Lasso


Volume One

  1. Post-Pandemic Workhorse
  2. Personal Archives
  3. Finding Footing
  4. Lone Traveler
  5. Pod Rotations
  6. Communal Material

My Tools

  1. The Magic Boxes︎︎︎
  2. Semester Catalog
  3. Federico
  4. Image Index

Info

Lasso is a digital zine that compiles a selection of my graduate work over a six-month period as I explore “place,” collective practices, and personal tools in the field of graphic design. 

Mark

Communal Material

September 2021

I have always tried to find a thread that connects pop music to graphic design. All of my previous efforts yeilded confusing and unsuccessful results, but after a long car ride of sing-a-longs with my brother and a significant amount of reading and learning, maybe I’ve gotten closer. I harbor a constant curiosity for the sampling in pop songs, a practice deeply rooted to the blues, spending hours dissecting familiar melodies and tracing them back to their original maker. It frequents my daily life so much in fact that I have given my time over to a TikTok user called LUXXURY who specializes in this type of explanatory content.

LUXXURY serves a base of followers who find joy in picking apart pop songs as much as I do and creates videos that define the difference between sampling and interpolation. The latter is a term that conjured my recent aha moment. Where sampling cuts and pastes a segment of a song into a new one, interpolation rerecords that segment to suit a new composition. I think they’re practically synonymous. This knowledge has infiltrated my pop music listening—and pop music, in all of it’s overproduced glory, is filled with cultural gold mines. It is fascinating to live in the age we do now where an array of creators shape-shift tangible aspects of their experiences into new ones alongside their many peers.

Millennial and Gen-Z pop stars aren’t often regarded as profound, and instead heavily critiqued for the perceived sourness they may represent, especially in the United States.  Gen-Zers in particular inject sampling into their everyday digital lives with influencers and artists leading the charge with maximum visibility. Arising mid pandemic was Olivia Rodrigo—a former Disney star—who now tops the charts with sugary-yet-brooding hits that named her voice of Gen Z. After coming under fire among some digital communities for interpolating Paramour and Elvis Costello, both welcomed her efforts. Costello went on to state that “it’s how roll & roll works” and shared his own interpolations of Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry.

Pop music is simply another area that applies design thinking. As graphic designers, we communicate visually by fitting communal material into new contexts. Instead of connecting sampling or interpolation to the lack of creativity, I view it as the opposite. Our world is filled with accessible archives of sounds and creative exploration, and a careful selection of communal material can help a creator or designer map their sense of place, cultural upbringing, and how they relate with others. With loose guidelines at the ready, sampling bridges communities and reveals our will to create and share our experiences.


Shapes strung together.

Mark

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