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About Me

I am an artist/ graphic designer working with printmaking, typography, photography, creative coding, filmmaking, and creative writing. I use art and design to address socio-political discussions around identity, representation, power, and community.

This side of my practice revolves around the politics of imagination within a hyper-digital, visually super-saturated context. Recent projects focus on the power and politics of national symbols and include:

I AM A FLAG, which involved training an AI on a dataset of 193 national flags, allowing me to generate images comprised of the data of those flags. I AM A FLAG is expressed in two forms: a short film as well as a riso-printed publication.

Red, White and Blue explores how different people see and value the Union Jack. The film combines a series of transparency photographs with recordings of conversations I had with people across the UK, about their feelings towards the symbol.

Alongside all of this, I develop distinctive graphic identities for cultural events and experiences. I have a passion for the craft of all kinds of graphic and artistic; analogue and digital processes, and enjoy adopting a range of them for different briefs.

+44(0)7746242036
cjproberts@gmail.com
@_cjpr_
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Work in Pro-gress (2020)

I designed the identity and campaign for Work in Pro-gress, an exhibition by students of year 3 BA Graphic Design, Camberwell College of Arts. The identity was informed by lottery scratch-cards, which reveal an anticipated and potentially life-changing image.

Drawn to the graphic quality of scratch-cards, our team agreed that this interaction, wherein a progression from one image to another occurs, could also compliment the theme of the exhibition.

To achieve the effect of a scratch card involved sealing digital prints with a gloss varnish and finishing with a layer of specialist ‘rub-removable’ screen ink. I undertook all of this with a fellow student in the printmaking workshop one above above our studio at Camberwell. Unexpectedly, the silver ink reacted with the digital prints, creating an alluring foil-like effect.

The choice of type was instrumental. I chose: Avara (Velvetyne Foundry), a curve-less type family that was designed collaboratively, and Gilda display (Eduardo Tunni), an elegantly curved font, with high contrast strokes, and delicate serifs. The glamorous aesthetic of Gilda display, contrasted with the rough edges of Avara, helped to shape a graphic identity that appeared undecided, tentative; in progress.
Work in Pro-gress (2020)
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I AM A FLAG (2020)

A project exploring how national symbols construct and confine understandings of national identity. In many cases, the borders that delineate nation states are non-existent and constructed ideologically as opposed to physically. Diasporic communities live across and around borders, not within them.

In our hyper-digital society, superstructures of information flows both redefine and reinforce the nation-state, which cannot function without them. With this in mind, hostility and conflict is in many ways driven by systems of data.

Crucial to the development of AI is processes of categorisation and discrimination, for example in surveillance algorithms, from which systems of oppression, bias, and stereotyping arise. National symbols also insist on creating distinctions and classifying groups of people, through which prejudice and intolerance perpetuates.

Citizenship is reliant on the production of non-citizens who, existing outside of such categories, become alienated both beyond and within the borders of the nation-state.

The flag featured in the film (and those which can be seen in the publication) was designed using a GAN (General Adversarial Network) — an Artificial Intelligence that detects and eradicates anomalous data. The GAN I used was trained on a dataset of 193 national flags belonging to member states of the UN, allowing me to generate images comprised of the data of those flags. Appropriating the flag, as a universal object, I am a flag imagines a future in which categories of citizenship are dissolved; where the definition of nationality and citizenship is not imposed by borders.

Generating fake symbols with a technology that is supposedly objective, and immune to the existing politics and history of national symbols, the work aims to question, explore, and appropriate their constructed nature.

Equally, through amassing a vast quantity of images, the volume of which is hard to imagine working with in physical form, I am a flag explores the capabilities digital networks allow us. And also, how our data, which traverses digital networks, is materially very tied to the state.

Featuring a monologue narrated from the perspective of the GAN, I AM A FLAG draws a relation between processes of AI-driven discrimination and the exclusion of non-citizens and marginalised groups from the physical and discursive borders of the nation-state.

In a world where citizenship and national identity are increasingly regulated by algorithms and data usage, I AM A FLAG questions the dangers and limitations of AI mediated migration processes, as well as the compromised ideals of freedom and equality upon which democracy is based.

The work is expressed in two forms: a short film as well as a riso-printed publication.
I AM A FLAG (2020)
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Red, White and Blue (2020)

Somewhere between documentary and storytelling, Red White and Blue is a film exploring how people see and value the Union Jack. The film combines a series of transparency photographs with recordings of conversations I had with people across the UK, about their feelings towards the symbol.

Approaching the flag as a vehicle for discussion, Red White and Blue appropriates the Union Jack as a cultural cue to probe wider discussions of representation, community and the importance of symbolism within our society. Equally the film explores how the Union Jack might become reclaimed as a symbol of multicultural pride and inclusivity.

I’m drawn to the incredibly loaded nature of the Union Jack, as both an ideal/ fallacy of Britain, and a highly contested symbol of British identity and values, as well as in the context of a global surge of nationalism, exemplified by populist politicians like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. Recognising the flag as a highly contentious image, I was interested in understanding the nuances of its role, value, and meaning.
Red, White and Blue (2020)
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A POSTER A DAY (2019)

⁣ 1. A poster exploring the visual language of surveillance⁣
2. A poster for an event⁣
3. A poster for a destination⁣
4. A poster using the poem This is just to say by Carlos Williams⁣
5. A poster for an exhibition of posters…

A brief to design 10 A2 posters over the course of 3 weeks. We were given an instruction for each poster, and encouraged to consider how the means of production was relevant to our idea. I enjoyed using a range of different printing processes including screen printing and letterpress. It was very productive to accelerate the development of ideas by separating the process of making from that of analysing.
A POSTER A DAY (2019)
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CMD + STITCH (2019)

⁣ A year 2 brief: to create an outfit of clothing using a graphic design methodology. My hyper-visible outfit played with the visual language of modern surveillance and the idea of anonymity, taking the shape of a new brand design - HIDE. The project culminated in a showcase event which took place on an empty floor at Camberwell College of Arts. I led the set and sound production department and was in charge of the event layout as well as live music and visuals.
CMD + STITCH (2019)
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