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$20,540
pledged of $17,000pledged of $17,000 goal
233
backers
8days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 28 2019 3:01 AM UTC +00:00.

Per Diem - Graphics in Time by Sonnenzimmer

Printing and sculpting over 70,000 images by hand tells you something about the graphic landscape we live in!

Per Diem - Graphics in Time by Sonnenzimmer

Printing and sculpting over 70,000 images by hand tells you something about the graphic landscape we live in!

$20,540
pledged of $17,000pledged of $17,000 goal
233
backers
8days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 28 2019 3:01 AM UTC +00:00.

About

About us: 

Sonnenzimmer is us, Nick and Nadine, the Chicago-based art practice and screen print studio. Since we opened our print shop in 2006, we have sculpted over 70,000 prints by hand, in-house on our printing press. We have worked with artists, clients, and students; we've worked with companies, institutions, and the public; and we've worked for ourselves, exhibiting in coffee shops, galleries, museums, public spaces, and yes, on websites. We've been tirelessly sculpting a space for graphic art. One that doesn't just favor structured thinking, but reconsiders the poetic depth of graphic expression at large. Over the course of the past decade, through implementing commissioned work and regular exhibitions in galleries, we've been able to explore the magic realm where self-realization meets service and service meets self-realization. And it has given us hope, joy, and a purpose to make available these findings. It's made us aware that while disciplines are often segregated, the artist can grab the reins and take agency over sculpting a narrative that pivots perspectives!

> Explore more of our work here! > People we've worked with!  > Snapshots of our journey!

Project:

Per Diem  will comprehensively document our commissioned and self-driven work from 2003–2019. In doing so, it is a book on contemporary graphic studio culture and practice, where art and design meet. This anthology of work will paint a picture of how a studio practice encompassing both commercial and artistic pursuits looks amidst a changing media and cultural landscape, providing a window into a contemporary application of graphic expression through documentation. Moreover, the book will continue our trajectory of reassessing  the role of graphic arts and riding its elastic edge. We hope by visualizing this space, new realities for the working artist can be envisioned. Per Diem is a reference book of 16 years from-the-ground-up graphic expression through the pursuit of manual labor and the core resilience of two dreamers. By putting all our work together in this publication, we say: "Look, this is what we can gain from not separating art and design!" Over 1000 pages, we will show everything we made from logo design, to type specimens, to quilts, to paintings, to record covers, to gallery shows, objects, sculptures, and much more! But we need your help to bring this into the world!

If you think

  • that a small press, aka Sonnenzimmer, can merge play and pragmatism through a folk-like support system...
  • that graphic artists can de-silo the arts to subvert hyper specialization...
  • that graphics are an entry point for a deeper understanding of humanity...
  • that it takes 200,000 leaves to render an average tree, and Sonnenzimmer's output is a tree amongst the forest, and their output is connected through a root system, that connects to the world and you...  

then please consider helping us bring this publication to life!

Book specifications:

5.5 " (width) x 8.5" (height) x 2" (spine), 1000 pages interior, 4-color digital printing, unique screen printed soft cover, perfect bound.

Why this size: So we can keep shipping costs low. It also helps us keep the photographic resolution manageable.

Why this printing method:  Digital printing allows us to keep costs low for such a large book. We are not interested in a precious monograph. We are printing this to encourage artists to envision their entire body of work as unified statement.

Contributors:

Publishing: Sonnenzimmer, Nick Butcher & Nadine Nakanishi - Book Design: Ronny Hunger (Switzerland) - Editing: Lauren Weinberg (Canada)

Finances:

$4,500.00 Printing (for est. 250-300 books, 4-color digital printing),  $3500.00 contributors (design, editing, photography), $3,000.00 (estimated mailing), $3,700.00 (handling fees + taxes), $2,300.00 emergency buffer (for changes in production costs)

What people have said about our work:

Sonnenzimmer has designed artwork for Third Coast Percussion for years, including 4 album covers and multiple posters. They somehow manage to strike the perfect balance between their roles as artists with a clear vision and intent behind everything they do, and excellent collaborators who listen to our feedback and work tirelessly to perfect each piece for us. They are also our work neighbors, and it is so inspiring to look across the hall between rehearsals and see them concocting the next cool crazy work of art on their docket. TCP ❤Sonnenzimmer.David Skidmore, Performer and Executive Director, Third Coast Percussion

Two of the true greats of contemporary design, I love Sonnenzimmer. But who doesn't?Sam Valenti IV, Founder, Ghostly International

Context is a true underdog—laying low and waiting for the opportunity to galvanize content and form. A body of work can change drastically within different contexts. Sonnenzimmer gets it. The key to understanding the intensity, authenticity, and sensitivity of their work is often found in learning more about the individuals, initiatives, and cultural producers they collaborate with. This research leads to eclectic and often surprising narratives. Clocking in as an anthology at over 1,000 pages, Per Diem will surely provide a lot of context on the richness that is Sonnenzimmer.—Tanner Woodford, Founder and Executive Director, Design Museum of Chicago

Nick and Nadine are like two ducks swimming in a pond of musical, metaphorical multiplicity. As Sonnenzimmer (German for Sun Room) their knowledge unites and glows as they mine history and universal design languages, producing lyrical, visual and material innovations in the graphic arts.Kristin Farr, Artist/Journalist/Curator

I think about outer space, psychoactive drugs, and xylophones a lot. I like to think about the work of Sonnenzimmer as well.—Cody Hudson, Artist / Designer, Struggle Inc.

Sonnenzimmer is the best example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. As individuals, Nadine and Nick are both brilliant and driven in their own strange and lovely ways, but feeding off of each other's energy, this intense duo produces a ridiculously diverse body of work. They seek out design rabbit holes and then throw themselves bodily down, and scout every corner of what lies below. Then they print up an explanation in lavender and sea-foam green and hang it on the wall like a map for us to follow their explorations. They skate better than you, they wear fine hats, they cross-pollinate the slang of the 1990s Swiss rave scene with the drawl of western Tennessee, and they belong everywhere and nowhere. Most importantly, they understand how and why that is, and can explain it visually.—Jay Ryan, owner of The Bird Machine

Sonnenzimmer are among the most innovative graphic thinkers today. Their restlessness and hard work is well paired with the vital ability to play, and this has produced a string of revelations over the years. I often feel like I could take just one of their projects and flesh it out for years, so it’s beguiling when I see them develop yet further. That is why this book project will be so important. The larger picture of their efforts will get better context.Jeffrey Dell, artist, professor at Texas State University

Sonnenzimmer, the interdisciplinary artistic practice of Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher, has been breaking boundaries for over a decade, and this publication will stand as the archive for their past work. In Chicago, I had been acquainted with Sonnenzimmer’s work for many years, but got to know them as individual makers during the planning of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s presentation of How Posters Work. After talking with Nakanishi and Butcher for over two hours about the power of posters and graphic design, I knew that they were the right team to collaborate on this complicated commission—a distinctive graphic identity, a screenprint, and animated interventions within the show. Their contribution elevated the exhibition, and when Ellen Lupton came to Milwaukee for the exhibition opening, she praised Sonnenzimmer’s contribution to her initial project! It was magical.—Monica Obniski, Demmer Curator of 20th- and 21st-Century Design, Milwaukee Art Museum

Sonnenzimmer are genius alchemists capable of transmuting space into time, mind into body, and aesthetics into ethics (and back again!). Images and ideas run through their metaphysical blender come out fully-formed and totally novel. Despite their transgressive, mind-bending approach, their work is always just a joy to behold. Besides being master graphematicians, Nick and Nadine are also shepherds of the Chicago print community. Their commitment to accessibility at their level of craft is inspiring. I can't think of anyone more deserving of a collection than Nick and Nadine. :)—Matt Davis, Perfectly Acceptable

The Arts Club of Chicago turned to Sonnenzimmer to develop a graphic timeline for our centennial. They went above and beyond our hopes for the occasion, creating a visual vocabulary for the history of the club that was at once inventive and commemorative. They also developed a sound work/performance that brought us into the next century. Nick and Nadine give all of themselves when they work on a project—they rock.Janine Mileaf, Executive Director, The Arts Club of Chicago

In almost 10 years of living, working and teaching in Chicago, Sonnenzimmer have been a cherished presence. Despite occupying the adjacent, although sometimes overlapping, disciplines of 2D and 3D design, we feel an unspoken bond of shared sensibilities. Nick and Nadine are rare examples of truly independent practitioners— their sharp critique of the profession propelling them towards new and better approaches. Per Diem is indicative of Nick and Nadine’s willingness to make their work, ideas and processes accessible and transparent. This openness is hugely refreshing in a world all too often inhabited by opaque posturing. Fellow adventurers in art and design theory and practice await this brick of graphic poetry with eager anticipation! —Tim Parsons & Jessica Charlesworth, artists, designers, educators, Parsons & Charlesworth

A mark of great art is that after you see it you want to go home and get to work yourself. That's what Sonnenzimmer does. It's at once ineffably familiar and completely new. They make it look both easy and virtuosic. Sublime and funny, approachable and mysterious. They nail all the right paradoxes. I'm delighted they are putting everything in one book so I can finally figure out how to copy the way their minds work.Anders Nilsen, author and artist

To know Sonnenzimmer’s work is to know them: simultaneously messy yet organized, silly yet serious, minimalist yet so completely over the top. Typically, when someone straddles the line of design, illustration, visual art and a peppering of obtuse audio recordings, they easily fall into the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none category. However, in Sonnenzimmer’s case, it all comes together to create a seamless and unique force of nature.Jesse Ledoux, artist

Sonnenzimmer is always bringing the hot fire. Ripping holes in the fabric of time and space to make people think about design differently. When I hear they are working on something I know I will want to see it when it's done. Happy to be in the same dimension as them.—Damon Locks, artist/musician/educator, Black Monument Ensemble, The Eternals, Exploding Star Orchestra

Sonnenzimmer are the best, exemplars of their own unique paradigm of creative agency, and what they do most artists can only aspire to. When they came to Honolulu to work with us they immediately immersed themselves in our community with openness and humility, taught and learned, and their activity here has had a profound effect on the local print culture. —Duncan Dempster, executive director, Honolulu Printmakers

Risks and challenges

• The editing process could go longer than anticipated.
Measure: We have assembled a professional team to address that.

• In an industrialized manufacturing process, things can go wrong.
Measure: We have minimized the risks for production by prototyping the materials. We have vetted the vendors.

• Fulfillment can become overwhelming depending on quantities.
Measure: We have logistics in place to manage higher demand. We have successfully fulfilled these quantities before. If there is a delay, we keep a clear and transparent line of communication open to backers.

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    You Love Graphic Art!

    Everything counts, and we thank you for your shout out!

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    Digital Edition + Pin

    Get your digital "Per Diem" PDF and a Sonnenzimmer enamel pin — all while supporting the production of this publication.

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    Per Diem Publication Package 1

    Get in on this first edition printed copy of "Per Diem" + "Didactics by Sonnenzimmer" (Sonnenzimmer/Green Lantern Press) our popular text book on poster design and abstraction.

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    Book + Pin + Acknowledgement + Signed

    Get this first edition printed copy of "Per Diem" signed. You will be listed in the acknowledgements section (individuals only)! In addition, you will receive a Sonnenzimmer enamel pin.

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    Exclusive Studio Workshop + Book

    Join us at our studio in Chicago for a one-day, one-on-one collaborative image making and screen printing workshop. Collaborate with us on a unique screen printed edition (10 pieces) developed in a collaborative setting. All materials included. Travel and accommodations are not included.

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    Institutional Sonnenzimmer Supporter

    As an "Institutional Sonnenzimmer Supporter", you will be acknowledged in the printed book on the title page*, on Sonnenzimmer's website in context with this project, and get an in person tour of Sonnenzimmer's archive (travel and lodging not included).
    *subject to approval

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    Get this first edition printed copy of "Per Diem". You will be listed in the acknowledgements section (individuals only)! In addition, you will receive a Sonnenzimmer enamel pin.

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