Jin Jung: This piece is entitled A Man in the Crowd, after my favorite short story by Edgar Allan Poe. His tale begins and ends with a German sentence: "es lässt sich nicht lesen," which translates literally as: "it does not permit itself to be read." Poe confronts the impossibility of knowing the self, the other, or the crowd, but acknowledges the deep desire for self-affirmation and identity. His constructs are the surge of urban life, the personal and impersonal pressures of community, and the sublimation of individuality. How does character negotiate these parameters? Alex responded strongly to this story, and to how vividly it portrayed the problem, or mythology, of a big city's creative legacy. She suggested I use Poe's sentence. To further illustrate this dilemma, I layered it over the text that appears on a computer-generated, password-protection stop sign: "You do not have permission to access the requested resource." I used Univers––one of the first logical, systemic typefaces that appeared in 1957, designed by Adrian Frutiger––and disturbed the inside space and outside border. Poe's protagonist begins his tale confidently, only to be thrown into disarray as he runs through the streets of London. The story unravels, but never resolves. Today, many of London's street signs are labelled using Univers Bold Condensed, but not all.
Points of discussion: Foreigners, immigration, belonging, creative communities, adopted behaviors, idealism, commercial consumption, empty window displays, design as urban language, Vito Acconci's Following Piece, Bik Van der Pol's City Oasis, the internet vs. geographical communities, art as community, curation, Hausmann's Paris boulevards, flâneurs, international situationists, home, street signs, cryptography, translation, impenetrability, aloneness.
Bio: Jin Jung is a graphic designer and professor at Kookmin University, Seoul, where as a student he pursued studies in philosophy and visual communication design. He then completed an MFA at Yale in graphic design. He has received awards from ADC (Art Directors Club), OUTPUT, and TDC (Tokyo Type Director's Club). With Kim Hyeongjae, he published The Hidden Space, an examination of space and urban social phenomena. He is interested in the symbiotic relationship between words and identity: How events, people, ideas, places, sounds, and feelings are given names, and what these verbal forms reveal about their intangible counterparts. Typography is the visual representation of these names, and the human complexities that precede them. For more information, visit therewhere.com