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New Work: Passe-Partout App


A video preview of Passe-Partout, an iPad app designed by Abbott Miller that enables users to build their own choreographic sequences.

The iPad offers a uniquely interactive stage for performance that creates new opportunities for how dance and choreography can be represented. Passe-Partout is a new app by Pentagram’s Abbott Miller that allows users to create a multi-layered performance from a series of dances, each with their own musical score. Users can select and edit from different dances to build their own choreographic sequences, which they can save and share with others via Facebook. The app is the latest project from Miller’s ongoing collaborations with the 2wice Arts Foundation and publisher Patsy Tarr.

Passe Partout dramatizes the patterning, repetition, and layering of ballet, qualities that are foregrounded in the work of Justin Peck, a choreographer and soloist with the New York City Ballet, who choreographed and performed the app’s dances with fellow New York City Ballet dancer Daniel Ulbricht. Each dance is set to a different piece of music—composed for the project by Aaron Severini—which can be layered to create a polyphonic soundtrack to the visual layering.

Users can view the dances as single, one-minute performances, or in multiple layers, constructing an increasingly complex ensemble of up to five image and sound layers. The app randomly selects five dances for any given session from a set of eight potential layers. The full set of eight dances yields 40,320 different combinations, yet the potential duration and sequences mean the results are even more diverse.

Passe-Partout is Miller’s third app for 2wice, following the previous apps Fifth Wall and DOT DOT DOT. Passe-Partout is now available for download from iTunes.

New Work: Codecademy

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Codecademy is the premier online educational platform that offers free coding classes in different programming languages such as Python, PHP, jQuery, JavaScript, and Ruby, as well as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and markup languages including HTML and CSS. Founded in 2011 by Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski, the innovative platform has quickly expanded to encompass over 24 million users who have collectively submitted several billions of lines of code. Codecademy sees its mission as nothing less than changing the future of education, addressing the need for computer programmers and the lack of the discipline in current curricula with an easily accessible platform that everyone can use.

Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team have developed a comprehensive new identity system for Codecademy and the user interface for the platform’s redesigned website, which launched earlier this week. Inspired by coding, the identity has been conceived as an adaptive kit of parts that can be extended as the company grows and establishes partnerships with other organizations.The designers worked closely with the Codecademy co-founders and lead designer Manuel Lima on the program.

“Codecademy is a business we’ve built to help everyone in the world learn the skills they need to make things and find jobs,” says Zach Sims. “We think our new look will make Codecademy’s impact even greater for the millions of people who have already started learning on the platform, as well as future users who want to code.”

New Work: GLUCK+

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The innovative New York based architecture firm GLUCK+ is a pioneer of Architect Led Design Build (ALDB), an integrated strategy that makes architects responsible for all aspects of the architectural process, from conception to construction. An alternative to the traditional design-bid-build process, ALDB puts the same people in charge of an entire project, resulting in better quality and cost of the finished building. Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and his team have collaborated with GLUCK+ on a comprehensive rebranding that highlights the firm’s multi-disciplinary approach in the new GLUCK+ name and identity, as well as a dynamic new website.

A Canvas in the Cosmos

Pentagram’s Naresh Ramchandani and Marina Willer have lent their support to help create a prototype for SKYPAD – an intergalactic web app for WWF’s Earth Hour, the world’s largest switch-off event.

In collaboration with Google Labs and Grumpy Sailor, Naresh Ramchandani and his team conceptualised and named a fun, engaging, shareable concept to raise awareness for the event.

“We wanted to create a kind of galactic creative Avaaz,” says Naresh Ramchandani. “We wanted to create a canvas on which people could express, in constellation form, their support for Earth Hour and the Earth in general.”

New Work: Sotheby’s

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Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is one of the world’s oldest and largest auction houses, and the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: BID). From its roots as a book dealership, the auction house has grown over the past three centuries into a global company that ranks alongside the great art museums in the breadth of its influence and expertise. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has been collaborating with Sotheby’s over a two-year period to bring stronger coherence to the full spectrum of the company’s identity and communications, including its website, catalogues, and magazine. Miller and his team worked closely with Sotheby’s leadership, collections specialists, and design and technology teams in New York and London to develop the comprehensive program.

2wice Featured in the Guggenheim’s Works & Process Series


Watch a video retrospective of 2wice, from its first incarnation as Dance Ink to its recent series of groundbreaking apps.

For two decades, Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has collaborated with the arts patron and publisher Patsy Tarr on pioneering new platforms for dance performance, first in the pages of Dance Ink magazine, then in the unique editions of 2wice. Most recently they have collaborated on a series of apps for 2wice that turn the digital screen of an iPad into a new kind of performance space. Their latest app, DOT DOT DOT, invites viewers to interact with the spatial and temporal representation of dance in a piece specifically designed, choreographed and scored for the digital tablet. On January 27 Miller and Tarr will discuss the app and their ongoing collaboration at “2wice: Dancing from Page to Stage to Screen,” a presentation in the performing arts series Works & Process at the Guggenheim.

Miller and Tarr will be joined at the talk by their DOT DOT DOT collaborators, the choreographer Tom Gold and videographer Ben Nicholas. The event is part of the 30th anniversary season of Works & Process at the Guggenheim and will be presented in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Peter B. Lewis Theater. Miller knows the museum well, having designed the look and feel of the Guggenheim identity, as well as the definitive history of its architecture. 2wice was recently honored by the alternative New York performance space La MaMa.

“2wice: Dancing from Page to Stage to Screen” will be presented Monday, January 27 at 7:30 pm at the Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue in New York. Tickets are available here.