After a mini sabbatical of two weeks, Politics is an inspiring theme to resume writing for DOT429. My new office in Manhattan, I moved into 10 days ago, on the corner of Varick and Spring is set up and running. The interior is not entirely perfect yet, but it feels great and it’s time to catch up on things and do the finishing touches here and there in the off time.

When I came to New York City to work as a designer in 2001, one of the first rules I learned regarding social behavior was never to talk about topics related to religion and politics at parties or gatherings of similar nature. While I understand and respect the norm in context of religion, I do disapprove of it in the case of politics. The most recent and catastrophic event of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the very delayed and therefore late recognition and reaction to it in the public to me is a frightening sign of the times. Where is the national rally flooding the streets of New York, where is the outrage in the public, where is the boycott of BP gas stations all over the country? Maybe I’m missing something, but New York at least seems pretty much oblivious to what’s happening in the south.

Of course this is not just an American phenomenon, rather one more and more common to countries of the western world. Are we all to well fed and lethargic to take notice and action? Are we taking an intact ecosystem for granted, just like so many other things, previous generations fought so hard for? Where is the active partaking in today’s society? Where is the vigorous but healthy discussion about politics?Where is the passionate activism storming the streets?

About The Author

Matthias Ernstberger is co-founder and president of Timko&Klick, a New York based multidisciplinary art direction and graphic design firm. Before founding Timko&Klick in March 2009, Matthias spent 6 years as designer at Sagmeister Inc., New York, and 2 years as art director at the fashion branding boutique agency Lipman. Please feel to contact Matthias directly at

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