If there’s one rule to this game
Everybody can name real plain
It’s, be cool!
If you’re worried or uncertain
If your feelings are hurtin’
You’re a fool if you can’t keep cool
Don’t alarm ’em
Keep things light
Keep your worries out of sight
And play it cool
Fire and Ice
I had worked with Alan Walt in 2007 when I produced our first collaborative end-of-year card together. This would be our 3rd collaboration (our second was unsuccessful in 2008).
Alan had a reference image which would be the basis of his 2011 card; it was an image of a woman’s bum after she had been sitting on a woven chair for quite some time. The seat of the chair had left an imprint on her skin and it was the combination of the mark-making on a private area of the body, which Alan was interested in.
We had the “Alan Walt Architects” logo cut out of black perspex and I asked a friend who had posed for me before to come into the studio to sit on it for half an hour before I took a photo of her bum, now branded, for Alan’s card.
The idea of branding or ownership is interesting, especially in the sense of this being a corporate commission. There is a play here on elements of the private/public sense of identity which, combined here by Alan with the Joni Mitchell lyrics “Be Cool” make for an expressive and personal statement from my client to his.
Elements of this commission left my head bemused with ideas about “branding”: branding cattle, branding clothing, brand advertising, branding my friends bum with my clients logo, etc.
The other side of Alans commission which also interested me were the elements of the business game which he points out quite unabashedly: being visible, sensationalism in marketing, staking acclaim to material objects or property/ownership all connected to, again, private/public notions.
Below is the laid out document he mailed to his clients at the 2011 year end.