we had something is a unique artist's book featuring text in brush calligraphy on a semi-translucent washi paper:
"we had / something / beautiful / and we / still do / don't we?"
Nested inside the folded, double leaves of each page is an obscured image. Each recto image is a Google Maps screen capture of the site of a major environmental catastrophe, manipulated in Photoshop to create a full-bleed abstract image in unnatural colors: pictured sites include Three Mile Island; Picher, Oklahoma; Bhopal, India, and others. Each verso image is a smaller, casual snapshot of some minor natural beauty. I burned the pages with a soldering iron, each page featuring one more burn than the previous one had.
When I originally formulated the text, I thought the book would be a broad, ironic look at the universal human tendency toward nostalgia. Instead, it became a more pointed record of amassed environmental degradation.
2016 11” x 13” 14 pp. stab binding brush calligraphy with inkjet printed images and burn marks unique book $600, carried by Vamp and Tramp Booksellers
heart sutra, remix
heart sutra, remix is a handmade, accordion-fold artist's book inspired by one of the central texts of Mahayana Buddhism. It features digital collage and a poem presented in brush calligraphy. Each copy is inkjet printed, finished with unique burns through the pages, allowing it to fit snugly into a reused cassette case.
I composed the text for "heart sutra, remix" almost 20 years ago as an oral poem when I was first learning about the Heart Sutra. For this edition, I performed the calligraphy for each page spread ten times. After finishing the calligraphy, I scanned my favorite version of each page spread and used it as the basis for the digital collages printed in the final book.
My poem and this book aren't meant to be a commentary or an expansion on the Heart Sutra, but rather an homage, an example of the long history of chanting and copying it in calligraphy as a devotional act.
2015 3" x 4" (24" x 4" when open) 16 pp. accordion fold edition of 75 $45
Each book in the I Ching series is an expressionistic response to one of the sixty-four entries of the ancient Chinese wisdom book. The sumi-e painting that I created for I Ching #3: ‘Difficulty’ includes heavy washes, accents drawn directly with a wet ink stick, and a circle drawn with the red wax that’s usually reserved for signature seal stamps in traditional sumi-e and calligraphy.
This open edition features a scan of the original painting, inkjet-printed. I finish each copy by burning the hexagram symbol for entry #3 on the front cover with a soldering iron, and adding unique burn marks with matches.
2013 5.25" x 7" 4 pp. accordion fold open edition $90
Each book in the I Ching series is an expressionistic response to one of the sixty-four entries of the ancient Chinese wisdom book. The image for I Ching #64: ‘Unfinished’ is a play on a painting by Japanese Zen artist Sengai, called ‘Circle, Triangle, and Square,” which in turn was the inspiration for a Robert Motherwell monoprint in the 1980s.
Alternative interpretations of the hexagram include 'Not yet forded,' and 'Before completion.' It can be read as an encouraging sign that the successful achievement of a goal is in sight, or alternatively as a warning not to lose focus when something is nearly finished - perseverance is needed to see it through successfully to the end."
This open edition features a scan of the original painting, inkjet-printed. Each copy features unique burn and smoke marks.
2013 5.25” x 7” 4 pp. accordion fold inkjet printed, with unique burn and smoke markings open edition $90
Dr. Mr. Miracles’s Guide to Miracle-Making: A Manual (Abridged)
Dr. Mr. Miracles is a blank-slate superhero/saint/devil with unlimited potential and good will, and a tendency to get bogged down in mischief.
The original ‘edition’ of Doctor Mister Miracles’s Guide to Miracle-Making consisted of five similar but unique copies that I created by altering pages from a set of acupuncture manuals. My alterations include drawings and rubber-stamped text purporting to be a translation of the original Chinese into the occult, angelic language Enochian, and then from Enochian into English. On the surface, the manual gives advice on finding your ideal miracle stance, keeping your miracle centers unclogged, and other keys of miracle performance. At the same time it plays with ideas about the limits of translation and cultural appropriation.
The present edition of 100 copies was commercially printed from scans of my favorite version of each page.
2013 5.5” x 8.5” 20 pp. saddle-stapled ed. of 100 $16
Dr. Mr. Miracles’s Vocabulary Guide for the Perplexed Miraclist
A follow-up to his Guide to Miracle-Making, Doctor Mister Miracles’s Vocabulary Guide for the Perplexed Miraclist is a book-long riff on a line from the Tao Te Ching: “Names can name no lasting name.” As a sometime Taoist and an all-the-time verbalist, I can’t stop thinking about that line.
The book is introduced as “A Glossary of Seventeen Terms Compiled to Vivify Your Miracle Practice.” At first it seems straightforward. Real-world sacred terms (“caritas,” “paramita”) mingle with new words to describe ideas that could benefit the world (“humilitocracy”). But as the book goes on, the system breaks down — terms grow more opaque, words are burned away on the page, and disturbing images start to invade.
As with its contents, nothing about the book is what it seems. What looks like a stack of smudged index cards rubber-banded together is actually a painstakingly printed, hand-bound book, its sacred aspirations muddied by the inability of words to name a lasting name.
2014 4” x 6” 48 pp. hidden side sewing inkjet printed ed. of 100 $35
Googled English Frontier Star features thirty combinations of words that, at the time, brought back zero Google search results. I used Scrabble rules when creating the word combinations: no proper nouns, no foreign words that were not also commonly used in English, and no consulting a dictionary. I printed the resulting phrases with hand-set rubber-stamp type on a variety of decorative papers, and bound them onto a central cylinder using a binding structure that I invented for the project.
The structure consists of five signatures sewn onto a steel can with a single, continuous thread. The star shape represents the sublime, cosmic proportions the internet has reached—almost infinite and still expanding.
2008 4.25” x 3.25” x 25” (open) 30 pp. cylinder binding rubber-stamp type ed. of 5 SOLD OUT