Phenomena. Discourse. Bricolage.

Aphex Twin's 'Syro' in Design

Syro limited edition vinyl boxset

Design¹ armed with the menace of mere consistency. Oriented toward it under the umbrage and lexical indifference of the unadorned unpretentious but wholly conspicuous advert advertising. As I've received it anyway.

Syro gear

Lists. Presented with that dress/trope so familiar to the embodied, diasporic² effulgence of inventories, archives, works, and days. Receipts. Premonitions of productivity somewhere identified. The all encompassing all effacing awe³, inducing a season or two in its disastrous ecstasy or economy. It is Labor — a labor — aestheticized. The list and its listing. That processional quality through pure spiral or straight line but on and on in a sort of casual infinity. The list is a predominant instigator in that field so coyly marrying design to language to industry in Syro, packaged, disseminated. Meat of markets. For markets. And its data-handsome font, looking very much like a craftsman dandy's OCR-A.

Syro costs

The iconoclast’s disaffection with all things common or corporate, when most virile or fertile in culture and as social phenomena, demands its potency directly from spirit disordered and displaced by the fury of its visions, abounding in unequivocal and incommensurable distaste. In other words, that sort of disaffection themed retreat takes place squarely within a live, breathing being first before its qualities are scavenged, serialized, and abstracted for markets — for design. Here and there, the stubborn consistency of the list activating and cascading its contents, whether it be for gear used or economies staffed/satisfied. Here and there, command and dominion placed over an otherwise unique and imperfect but serendipitous quality of rebellion and intention budding within an individual flourishing under its own bouquet of signatures and values. But a visual language serving economic stimuli must be consistent. Merely.

The seemingly unpretentious regurgitation of mere facts and figures, employing type indicating data and data alone (attractive or not, design as transparent as its container or not, dross or not) is unmediated neutrality that beguiles and sells for an artist of Aphex Twin's well curated caliber. Accepted. Richard's legacy-mongering pants on with Syro in a language of all things aggregated. Aesthetic of spreadsheets, spirit of Excel. Even disinformation remains information, friends.


  1. Syro design by The Designers Republic. Warp affiliated.
  2. Emphasizing deep bounce of information scattershot—felt. Else, indication toward movement of data by almost metaphysical reach and reach alone. Data traveling beyond region and domain. Data mesmerizing. Attempts, at least.
  3. cf. The dizzying accounting not altogether unfamiliar under Umberto Eco's vertiginous equations in Vertigine della lista (engl. trans). Eco, Umberto. Vertigine della lista. Milan, Italy: Bompiani, 2009.
  4. Simple Regular // NORM.