This balance between accessibility and depth is largely down to the clever selection, curation and presentation of the wide-ranging projects on display. An enormous flag from Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby’s United Micro Kingdoms project, which imagines England devolved into four self-contained areas that are allowed to experiment with their own economy and governance, dominates the middle of the room, luring visitors in to an accompanying tablet hosting the project’s website, which can then be explored in depth. A series of posters created by British conceptual artist Scott King, including the amusing Marxist Disco (cancelled), is partnered with a weighty tome introducing his work. Lizzie Malcolm from Lustlab’s infographic Women’s Political Rights Around The World, is projected large on to one of the exhibitions industrial screens, but a nearby trackpad allows the audience to explore the piece in greater detail and manipulate the display to suit their interests.
The range of work on display is also vast for such a compact exhibition. As you’d expect from a show encompassing ideas of protest, there are plenty of posters and pamphlets, including issues of the Occupied Times, a free not-for-profit newspaper with high design values and striking typography, the first issue of which was published on 24 October 2011, just nine days after the Occupy movement began. Midway through a residency in Cairo in 2011, Dutch designers Sandra Kassenaar and Bart de Baets became “accidental journalists” during the protests in Tahir Square and produced poster series Back up – Success and Uncertainty to explore daily issues they discovered through communicating with people on the street. There are also posters from the now disbanded Deterritorial Support Group, a group of self-proclaimed “humorous provocateurs” who use the internet meme as a tool to present “ultra-left propaganda” and infiltrate mainstream debate, and also from Åbäke, who similarly package political messages with 2.0 LOLs by setting their posters in Comic Sans.