Meaningless Excitement: Creative Practice in an Era of Excess – Peter Saville with Adam Wray

Peter Saville in conversation with Adam Wray

‘Creative Directions’ is a series organised by Ana Nicolaescu exploring the origins and contemporary contours of creative direction—that amorphously aspirational vocation that now dominates an era of cultural production in which the rapacious logics of the fashion cycle have bled into all adjacent disciplines.

The series welcomes Peter Saville for its inaugural event, the Manchester-born visual pioneer whose early work for Factory Records has inspired generations of creative practitioners and made its way into the global graphic canon. In the course of a 90-minute conversation, he and writer-editor Adam Wray will examine how the discipline of creative direction has evolved since Saville entered the field and how his work has changed along with it. What is the potential of a creative practice in a time of constant connection, conspiracy theories, and compounding crises?

Peter Saville’s images have permeated contemporary culture. As a founder and art director of the legendary independent label Factory Records he was instrumental in bringing the tropes of high modernist culture to a mass audience who would never otherwise have engaged with avant-garde imagery. His radical designs, most notably for Joy Division and New Order, seemed to break all the rules, omitting information about artists or titles, fundamentally questioning modes of consumption and communication. His recent work encompasses design, art and culture.

Adam Wray is a writer-editor based in Montreal. His work for publications like the Financial Times and 032c focuses on interactions between visual culture and the marketplace, tracing how niche tropes find their way into our shared vernacular.

Image: Meaningless Excitement, Yohji Yamamoto, Y-3 Spring / Summer 2014, campaign image

Art direction Peter Saville, Design Paul Hetherington


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