Alex Coles

Alex Coles is a London-based art critic and lecturer. He is the author of DesignArt and a regular contributor to Art Monthly, Contemporary, Parachute, and Artext.

  • EP, Volume 2

    EP, Volume 2

    Design Fiction

    Alex Coles

    After the first EP volume on the activities of the early Italian avant-garde, the second volume in the series identifies the current fascination with fiction across art, design, and architecture. Practitioners and theorists explore this strategy by pushing the debate into both speculative and real-fictitious terrains. Newly commissioned interviews, artist projects, and essays shed light on topics such as parafiction and algorithmic ambiguity. Included in the volume is one of the final interviews to be published with novelist and semiotician Umberto Eco; a conversation with Bruce Sterling, in which the science-fiction author responds to designers who reference his writings; and design theorist Vilém Flusser's 1966 essay “On Fiction,” in its first English translation.    

    The EP series fluidly moves between art, design, and architecture, and introduces the notion of the “extended play” into publishing, with thematically edited pocket books as median between popular magazines (“single play”) and academic journals (“long play”).

    Contributors Paola Antonelli, The Atlas Group (1989–2004), Alex Coles, Anthony Dunne, James Dyer, Umberto Eco, Experimental Jetset, Vilém Flusser, Verina Gfader, Huib Haye van der Werf, Will Holder, Sophie Krier, Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Lucas Maassen, Valle Medina, Philippe Morel, Rick Poynor, Fiona Raby, Benjamin Reynolds, Hiroko Shiratori, Bruce Sterling

    • Paperback $28.00
  • EP Vol. 1

    EP Vol. 1

    The Italian Avant-Garde, 1968–1976

    Alex Coles and Catharine Rossi

    EP is the first critically underpinned series of publications that fluidly move between art, design, and architecture. The series creates a discursive platform between popular magazines (“single play”) and academic journals (“long play”) by introducing the notion of the “extended play” into publishing: with thematically edited pocket books as median.

    The first volume is devoted to the activities of the Italian avant-garde between 1968 and 1976. While emphasizing the multiple correspondences between collectives and groups like Arte Povera, Archizoom, Superstudio, and figures such as Ettore Sottsass and Alessandro Mendini, The Italian Avant-Garde, 1968–1976 also highlights previously overlooked spaces, works, and performances generated by Zoo, Gruppo 9999, and Cavart. Newly commissioned interviews and essays by historians and curators shed light on the era, while contemporary practitioners discuss its complex legacy.

    Contributors Paola Antonelli, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Andrea Branzi, Carlo Caldini, Alison J. Clarke, Experimental Jetset, Verina Gfader, Martino Gamper, Joseph Grima, Alessandro Mendini, Antonio Negri, Paola Nicolin, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Catharine Rossi, Vera Sacchetti, Libby Sellers, Studio Formafantasma, and Ettore Vitale

    • Paperback $31.00
  • Jorge Pardo

    Jorge Pardo

    Tecoh

    Alex Coles

    Tecoh is a sprawling series of buildings designed by the artist Jorge Pardo deep in the Yucatán jungle. Taking over six years to fabricate, and engaging existing ruins of a nineteenth-century hacienda, the project is by far the artist's most ambitious work to date. This book offers the only available glimpse of the project, as it was primarily conceived as a private residence. Over 100 color images choreograph the reader around the myriad buildings and landscaping that constitute Tecoh—from subterranean concrete forms peaking out of the wild jungle grasses to quiet details of tiles and furniture to Pardo's iconic bulbous lamps.

    Michael Govan, director of LACMA, provides an introduction and sets Tecoh within a deeper history of his dialogue with the artist, beginning in 2000 with Pardo's installation at Dia:Chelsea. Alex Coles describes a critical framework in which to interpret the project, while Claudia Madrazo, the work's commissioner, contextualizes the project in her afterword. A series of three extended conversations between Pardo and Coles explores the issues of site, historical precedents, and reception that Tecoh brings into focus.

    Contributors Alex Coles, Michael Govan, Claudia Madrazo

    • Hardcover $52.00
  • The Transdisciplinary Studio

    The Transdisciplinary Studio

    Alex Coles

    We have entered a post-post-studio age, and find ourselves with a new studio model: the transdisciplinary. Artists and designers are now defined not by their discipline but by the fluidity with which their practices move between the fields of architecture, art, and design. This volume delves into four pioneering transdisciplinary studios—Jorge Pardo Sculpture, Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design, Studio Olafur Eliasson, and Åbäke—by observing and interviewing the practitioners and their assistants. A further series of interviews with curators, critics, anthropologists, designers, and artists serves to contextualize the transdisciplinary model now at the fore of creative practice.

    Including interviews with Jorge Pardo, Konstantin Grcic, Olafur Eliasson, and Åbäke; and Vito Acconci, Gui Bonsiepe, James Clifford, Dexter Sinister, Martino Gamper, Ryan Gander, Caroline Jones, Ronald Jones, Maria Lind, Alessandro Mendini, Rick Poynor, and Andrea Zittel.

    The Transdisciplinary Studio is the first volume of a series of books by Alex Coles on the expanded studio model and contemporary praxis.

    • Paperback $28.00
  • Design and Art

    Design and Art

    Alex Coles

    The first anthology to address the rise of the "design-art" phenomenon—the breakdown of boundaries between art and architectural, graphic, or product design begun in the Pop and Minimalist eras.

    This reader in Whitechapel's Documents of Contemporary Art series investigates the interchange between art and design. Since the the Pop and Minimalist eras—as the work of artists ranging from Andy Warhol to Dan Graham demonstrates—the traditional boundaries between art and architectural, graphic, and product design have dissolved in critically significant ways. Design and Art traces the rise of the "design-art" phenomenon through the writings of critics and practitioners active in both fields.The texts include writings by Paul Rand, Hal Foster, Miwon Kwon, and others that set the parameters of the debate; utopian visions, including those of architect Peter Cook and writer Douglas Coupland; project descriptions by artists (among them Tobias Rehberger and Jorge Pardo) juxtaposed with theoretical writings; surveys of group practices by such collectives as N55 and Superflex; and views of the artist as mediator—a role assumed in the past to be the province of the designer—as seen in work by Frederick Kiesler, Ed Ruscha, and others. Finally, a book that doesn't privilege either the art world or the design world but puts them in dialogue with each other.

    Contributors David Bourdon, Peter Cook/Archigram, Douglas Coupland, Kees Dorst, Charles Eames, Experimental Jetset, Vilém Flusser, Hal Foster, Liam Gillick, Dan Graham, Clement Greenberg, Richard Hamilton, Donald Judd, Frederick Kiesler, Miwon Kwon, Maria Lind, M/M, N55, George Nelson, Lucy Orta, Jorge Pardo, Norman Potter, Rick Poynor, Paul Rand, Tobias Rehberger, Ed Ruscha, Joe Scanlan, Mary Anne Staniszewski, Superflex, Manfredo Tafuri, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Paul Virilio, Joep van Lieshout, Andy Warhol, Benjamin Weil, Mark Wigley, Andrea Zittel

    Copublished with Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

    • Paperback $24.95