Tuesday, March 17, 2009

21st Editions Plate Book Project

These are more images from the set of Plate Books I completed for 21st Editions, publishers of fine contemporary photography. I constructed 70 plate books and 20 boxes to house the books. In addition to the plate book acting as a way to house a single photogravure plate along with its print, it also acts as a display device. The owner/collector can take a single work out, display it, and then put it safely away. This is a great solution to displaying any kind of two-dimensional artwork. The plate books themselves have a few unique features that you do not see in traditional binding. First, the core board is not book board but a .040 sheet of aluminum. I will be doing a future blog post about how to use metal in this manner. Second feature is the spine material--a saturated felt spine. It is very strong and very flexible. Third interesting feature is that everything except the labels and the plates went on dry, with various drymount adhesives. I have to thank Daniel Kelm for exposing me to all of these methods! I actually worked on the prototype for this structure while working for Dan at the Wide Awake Garage. Did I mention he is a genius?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Founding Father's Altered Text

When I heard this Fresh Air episode about religion and the Founding Fathers, I was blown away to hear about Thomas Jefferson physically cutting out passages from the Bible and pasting them into a new blank book--recreating the text as to how he thought it should read. Many book artists do exactly this. Their medium is book and text. Jefferson's Bible reminded me first of the most well-known example of what is called an "altered text": A Humument by Tom Philips. In that work, the artist drew on and blocked out words in a victorian novel so that a new narrative emerged.

I went on a hunt to find images of the Jefferson Bible and was AGAIN blown away to see these stunning pictures from Alexandria Searls, a photographer who beautifully captures Jefferson's actual cut-up Bibles which are preserved (thank goodness) at his home in Monticello. I haven't found any images yet of the book in which he pasted the passages, though I believe he did publish his version of the Bible which you can now purchase via Amazon. of course.

You can see the full exhibit of Alexandria Searls' photographs of the cut-up Bible at the Monticello website. Alexandria graciously allowed me to publish a few here on the blog.

Just came across this other blog post on more cut-up texts http://blog.whitneyannetrettien.com/2009/03/thomas-jefferons-cut-up-bible.html. cool.