Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Phoenix House

I've posted pics of a new artist book, The Phoenix House, over at my website. It's an altered mashup of several different material texts: it began with pages from a found scrapbook, titled The Phoenix House: its photos were torn out, but their captions remained. Using the title and captions, I constructed a textual narrative with memoiristic elements, influenced by several other sources: photorealistic swimming-pool stationary, an interior design book, a late-1990s Adobe Illustrator manual, and the cover from a cheaply published edition of L. M. Montgomery’s classic melodrama, The Blue Castle, with the eponymous building depicted through pirated photos of a night-lit Cinderella castle. I "housed" it all in a first-edition copy of Annapurna by Maurice Herzog, utilizing its cover and illustrations. 

For more info and to see more pics, click here. I'll post scans soon, so you can see the details and read the text. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

More Artist Book Sketches: Pedestrianica

I made more artist book sketches by incorporating a Baudrillard quote into two different book structures (to learn more about this Artist Book class assignment, read this post). 

I was in the middle of returning to my Letter from Pedestrianica posts, working to adapt them into an essay that, because of the way a pedestrian interacts with a cityscape, seemed apt to take place in an artist book format. The Baudrillard quote—"When your driver's license goes, so does your identity"—was in my notebook and haunting me, and I figured playing around with it would help me understand the physical shape this essay might take.

In both books I used yellow-orange—one of my favorite colorsappropriate because of its yield-sign solidarity, convenient because it meant I could utilize recycled manila envelopes. In both sketches, I used old RUNX TALES drawings of my face to represent the identity a driver's license photo attempts to capture. The paradox in both sketches is that, as the reader moves through them, the face becomes less obscured—in the first, through transitioning from the pedestrian icon's head to a more detailed face (before ending in a festive image of violence); in the second, through the subtraction of strips of paper.




I'm still thinking about how these structures and concepts could be worked into a book designed to contain (and interact with) a longer essay. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Artist Book Sketches: Olive Moore

I took a class in Artist Books this last semester with Julie Leonard at the UI Center for the Book, and one of our assignments was to make a series of 3D "sketches". The sketches involved selecting a simple folded form and combining it with a quote of our choice, so that the structure and text inform one another. I picked a line from the novel Spleen by Olive Moore: "And it all began, thought Ruth idiotically, it all began when we gave up eating grass." I placed the text within the structure so as to play with the word began, and tried to embody the tension between carnality and vegetation by collaging plastic wrap, parchment-colored human anatomy diagrams, shredded paper, and blood-red aquarium rocks.




Moore chose her pen name because she said she wanted her books to be like olives: an acquired taste that once acquired, would leave the reader wanting more. After learning this, it was hard not to think of the aquarium rocks as little pimientos. Check back soon for moore artist book sketches!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Zine Librarian (un)Conference this weekend

I had fun designing the logo for the Zine Librarian (un)Conference happening this weekend in Iowa City. Now in its fourth year, the event uses an unconference format to explore issues around maintaining accessible collections of zines.