Graphic design pedagogy has adapted to the refigured landscape by breeding a new kind of professional graphic designer who might somehow operate independently from capital. These exotic pedigrees are identified by their prefixes: they are the critical graphic designer, the social graphic designer, the speculative graphic designer. Trained for attrition, they are able to survive in bedroom studio micro-climates, sustained only by servicing friendly, interdisciplinary collaborations with artists and cultural institutions. Once a year they are entitled to attend an artistic residency, during which they produce a ‘self-initiated project’, an ephemeral currency that affords them a certain amount of attention from grant-writing cultural workers. This, in turn, may translate into the opportunity to perpetuate their practice for another year.
Bullshit, says Gilbert. We excavate the remains of the canonical Euro-male graphic designers. We confront their corpses. We check the cut of their cloth. We take it from here.