DNA #2 Listen to Lists
HKW – Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Lina Brion, Detlef Diederichsen (Editor)
Published by Spector Books
Concept designed by Olaf Nicolai, Malin Gewinner, Hannes Drißner
Designed by Malin Gewinner, Hannes Drißner, Markus Dreßen
15 x 23 cm, 88 pages, color, offset, perfect bound, softcover
Lists have been used for a long time to provide orientation in the world of music. The technological triumph of streaming services has turned the supply of music into a new consumer format that has come to dominate the way music is brought to market. However, the playlist does more than just format the music, it also structures the way people listen to it and sorts the data logs collected by streaming services. This revolution has spawned new organizational categories, aesthetic tendencies, and modes of behavior. Listen to Lists launches us into an exploration of this phenomenon.
About DNA (Das Neue Alphabet)
Alphabets, binary code, DNA—the current explosion of knowledge relies on the world being dismembered and divided into the tiniest of units, making it amenable to computation and manipulation. Languages, codes, and other representational modes based on symbols are thus put in the service of political control, surveillance technologies, and economic exploitation. The series Das Neue Alphabet (The New Alphabet) with 26 volumes counters this process of functionalization with poetic discombobulations, sensuous recodings, and creolizations. The publications are organized around the formal principle of constellation: a range of different themes, modes of representation, artistic positions, and graphic elements are combined and recombined in multiple variations. The series sets out to formulate new semiotic worlds conducive to an alternative knowledge production. The topics range from Chinese pictograms to body language and music playlists.
The design by Olaf Nicolai adopts the logic of the alphabet. It repeatedly varies elements such as the title lettering, selected words, colors and the folds of the cover. These elements can be combined in different ways; they link the volumes with one another and open up a playing field for individual arrangements. The volumes, published in a German and an English edition by Spector Books in Leipzig.