Ásta is a graphic designer. She received her MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. 

She is originally from Iceland and currently based in Los Angeles. 


We Present Issue # 6
Publication Design, 2023

Design and typesetting for WePresent Issue #6. WePresent is WeTransfer’s digital arts and editorial platform. For issue 06, the theme of the magazine is “endurance.” This issue’s cover story asks  “what does it really cost to be an artist?”

Art Direction: Brian Johnson and Silas Munro at Polymode Studio. 

    Common Ground
    Publication Design, 2023

    Design and typesetting of Common Ground by Adam Silverman & Sogetsu Ikebana Los Angeles. Working with ceramic artist Adam Silverman to design a book that featured a series of 56 Ikebana arrangements made by teachers and students at Sogetsu Ikebana Los Angeles, that were placed in Silverman’s vessels. The book cover itself folds out into a poster highlighting all 56 Ikebana arrangements against a blue background.

    Art Direction: Adam Michaels and Shannon Harvey at IN-FO.CO

      Wading Into Collapse
      Publication and Exhibition Design, 2023


      A collaborative project with Jack Tufts, Wading Into Collapse became a publication and installation shown in the RISD Design Commons in 2022.  Using the personal as a way to bring others in to the experience, we created an installation to tell the stories of our homes, Iceland and Louisiana, to show the ways the climate is already dramatically shifting in each place.  

      We took this concept, climate change, this term that feel so vast, a hyper-object that seems difficult to grasp, and showed the ways in which the climate is already being impacted in our homes with personal stories: mine of seeing a glacier declared “dead-ice,” in Iceland and Jack’s of his evacuation during hurricane Ida.  

      When people think of climate change, they often imagine some sort of dystopic futuristic scene, or something that will only become serious in the year 2100. We find comfort in thinking of the immediate, planning out of lives in hours, days, weeks, and months. To imagine what the world will look like in 78 years is intimidating, the image is so far in the future that it is blurred, too slippery to grasp. But ecological collapse doesn’t exist in sci-fi futures, it is happening now.  

      Soft Ruptures
      Publication Design, 2022


      My RISD Graphic Design MFA Thesis was based on a project that explored a personal story of Iceland and a volcanic eruption. The book begins with my research and documentation of the project, which became a film, installation, and publication exploring shifting landscapes and family histories.

      The book includes documentation of projects made during my time at RISD and interviews with Mindy Seu, Kathleen Sleboda, and Elaine Lopez.

      Thesis presentation and website can be found here. 

      Eyjapæja (Island Girl)
      Video and Installation, 2022


      A three-channel video and installation created with Berglind Þrastardóttir. Using a combination of filmed footage and archival footage, this installation tells the story of our mother‘s experience evacuating during a volcanic eruption that destoryed her childhood home and reshaped the island where she was raised. The film tells an abstracted story that relates to our mother‘s experience, shifting landscapes, and family histories.

      The eruption was the most famous in Iceland and it was documented extensively in the news. The footage and imagery became part of the public record. This record is combined with the impressions held in memory through my mother’s story. In the video, three scenes are presented at once.

      In the installation of these vidoes, each video had a different length. When the videos first played, the imagery is clearly laid out and sequenced in a deliberate way, but as the videos loop again and again, new sequencing occurs. Similar to what happens when we tell a story, every time we tell it, it changes ever so slightly.

      Full video here.

      Useless Objects
      Video, 2022


      A sample of a video on the idea of the mindless scroll and useless objects. In the video, I interact with all these objects, mostly with one hand, as if I was scrolling through them.

      Made with filming assistance from Hannah Suzanna. Full video here.

      Publication Design, 2022


      A series of publications documenting observations made during the pandemic. Inventory, at its very basis, is a book of lists.  It begins with, “I stumbled upon,” and then goes from there.

      A Story that Never Begins
      Video, 2022


      In a collaboration with Emily Bright, we created a video that uses the language of title cards to tell a story that never begins. The project was based on this idea of the “good life” that Lauren Berlant talks about in her book Cruel Optimism, particularly this paragraph:

      “We like to imagine that our life follows some kind of trajectory, like the plot of a novel, and that by recognizing its arc we might, in turn, become its author. But often what we feel instead is a sense of precariousness—a gut-level suspicion that hard work, thrift, and following the rules won’t give us control over the story, much less guarantee a happy ending. For all that, we keep on hoping, and that persuades us to keep on living.”

      The video works as an introduction to something that never actually begins. The video script draws heavily on text from both “Ghosts of My Life” and “Cruel Optimism.” I weave the phrasing from these two texts with my own writing.