A House Full of Music

Justus Bier Preis 2012 for curators
Ralf Beil and Peter Kraut
“The quasi encyclopaedic dimensions of the project as well as the exceptional aesthetics of the book design convinced the jury and led to its decision.” The Jury

On 416 pages the book shows the actions and interactions of modern art, music, film, video, literature, dance…with works of art by artists like Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Yoko Ono, Nevin Aladağ, and many more.

Our concept, design and sequencing for the volume explore the exhibition of the same name at Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt. 12 basic “strategies in music and art” are presented as chapters, like “play”, “be silent”, “believe”. Each is characterised by a specific symbol. They are following a complete turn of the clock. Historical texts and nowadays essays are characterised by red and blue frames, respectively, using the colors of the circulation of blood.

The type we created for the headlines of A House Full of Music is a system of glyphs, called Sound System. All characters are formally based on a single geometrical note.

“Taking into account an ingenious technology it is a much greater pleasure to explore the exhibition by seeing and hearing. . . .Reception is possible according to one’s own taste and tempo. And if the sumptuous and beautifully designed catalog and the audiobook are compensations for those who missed the exhibition, you’ll probably feel the urgent desire to make music on the next Alexander Calder sculpture, like Earle Brown did it in 1985, only after the on-site visit.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Zurich, Switzerland), Kerstin Stremmel,
August 17, 2012

“A wonderful book and a wonderful exhibition.”
Typographische Gesellschaft München (Typographical Society Munich), Rudolf Paulus Lorbach,
August 6, 2012

“For the transdisciplinary topic the graphic concept by KOMA AMOK, including dramaturgy and typography, developed ascending characters, inspired by Secession and Expressionism (Olbrich to Cizek), which give the titles their adequate form...[the catalog] shows in a picturesque and sounding way the transdisciplinary connections of synaesthetic, vegetatively stimulating ensembles of 20th century arts - with an absolutely magnificent impetus of design.”
www.kultur-punkt.ch, Switzerland,
May 2012

Hardcover with dust jacket
240 mm × 305 mm
416 pages
Sound System (custom type), Armitage
2 editions, German and English
Published by Hatje Cantz

Dust jacket 
Part of the cover design
Stiletto: Modern Vision
by Nevin Aladağ (2011) 

pp. 22/23 
doublespread for the essay
Satie, Duchamp & Co.  
by Ralf Beil
right side showing
Erik Satie (1909)
Photograph, Archives de la Fondation Erik Satie,
Ornella Volta, Paris

Hardcover (detail) 
The final result is printed in
silver ink on black cardboard 

pp. 116/117 
doublespread for the section 3 
be silent 
left side showing detail of
Nam June Paik: Zen for Film (1965)
Photograph, Peter Moore

pp. 136/137 
doublespread for the section 4
left side showing detail of
George Maciunas performing One for Violin Solo
by Nam June Paik (1964) 
Photograph, Peter Moore

pp. 212/213 
left side showing
Yoko Ono performing Voice Piece for Soprano
Photograph (1961)

pp. 358/359 
doublespread for the essay
by Stefan Fricke
Film stills from: Sound?? (1961)

pp. 92/93 
View of installation at TANAS, Berlin
by Nevin Aladağ (2011) 

pp. 352/353 
left side showing
Heiner Goebbels, Genko-An 64287
Sound and video installation in
the Mathildenhöhe water reservoir (2012)