Fraser Muggeridge embarks on record design challenge at the Barbican

A team led by Fraser Muggeridge is designing original record sleeves at the Barbican for music which is being recorded by the likes of Suicide and Thurston Moore on site and pressed by The Vinyl Factory. We caught up with Muggeridge to see what’s going on.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27:  Fraser Muggeridge during day one of Station To Station, A 30 Day Happening opening weekend at the Barbican Centre, 27 June to 26 July 2015 at Barbican Art Gallery on June 27, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for the Barbican Art Gallery) *** Local Caption *** Fraser Muggeridge

Designer Fraser Muggeridge has set up studio at the Barbican this week in an ambitious project that will see him create runs of original album art for songs that will be recorded by the likes of Suicide, Boredoms and Thurston Moore before being pressed on site.

The project is part of Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening, which is being curated by artist Doug Aitken in partnership with the Vinyl Factory.

Muggeridge is two days into his two week residency and has already been given presses of Get Real by The Concretes, Fun Times by White Mystery and Doom Doom Doom by Cold Cave.

Fraser Muggeridge, photo by John Phillips_Getty images (12)

With only a day to create each one Muggeridge and his team of six are working within obvious time constraints but he says the process has been liberating and allowed him to focus on an idea without it being diluted by processes.

“It’s an invitation to explore things we wouldn’t normally do. We don’t have to present to a client. A lot of it is based around the constraints of what you can produce and we’re very controlled by production techniques here.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27:  Fraser Muggeridge during day one of Station To Station, A 30 Day Happening opening weekend at the Barbican Centre, 27 June to 26 July 2015 at Barbican Art Gallery on June 27, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for the Barbican Art Gallery) *** Local Caption *** Fraser Muggeridge

Those techniques include stippling, stamping, cutting, some screen printing, rolling, drawing and photocopying says Muggeridge – “primitive techniques.”

Each design has to be reproduced 300 times for each pressing and there will be ten tracks recorded in total.

Fraser Muggeridge, photo by John Phillips_Getty images (1)

Replicating the design has brought its challenges Muggeridge says: “You couldn’t make a complicated four colour stamp – you’d need four days to print it.

“We’re trying to stay on the right side of that borderline where it could end up like a five-year-old kids workshop. It’s folky. Each one’s slightly different and obviously there are some mistakes but they’re part of the process. We can photocopy sleeves but not covers.”

Each of the ten records pressed will be linked by a concept, the Mona Lisa, which will be referenced in each design, through things like hair colour, something anatomical or a more subtle reference.

Fraser Muggeridge, photo by Rob Stothard_Getty images (3)

Meanwhile Muggeridge’s team is “remixing” their old work. “We’ve brought in computer drawing machines – a 1980s architectural plotter, which holds pens and a watercolour bot.”

The architectural machine is being fed with data files of old pieces of studio work and has already recreated a barbican poster while the other machine is turning the studios portfolio into watercolours.

Designers Åbäke will take over from Fraser Muggeridge’s residency at the end of next week. Station to Station will also include other residencies, installations, workshops and screenings.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  A general view during day two of 'Station To Station, A 30 Day Happening' opening weekend at Barbican Art Gallery on June 28, 2015 in London, England.  American multimedia artist Doug Aitken's project Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening is taking over the Barbican Centre from 27 June - 26 July.  (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images for the Barbican Art Gallery)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  A general view during day two of 'Station To Station, A 30 Day Happening' opening weekend at Barbican Art Gallery on June 28, 2015 in London, England.  American multimedia artist Doug Aitken's project Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening is taking over the Barbican Centre from 27 June - 26 July.  (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images for the Barbican Art Gallery)

 All images ©Rob Stothard – Getty Images

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