Published by Roma Publications (Amsterdam), and featuring contributions by Linda van Deursen, Mark Owens, Ian Svenonius and Jon Sueda, 'Statement and Counter-Statement' is the first-ever publication on the work of Experimental Jetset, documenting almost two decades of graphic design praxis. A pocket-sized paperback counting over 570 pages, the book should not be seen as monolithic monograph, but as a very loose, personal archive.
At the heart of the book are three textual contributions by Linda van Deursen, Mark Owens and Ian Svenonius. Linda van Deursen's essay consists of a series of short observations, contemplating three historical photographs, while reflecting on the friction between modernism and the everyday. Meanwhile, Mark Owens explores the format of the three-piece rock band, mapping the formal and conceptual dimensions of the 'power trio', with a particular focus on post-punk aesthetics. Added to that, Ian Svenonius delivers a piece of pop-art fiction, starting with a 13-point program to destroy language, before derailing into a psychedelic interlude, ending with some notes on the appropriation of 'cool'.
The book also contains two photographic chapters, both featuring a selection of work by Experimental Jetset. The first section (titled 'Ex Situ') shows a succession of printed matter as captured in actual size (scale 1:1) on the studio's flatbed scanner, while the second section ('In Situ') documents site-specific pieces as installed in different environments around the world.
The paperback concludes with a index/glossary-like anthology of texts previously written by Experimental Jetset, as selected, edited and introduced by Jon Sueda. Consisting of short fragments from interviews, lecture notes and personal correspondence (including numerous never-before-published texts), this chapter functions as a cut-up collage of ever-changing (and ever-contradicting) ways of reasoning.
Coinciding with the release of 'Statement and Counter-Statement' (Roma 250), Experimental Jetset also created a fanzine (Roma 249) and a tote bag (Roma 248).
Stapled in a screenprinted silver cardboard cover, the zine (titled 'Automatically Arranged Alphabets') contains a selection of typographic experiments involving software-generated compositions (part of a series of sketches made between 2014–2015).
A cotton tote bag (containing the words 'Arts', 'Rats' and 'Star') has been produced as well, specifically for use during the upcoming book fairs. Screenprinted in a limited edition of 200 copies, the bag can be found at a Roma book booth near you.
The paperback will be presented at various upcoming events (New York Art Book Fair 2015, LA Art Book Fair 2016, etc.), while the actual launch will take place at San Serriffe in Amsterdam, on October 8, 2015.
Contributors to the paperback include Linda van Deursen, Mark Owens, Ian Svenonius and Jon Sueda. Proofreading by Dutton R. Hauhart, printing by Drukkerij Tienkamp, binding by Stronkhorst, and distribution by Idea Books. Published by Roma Publications (ISBN 978-94-91843-40-2). Cover image: 'ABCD with quotation marks', Experimental Jetset, 2015.
The fanzine was printed by Drukkerij Tienkamp (Groningen) as well, while the tote bag was screenprinted by Vector Textieldruk (Amsterdam).