Carsten Nicolai – Moiré Index

Die Gestalten Verlag

Die Gestalten Verlag, ISBN-13: 978-3899553086, 312 pages, August 1, 2010, English
Carsten Nicolai has multiple attitudes towards sound, art, science and graphic design, but they are almost perfectly consistent with each other. A follow-up to “Grid Index” (a comprehensive visual lexicon of patterns and grid systems), this new heavyweight book is dedicated to moiré, the graphical pattern created when two grids are overlaid at an angle. The beauty of this graphical interference (which every serious graphic designer involved with print has experienced as an accident, sooner or later) is almost completely exploited in a rigorous, scientific and slightly obsessive way. More than a “cataloguing” effort, it’s like a whole visual study on juxtaposition of minimal black and white patterns. As with other Nicolai efforts, this “decisive visual dictionary” (as the author defines it) is conceptual as well as objective. In fact, it overwhelms the reader visually with its spotless yet abstracted aligned data, and at the same time it serves as a comprehensive reference tool for designers, architects and mathematicians. It embodies the author’s rigorousness and meticulousness, in a book that instantly becomes an object and a work of art. Its richness is accumulated in the heterogeneity of single primary forms, which also silently describe a perceivable (graphic) rhythm pervading the entire three hundred pages. This impeccable book includes two nice extras: a cd-rom (with 864 moires .svg and .pdf files plus 540 files for creating overlays) and three transparencies that allow readers to create moiré at will.