AIGA Los Angeles

This is something called a CD-ROM. Ask your parents.

Music and design. The twin muses of the industry, driving one another to ever greater heights. See the winners, Feel the love. Taste the glory.—So said the lascivious text on the invitation for AIGA/LA’s Soundblast 2001 show. I must’ve felt lonely.

This was the second Soundblast event I organized with AIGA/LA. The theme for 2000 had been “Worship the CD Package.” For 2001 we chose “music & design” because… Actually, I forget if there was a smart reason for it, but let’s say it was because we felt that we should be more inclusive of newfangled things like websites. AIGA was trying to reach out to the RGB crowd, and change was in the air.

Soundblast 2001 happened nine days after the first iPod was announced. iTunes had just premiered a few months earlier. (Think about that for a second! I can’t even imagine it anymore. I’ve retroactively inserted the iPod into my childhood memories.) For CD desigers winter was coming. Not that the mood was one of celebration in the fall of 2001 anyway. But our little AIGA/LA committee had been planning for this event for months, so we forged ahead.

Every now and then I try to do a “sexy” design to prove that I can. And why shouldn’t “music & design” be symbolized by two girls kissing? (Two years before Madonna and Britney kissed at the VMAs, by the way. I am a visionary!) Maybe it’s because I’ve been at my desk too long, but when I go for “provocative,” it usually doesn’t come off well. I get too shy to commit fully. This kiss should’ve been a full bleed cover. And a lot more saturated. The type should’ve been glistening. Hell, I should’ve found two cute girls to do a photo shoot with me instead of nicking the image from a dirty magazine. (Again, how quaint.) Mirko Ilic would’ve done it much better, and had more fun in the process. And then Nick Knight did the sexy blur effect I was shooting for SO much better in 2004 for Gwen Stefani. But I tried. I tried.

The really great thing about this project was that I got to work with my friend John Waters of Atomic Zoo. John put together a wonderful gallery of the winning entries for the Soundblast CD-ROM, whatever that is. John and I met in line for registration on our first day at Art Center back in 1994. He helped me buy my first computer. A few years later he helped me put together the opening titles for Tarsem’s movie The Fall, and a few years after that he licensed the Wart-Hen and a few others of my hybrid animals for a Honda campaign. If you don’t count the goofy S&M commercial for the now-defunct FM101.9 we filmed in Stephen Berkman’s “Intro to Film” class, this was the first time we worked together on a real project. (And of course it was Stephen who first brought me to Tarsem’s attention. Such a small world.)

Shorewood Packaging kindly donated printing and production. You’re looking at a Q-Pack®, then the favorite format of Master P. What can I tell you? This whole project is just one long ode to the outdated and downright obsolete. As a matter of fact, I popped in the CD-ROM just now to take some screen shots for you. Can you tell which operating system I used? (Be nice. It’s not polite to snicker.)


Mac OS 10.6.8 — We used to think it was all that.
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