Almost finished the Flow book. Know thyself – “Self knowledge is the process throug which one may organise conflicting options.” If you're going to have new years resolutions, steal from the best. Have a good one. __

#weeknotes 2021-01

— A post by Roy Scholten

(to revisit and compare next year)

— A post by Roy Scholten

— Putting things in their place, cleaning up and shutting down for a couple of days.

— Finally allowed myself the time and attention to design and print another bird for the series. After an initial design I tried out twelve small variations to arrive back at mostly what I had in the first place. More refinements during creation of the color separations. All part of the process. It's the European Stonechat.

This makes 30 birds, or 600 prints, done. Only 20/400 more to go.

— “my girlfriend talks in her sleep. i've noted them down for weeks, and turned her dreams into rupi kaur poems.

— Having fun with crappy black and white polaroid shots with T’s instax camera.

— Kaatayra's Miséria de Sabordia is a gigantic, beautiful, engrossing and touching beast of a song.

It's the season of the best-of lists for this year. is where I go most often.

— Next time will be next year! See you there.

#weeknotes 2020-52

— A post by Roy Scholten

Published edition twelve of #weeknotes to the bildung blog today, 20 December 2020:

It's a weekend activity, usually on Sundays. My own daily notes, links saved to pocket and any other posts I wrote during the week are used for input.

  • a section on music has emerged as the standard last item
  • title of the post derived from some fragment of one of the links
  • I don't force myself to add context to any of the links, but will let it happen where it comes
  • The image was a photograph in the earlier editions. Switched to a drawing or print after a couple of times
  • A typographic convention emerged, using “—” as seperators
  • I don't have an actual reminder in a calendar or task list for writing these, already a habit by now?

In the beginning I had already written some smaller posts during the week. The week notes were a week to recap them then. Now, with fewer posts in between, the week notes are more placeholders for potential future posts. As always, whether those will get written remains to be seen.


— A post by Roy Scholten

Such a beautiful drawing of a bear. Look at how the foilage in the background as well. So loose and exact at the same time. Pair with @A_single_bear.

— “This used to be our playground”. A beatiful call for more experiment and play on personal sites. Interesting points in the accompanying twitter thread as well.

— I actually was already doing some prep work to get blank html/css canvases in place within the Hugo static site generator I use for The post above was a good call to action to move things along: how to allow for full/raw html and include custom CSS for a single post.

— Next up a first actual experiment in which we explore CSS columns to create a medieval looking page layout, quickly running into the issue that having an image span more than one column while reflowing the text across columns in the remaining space is not yet possible. Pity, but still good fun to work on this.

Generatief Leren: Wat Werkt en Voor Wie? (dutch)

— “Ethical, easy-to-use and privacy-conscious alternatives to well-known software” at, via Laura Kalbag

Sounds: Ad People by Melted Bodies is crazy noisy good and nsfw, probably.

Still working through all the very interesting sounds listed here: “41 albums and compilations comprising anything from psychedelic rock to free jazz, improvised music, ethnic, ambient, electronic hybrids of all sorts, both new and reissues.” Check out Moğollar, Praed Orchestra! and João Lobo.

Also, Krust – The Edge of everything. “…his love for ultra-extended intros and long silences is firmly intact.”

#weeknotes 2020-51

— A post by Roy Scholten

Great article on the web as personal design playground:

One slow moving project of mine is about posting some longer-form, art-directed posts to, starting with 3 “dossier” pages for each of the main areas currently listed there.

Two technical pieces I had to get in place to be able to do that:

  1. Load custom css for a specific post.
  2. Allow plain html in the body of a post

Load custom css for a specific post

For this I had to connect some dots across multiple pedantic comments on stackoverflow. The apparently more common usecase is to automatically include a css file that is specific to a certain type of post. I want to include a css file with a single post.

I did not bookmark or document where I found this. I think I remember making Hugo choke on not correctly commenting the url I did want to add as documentation, so I left it out.

Anyway, in the front matter of that specific post you create a customcss parameter that has the URL to the CSS file you want to include:

customcss: "/css/specific-styles-for-just-that-post.css"

And in /layouts/partials/head/extra.html add this line:

{{ with .Params.customcss }}<link rel="stylesheet" href="{{ . }}" />{{ end }}

This takes care of adding the link to the stylesheet to the generated HTML of that specific post.

Allow plain html in the body of a post

Much easier. Thank you Ana Ulin for explaining and documenting how to do that.

— A post by Roy Scholten