Sarah Olk studies History and Art History in the College of Letters & Science. She is advised by Jill Casid, Professor of Visual Studies in the Departments of Art History and Gender & Women’s Studies, and Olk’s research examines the central importance of material culture and design to the pop music industry with a focus in the innovations of the synth-pop duo, Pet Shop Boys.
Olk’s research project, “Pop and Artifice: How Pet Shop Boys’ “Very” Helped Redefine Music Packaging Design As Art,” explores #MaterialCulture and #GraphicDesign of the music industry from the 80s to the 90s through the recordworks of the British synthpop duo. Olk’s presentation will focus on Pet Shop Boys’ 1993 album “Very” to: ask how it aligns with, counters, and innovates the design contexts and phases of the music industry in the 80s-90s; frame the significance of “Very”’s design as a dual visual and auditory object; outline the progression of queer subtext into text in their work; and question how the duo blurred the line between art and pop music in a commercial setting.
Join the CDMC on Tuesday 08/24/21 at 10:00am for a virtual symposium where Olk and the other 2021 CDMC-Chipstone Fellows will share their research covering #DesignThinking and #Textiles. More info and registration link: https://cdmc.wisc.edu/event/chipstone-cdmc-undergraduate-research-fellowship-symposium-2/
Headshot courtesy of Sarah Olk.