Design Flux and Mark Webster send along this lovely documentary film they’ve done of the Offf festival last month in Oeiras, Portugal. It’s fun to go back to that aesthetic world. It’s difficult to describe the Offf experience: there were sometimes hard-to-hear talks in the cavernous concrete steel mill, crowds of young, able-bodied designer boys and girls from Portugal, Spain, and around Europe packing into lines as if for a rock concert, and an even slightly chaotic sense. At the same time, there was an infectious energy of creativity and enthusiasm – one that clearly should and will be felt more strongly in more events around the world.
The music is spot-on: Byetone’s Death of a Typographer. (Byetone’s label, the uber-hip “designer” music of Raster-Noton, was the musical anchor of Offf, and has since done showcases in Montreal for MUTEK and now SONAR in Barcelona.)
I think we can all agree that there’s really no reason we should be sitting in classrooms and cold corporate conference centers listening to vendor sales pitches thinly disguised as a talk. Culture and technology (and technology as culture) should be, well, a party. It’s doubly comforting now as certain trade show-style institutions are under economic pressure to think that we could all invest in something better.
Now, I’m going to shut up and go edit this huge stack of interview videos and audios I’ve got, which is stuff you wouldn’t have seen even had you been at these events.