The Operating System


keep-calm-and-let-the-games-begin-24**Here to watch the match? you can go straight to this link from 3-8 pm EST.
There’s always something cooking behind the curtain here at Exit Strata, and the pièce de résistance of this spring is most certainly the upcoming PRINT! Vol. 3, which we’ve nearly finished the curation of and are eager to birth into the world. Of course, perhaps it’s a more apt metaphor to say we midwife the thing into the world, as we like to think of ourselves as simply encouraging the trajectory the volume wishes to take based on the slant of the work received — supported, then, by solicitation, in particular from our growing network of visual artists, and from the combination and correlation of the materia. *read more about this process in the evolution of PRINT! Vol. 2 here*
Early on the themes of Harmonious Tension and Translation emerged for this volume, becoming a silent partner in the volume’s development, and encouraging design decisions such as the one we are letting out of the bag today: the creation of our 3rd cover via the LAYER TENNIS process, which will happen live tomorrow, April 14th, from 1-6 pm MST (3pm EST/12pm PST).
It was very much my desire for this issue to have the cover be demonstrative of not only curation but collaboration, as well as to have it speak to the translation processes that Exit Strata — between digital and analog, print and web, virtual and IRL communities, as well as between the methods and styles of multiple creators — so when frequent contributor Eric Meyer introduced me to Layer Tennis (a live design competition made popular by Chicago based firm Coudal Partners, in which two competitors swap design files back and forth in real-time, adding to the work and playing off each-others contributions) it was one of those light-through-the-clouds, AHA, click! moments of clear and unabashed YES PLEASE.
While our PRINT! DOCUMENT Chapbook Series covers and broadsides were commissioned and created in tandem with their content, this process represents the first time our PRINT! VOL cover will be created specifically in conversation with the content and design of the volume itself – a shift that will carry through all forthcoming print issues. This is a turning point for the magazine, in many ways, and demonstrative of a maturing clarity of vision regarding how best to represent our organization’s intention via its physical manifestations for a reader who might, at first peruse, be unaware of the conceptual backstory.
This round of Layer Tennis will feature designers Eric Meyer and Aaron Liechty, with Jacob Liechty serving as commentator. Each artist will get 30 minutes for a volley, which will be posted live, along with play-by-play commentary. The match lasts for 10 volleys, and we’ll create a cover for Print vol. 3 from the resulting design.
About the participants:
Eric Meyer is a multimedia artist and developer. Formerly Artistic Director for New World Arts and Technical Director at The LIDA Project, Eric is a co-founder, designer, and web developer at OddBird; musician & poet with Teacup Gorilla; and writer/producer with Vicious Trap. He created the Susy grid system, and is a core contributor to the Compass project. He also writes muse-fucking articles.
Aaron Liechty is an illustrator, digital artist, performer, and poet. He’s been an actor at New World Arts in shows such as Lysistrata and Sadomasochism, made bright/dark music as the lead singer and lyricist for Dirt Circle Dogs, and was the art director for Substance Magazine. Now he manages the Wheat Ridge Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and does freelance illustration work on the side.
Jacob Liechty is a Denver-based illustrator, designer, and writer. He has been the editor, illustrator, and/or art director for several books, including The Not-Quite-Perfect Church, The Hawaiian Truck Book, Stories: How Mennonites Came to Be, Kuba Textiles and Design, and African Beads: Jewels of a Continent. He grew up in Ireland, where it rained a lot.

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