Lovely to connect; What shall we call you?
Ian Anderson / The Designers Republic™ / Divine Rights™ / TDR Bingo.
Can you tell us about your background and what lead you down the path to experimenting
It is written in the scriptures…
“Ian was born in Croydon (London’s erstwhile City of the Future) before England won the World Cup. He fought in the Punk Wars 1976 — 78 with the Infra Red Helicopters in Bracknell New Town and studied Philosophy at The University of Sheffield 1979 — 82. As a designer he is self-taught. The Designers Republic™ was declared on Bastille Day 1986 in the northern Steel City of Sheffield he dubbed SoYo™ North of Nowhere™ (Where everyday is Wednesday)” TDR™ is ‘an internationally renowned pop-cultural hyper-creative design studio’ focusing on graphic design and brand communication across all media, fueled by strategic thinking, problem solving (thinking and doing) and strong narrative. In the 90’a / 00’s TDR was regularly dubbed ‘the most copied design studio in the world’ following work with Sony on Playstation flagship game Wipeout / Wipeout2097 / Wip3out, Warp Records, Aphex Twin, R&S Records, Pop Will Eat Itself, Autechre, the Orb, an issue of iconic design magazine Emigre and exhibitions in NYC etc NFTs… We have just launched our first ever NFT collection, TDR Bingo — a ‘numbers game’ being a collection of 253 X 001/001 artworks. Each piece is unique with embedded collectable traits & rarity and is exclusive to TDR Bingo. The works are remade / remodeled (and maybe re-usable) bespoke number-based designs referencing iconic TDR™ output — from commercially unattainable TDR™ fonts to hi-profile hijacked digits — from the future right up to Right Now. When did you mint your first NFT? What platform did you choose and why? I haven’t minted any NFTs personally; I’m not sure I really understand the whole thing, which is why I’m doing it… and why I’m working with the people at Divine Rights, who have minted NFTs and have more idea what they’re doing. We’re taking a DIY approach minting via our own website, using a bespoke smart contract – on our own terms, to learn/inform/understand, to keep control. To lead, not to follow. It’s an experiment where we can learn from our community. Each of the 253 pieces in the collection is unique, we’re not dealing in multiples. We’re learning the pros and cons of this approach as we go. We’re realizing we need the support of the community to grow the community which is why I’m really excited by the events and physical consumables we’re hoping to roll out as the project evolves
Can you tell us one thing you cannot live without? (and why)
Who is your favourite NFT artist? What makes this artist unique?
How do you define ‘favourite’? Based on what criteria? I don’t have favourites — there’s too much criteria and too may tick boxes I don’t have the urge to tick. I don’t understand why people choose to impose hierarchies on personal taste and creativity. I’m more interested in options, in everything multiplied by everything else, and the potential to like or unlike anything and everything whenever / wherever depending on changing mood and / or shifting context. I prefer contradictions. The twilight zone between yes and no, between perspectives, between falling in love with and being totally fucked off by the same thing at the same time… I don’t feel the need to resolve that scenario, but I do have the desire to celebrate and explore it. I’m more interested in art than artists, digital or otherwise, and in ideas more than idealists.
What made you pursue NFT art?
The TDR™ mantra has always been “communication by any means necessary”, and NFTs provide another route to connect with / provoke a response from an audience. In the past we’ve taken every opportunity to explore different avenues, different ways of working with different people / different clients. As such, this is somewhere between an experiment (to see what happens), and an experience (to learn stuff we don’t know). What interests me the most is the potential of the community that will hopefully grow from the NFTs themselves… who knows where that will take us, and ideally, for me, some of the directions will be determined by the community’s response / desire etc… Ironically the digital work may manifest itself in physical form… TDR Bingo merch, a TDR Bingo book (we have an idea to involve collectors and what they do with their NFTs as a part of the story if that’s the way the wind blows.) The NFT thing is an adventure. Who knows what will happen… I genuinely hope we can create a community that can work that out together.
What is the one piece of NFT art you wish you had purchased but missed out on?
I’m a producer not a consumer but… I wish I’d bought ‘Dormitory Town Is Full Of Twats’ from TDRBingo. Most of the Art I have I treasure because it was originally a gift and has personal gravity. Everybody has their own connection with art — what they like, and for some, what they own, and why… which is exactly as it should be — just as every artist has their own motivation for doing what they do, and why.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why this location?
It depends why I would be going to wherever it might be that I’d be travelling to. I’m lucky The Designers Republic™ has taken me all over the world over the last 35 years consulting and designing for clients, liaising with galleries for TDR™ exhibitions, opening TDR™ stores, talking at conferences and on lecture tours, and running workshops at art schools, conferences and festivals. The grand gestures of destination are less important than how you spend your time wherever you are and who you spend it with. It’s somewhere between the stories you make and the inspiration you take. It’s about making time as much as taking time. It’s about the people not the place. Ultimately, it’s about coming home, whatever that means.
What are your other passions besides art? Why?
The irony is that as a creative (an artist or a designer, or both — you decide) there are no passions other than those that ultimately feed into what I do. I’m a music obsessive, I love architecture porn, I can spend days watching sci-fi and crime dramas, I read books about psychology (why we do what we do), I like to hear what my kids are doing (they’re growing up too fast to want me to be a part of it now), I support Sheffield Wednesday FC. I’m a people watcher, and I like to travel to watch / meet people in different situations / cultures etc. I really like the idea of switching off and doing nothing… I could be passionate about that, but I don’t imagine that will ever happen until I’m too old to enjoy the space it would create!
Do you make other forms of art?
Yes (but it depends how you define art). TDR™ has sold prints / books / fashion / homeware / merch etc since the 90s, sometimes via our online store (temporarily closed), sometimes via our physical shop The Peoples Bureau off Cat Street, Harajaku (Tokyo) (closed), sometimes via FB / Insta. TDR™ has had over 50 ‘solo’ ‘physical’ exhibitions around the globe as well as contributing to 100s of group shows (see Ginza Graphic Gallery 2011). Key series include Atoms Vectors Pixels Ghosts / Hello, Is It Me UR Looking 4 / AZTDR / New & Used / Customised Terror / Synaesthesia / Ooh Aah TDR™ / Work Buy Consume Die (Pho-Ku Corporation) etc. The Designers Republic has never been just a design studio, more a state of mind, doing whatever fascinates us whenever the mood takes us… which is what brought us here, to be with you.
How did you come up with your specific style?
That’s an odd question.
How has your style evolved over the years?
I hope so. For a designer it’s a slightly different question. How we communicate the problems we solve has other factors beyond self expression to consider. This means it’s more a question of attitude / approach / application, and how that evolves and navigates the territory between client and audience. I think of TDR™ as a filter. The filter has certain properties — the way we think, the way we solve problems, the aesthetics which flavor how we communicate our solutions to problems, how we balance subjective and objective etc. These remain relatively constant shifting only based on the personalities of the people involved at any one time (we are who we are). The variables are the people we work with, and our relationship with / to them, and whatever they bring to the table, and what they want from it… the tension between what the client wants to say and how their audience wants to hear it.
What is coming in the near future?
There will be a new shop coming soon run-in conjunction with my friends at Shop Will Eat Itself… so it should be more organized, easier to order from, and there will be more re-issues and special editions along with new releases / new old releases / new designs / tees / sweats / books / prints plus the final pieces exhumed from the archive… there’ll also be a separate TDR Bingo “outlet” AND we’re working on some interesting collabs with the good people at Ghostly…
TDR Bingo will be showcased at the NFT Liverpool show in August, thanks to @hushart and @mondoir. ‘The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be Isn’t What It Used To Be’ is the title of the piece at the exhibition. There’s always plans for TDR shows… any idea where we could have one? or more? always up for talks and workshops…
If you could collaborate with one artist who would it be?
Do you have any upcoming drops?
TDRBingo®. Eyes Down!
TDRBingo® is a project powered by its audience. #ReclaimTheEther and help TDR™ Battle the Blahs! Be a part of the community,
connect to TDR™ and gain Divine Rights’ superpowers — priority access? exclusive merch? physical limited editions? collabs? in-
person events? Consumer Information?
The future isn’t either / or…
For now, a Divine Rights NFT ‘allows you to be the sole owner of a digital TDR™ product, with demonstrable provenance’ for the first
time and forever more.
Permanently yours until you decide otherwise.
Buy / trade / collect / swap / sell… Try it — you might like it.
Is minting already live?
We opened minting to the people already inside our Discord community – we wanted to make sure those people who joined early have the first opportunity to buy. Minting is currently open exclusively for everyone TDRBingo’s NFTs are made available in batches, you can mint at our website http://www.tdrbingo.com. Each NFT has a unique title and you can select the one you want to mint from those shown in pink. They turn black once they have sold, and you can then trade on the secondary market.
They each come with their own coded identity, like ‘Ankle Deep in Jibber Jabber’ or ‘I Want Whatever Gets Me What I Want’. One of my
favourite titles is ‘Candy Pants Lives in a Skip’. The artwork isn’t visible at the point of sale – we are building this project for people curious enough to explore with us. It’s a leap of faith to join. Once all pieces have been minted, individual designs will be revealed – remember, these hand-crafted, exclusive designs use original TDR™ fonts referencing iconic TDR™ output. Each artwork represents a number from 1 to 22. What number and style will you mint – How’s your luck? Eyes Down!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Sharing sounds like caring.
Where can collectors find your work?
Link to Website:
TDR Bingo Twitter: https://twitter.com/TDR_Bingo
The Designers Republic Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedesignersrepublic
Ian Anderson Twitter: @iantdr