Finding unknown pleasures in flattening the curve

Finding unknown pleasures in flattening the curve

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.”

—Jim Jarmusch, avante garde film director

If you're into post-punk music, you probably recognize Lost Radicals' recent No Transmission T-Shirt design as a reinvention (remix? remaster?) of the cover art from Joy Division’s 1979 Unknown Pleasures album. At the time, a young Peter Seville lifted and repurposed the graphic — a series of radio frequency periods from the first pulsar discovered — from an entry in the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy. And it’s been borrowed many times since.


A collage of various iterations of the Unknown Pleasures album cover graphic. 

From Belgian high fashion to megabrand Supreme to a myriad of tweaked tees, shoes and tattoos, the image has lived a full life far beyond its source material. The history of the graphic’s evolution is told in greater detail in a revealing 2019 Wall Street Journal article here.

In it Seville states that Unknown Pleasures' cover is “cool, in all of the meanings, from cool to cold,” which helps make it an image where fashion and design and online irony all can occupy the same territory.” Like Warhol's soup cans or hip hop sampling, it’s certainly become source material for countless designers and music fans to amplify their personal vision.

For our No Transmission T-Shirt, the design has been transformed once again to broadcast the "flatten the curve" battle cry that has echoed throughout the Spring of 2020. Hopefully, it will inspire new fans while it also supports Ohio artists. 50% of net proceeds from the sale of this and our other "Rock & Relief" tees will be donated to the GCAC COVID-19 Relief for Artists program to help creators quickly access financial support to recoup losses due to cancelled events, performances, exhibits, festivals or teaching opportunities.

If you don’t have yours yet, you can pick it up right here:

Banner photography courtesy of Lost Radicals collectors Blair Beavers and Leigh Ann Simms. If you appreciate the art of mixology, check out their site:

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