Yasmin Khan – Between the Beats: A Space for Becoming

Yasmin Khan of Counterspace began her presentation with a game of Pong. She explained the similarities between her work and the game, how it all comes down to a back and forth. Khan’s work inhabits a space between the familiar and the unknown. Not quite here, but not quite there. She describes it as “the space for becoming.”

Photo by: Amber Gregory

Khan is primarily a print designer and a design educator. Her work is heavily typographic. It is slow, detail-oriented and labor intensive work. She spoke a bit about the things she likes most about being a print designer, the phenomenological experience of an object, and when content and craft come together in material. And then there is the internet. Though she is a print designer, she spoke a while about her interest in the internet, saying “Internet is a shithole. But it allows thousands of people to vomit their own contribution into a public sphere and you have to respect that.”

Yasmin Khan

Yasmin Khan is an LA-based design educator and graphic designer. After almost 15 years in the business, she still has no proper web presence. She is an assistant professor of Graphic Design program (BFA and MFA) at Otis College of Art and Design. Her client-based work focuses on print design for cultural institutions. Her work has been recognized by the ACD and the New York Art Director's Club. Her output has appeared in various publications, including Graphic Design in the 21st Century, Etapes, Print, Graphis, and I Used To Be A Design Student. She received her MFA in Graphic Design from California Institute of the Arts.

From here she moved to speak about some of her projects specifically. Between the CalArts school bulletin and the Sleepwalkers box set created for Doug Aitken’s project, she continually referenced back to the internet and this idea of creating a space within a system or infrastructure for a user or participant to engage in, and allowing printed matter to behave like screen matter.

Currently, she is most interested in working on projects with things that “exist on screen, things that are not precisely reproducible.” She spoke about creating a wiki for typographic knowledge that could be ever expandable and receptive to evolutionary change.

“Sit tight, don’t focus too much on the end point, and enjoy the space of becoming.”

Text — Jack Koloskus — @koloskus