OFFF Review: Innovative Storyteller Sam Winston

OFFF Review: Innovative Storyteller Sam Winston

PSFK talks to Sam Winston about his work deconstructing and recomposing classic stories.

Catalina Kulczar-Marin
  • 15 july 2010

The three-day OFFF festival showcases top digital artists, web, print and interactive designers, motion graphics studios, musicians, and more. PSFK was at OFFF Paris recently, and talked with Sam Winston to find out more about his process and work.   Sam is a storyteller, sculptor and print maker, who generates alternative meanings from the given fundamental blocks of communication.

Can you explain what you do?

I am an artist – I produce art as books. I write stories centered around type and language. Some of them are original drawings, some are typeset books. A lot of collages, a lot handmade. I am using design systems to map strategies found in design and communications.

I took children’s stories and I started mapping the language in children stories in 3 different ways. For example, I took the text from Beauty & The Beast – and ordered it through a timetable. So instead of reading in a linear way, you can read it in order of arrival. By changing the format slightly, you change the language that’s used in children’s stories.

I was taking the text of Jack & The Beanstalk and instead of carrying the story in a linear format, I looked up the encyclopedic definition of “bean” and “magic” – and then from “magic”, I looked at “fairytale”, then “fairytale” let to “short story”, and “short story” led to “poetry”. “Bean” leads to “food”, “food” leads to “protein or life”.  So instead of the story carrying on, I began to map how we rely on so many definitions understand the context of the words that we are reading. So instead of going in a linear way, we kind of work behind and make a map, basically. A map language.

The idea behind the book is children’s literature meets adult ideas whether that’s time tables, or encyclopedias or newspapers and that’s how I began to work with this format.

What was your thought process when creating your Romeo & Juliet piece?

I went through the text of Romeo & Juliet and tagged it into 3 emotional states.

1) Everything that was said in passion – so Romeo & Juliet courting
2) Everything said in rage – the families going to war
3) Everything in solace – the priest and the nurse trying to reconcile the parties

And the idea was based on the fact that we are always attracted to something or have an aversion to it – and if we are not attracted to it or have an aversion to it, we ignore it.

Attraction, aversion, indifference or whatever state we are in, it always moves on, so I took all of the passion of Romeo & Juliet and moved it physically by cutting it out – every bit of letter from passion down into straws.

Thanks Sam!

Sam Winston


Why The Apple Watch Is Taking Foot In The Restaurant Industry

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment

Travel Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Related Expert

Rafi Haladjian

Consumer Electronics, Healthcare

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Technology Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 26, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Children Yesterday

IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

The products are taken from fanciful drawings that showcase the imagination of those who use it most

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Health Yesterday

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Retail Yesterday

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Health Yesterday

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous

Mobile Yesterday

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

No search results found.