Shawn Wolfe,
graphic designer and illustrator

Seattle-based designer and illustrator Shawn Wolfe is best known as the man behind BeatkitTM. The so-called "brand without a product" has served as inspiration for the improbable RemoverInstallerTM as well as the artist’s global "Panic Now" campaign, paintings, t-shirts, comics, sculpture and performance. Wolfe’s work, which tends to focus on deconstructing and reconstructing consumerism and brand fetishism, has appeared in many publications and is featured in Next: The New Generation in Graphic Design (North Light Books). He has designed album packages for the culture-jamming performance group Negativland and counts K2, Sony, Island/Def Jam, Listen.com, Neverstop, Dawls and Chelsea Films among his clients. A monograph of his work, Uncanny (Houston) was published in 2000.

Life at the Point of Sale
Shawn Wolfe will present his work and discuss his "life at the point of sale." Wolfe is best known as the man behind BeatkitTM, the canny "brand without a product." An exercise in futility on the surface, Wolfe's genre of brand building amounts to one man's attempt to defray the psychic costs of living a branded existence. By utilizing the tools of the marketing trade—graphic design and crafty adspeak—to give voice to a numb desolation that only advertising itself could foster, Wolfe has found a way to use advertising to communicate something personal outside the dictates of the marketplace. Products like his absurdist RemoverInstallerTM with its global "Panic Now" campaign go beyond adbusting and subvertising, drawing the spotlight away from the Nikes and Disneys of the world and focusing attention on the sheer madness that underlies life lived in a culture where market values are the only enduring and hallowed values remaining.


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