In August, CalArts Graphic Design student Kari Trail (Art BFA 25) launched ToolKit: A Magazine on Making at an exhibition at global advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. The 24-page publication was designed and written by Trail for her capstone project as a design resident at the agency.
With an ethos of curiosity, ToolKit pulls back the curtain and examines the subjective nature of creative processes, and how different people approach building methodologies, especially in a world newly inundated with generative AI.
Trail interviews three graphic designers living in three different cities: Anna Mills, Bijan Berahimi (Art BFA 13), and Chris Burnett (Art BFA 13). Each of the artists gives an in-depth look at how to build a methodology for artmaking. ToolKit also features collaborations with CalArts alums Dov Annuse (Art BFA 23) and Elena Reyna (Hernandez) (Art BFA 23).
Highlights from the magazine also include “AI Spy,” an interactive AI prompt builder that uses your surroundings as an algorithm, and playful pull-out recipe cards for speculative utopian/dystopian AI futures. Trail even took inspiration from the late John Baldessari, a founding CalArts School of Art faculty member, in a piece that addresses her interest in whether or not AI can be conceptual. “Baldassar-E” feeds several of Baldessari’s famous “Artist’s Prompts” to ChatGPT. For example, ChatGPT is asked to respond to Baldessari’s prompt, “Given: $1. What art can you do for that amount?”
ToolKit was published on newsprint and is available to view online at Kari Trail’s website.