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Manual, a journal about art and its making. Lorem ipsum.The second issue. In potently meaningful and deliberately meaningless ways, this issue, “Lorem ipsum,” celebrates text. The standard placeholder text used by designers and printers, lorem ipsum isn’t really Latin. Mangled over centuries of use, the passage has become meaningless and untranslatable—and yet it is highly useful in that in its incomprehensibility, it occupies space. Over the centuries and across many inventions and innovations in type and printing, lorem ipsum has acted as a space filler and form shaper in conventional printing, desktop publishing, and electronic typesetting. Join us as we read and read into calls to action, incantations, prayers, portrayals, missives, notes, proclamations, and musings.

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Document Type



Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design


Providence, Rhode Island


RISD Museum; Manual; art journal


Art and Design


In this issue:

From the Files: curator Kate Irvin decodes the transaction that brought a 17th-century Buddhist monk’s stole from Kyoto to Providence.

Double Takes: Egyptologist James P. Allen and illustrator Antoine Revoy read and revive a 21st-century BCE gravestone; curator Jan Howard and graphic designer Nancy Skolos respond to the revolutionary content and form of For the Voice (Mayakovsky and El Lissitzky).

Artists on Art: type designer Cyrus Highsmith signs text, while poet Kenneth Goldsmith muses on Andy Warhol’s Raid the Icebox.

Object Lesson: art historian Daniel Harkett deciphers delicate inscriptions that speak aloud of the friendships and social networks comprising Madame Récamier’s early 19th-century salon.

Portfolio: text as stitched, chiseled, illuminated, scrolled, penned, and typed.

How To: Mellon curatorial fellow Alison W. Chang schools us in Occupy Wall Street hand signals.

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Manual / Issue two