Make Non()sense

“Make sense” is a mantra of the information architecture community. What if we don’t make sense? What if we make nonsense?

This poster is an inquiry into what we mean by “nonsense”, what it is to make or not to make sense, and the many ways in which meaning can fail or be failed. There is a long history of the intentional use of nonsense in art, literature, music, and politics as a means of expression, exertion of power, or resistance to power. Sense and nonsense lie in the interpreter and the interpreter’s relationship to the idea or material. Nonsense, even most earnest attempt at the production of nonsense, implies the possibility or loss of meaning. Nonsense betrays meaning.

The poster imitates a Dadaist poster and assemblage. It was created by Dan Zollman and Phoebe Meskill.

This poster was presented at the 2018 Information Architecture Summit in Chicago on March 23, 2018.

Photo of Nonsense poster including a timeline of the history of nonsense in art, literature, music, and politics

Photo of Dan in front of the Nonsense poster

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