Escape from Eden is a narrative series of exquisite rapidograph drawings by Ippy Patterson. I am honored and flattered to be the binder for this edition of accordion books featuring a digital reproduction of the series.
2001 9.25” x 6.25”, extends out to 118” 30 pp. accordion fold ed. of 20 available for sale from the artist
stitching speechless (with Stephen Addiss)
stitching speechless is a collaboration with Zen art scholar, poet, and artist Stephen Addiss, featuring a sequence of his haiku. We worked together to embody the poems in a book that would express the multiple traditions they draw from.
We used traditional Japanese materials and binding structure to evoke the origins of English-language haiku. The book’s spine is on the right edge so that it opens in the direction of traditional Japanese books. I hope that this disrupts the physical act of reading it, to emphasize the rich strangeness of this fragmentary form of poetry.
At the same time, Addiss was a student and colleague of John Cage, so stitching speechless also reflects the avant-garde path by which Zen arts have entered Western artistic practice. Cage’s influence is there in the chance methods Steve used to create the haiku. In addition, I use fire and smoke on the pages—one of Cage’s favored visual art techniques. Cage had a more direct influence as well: to determine what part of each page to burn, we used a sequence of randomized numbers that he and Steve had used for an earlier collaboration.
2011 7” x 9” 48 pp. tortoise-shell stab binding rubber-stamp type, burn and smoke markings ed. of 14 $350
Verso is a collaboration with artist Chuck Cave that we created for the 7th Artists’ Book Triennial Vilnius 2015. The theme of the Triennial, ‘Error,’ runs through our book from start to finish.
We created the book’s imagery using methods that invited accident. Chuck created images by scanning the undersides of objects, and I shot photographs with a camera phone directed randomly upward. Each page spread features an image by each of us. I designed the layout so that our images move around the recto page surfaces, leaving the verso surfaces empty. Eventually the images begin to overlap and to expand across the gutter.
For the text, we used a poem by Jorge Luis Borges, “Mis Libros,” and subjected it to a process I’m calling a reverse mis-translation. In keeping with the theme of the exhibition and our method of creating images by scanning or photographing things from below, I translated the Borges poem in reverse order, from last line to first. I made intentional errors throughout the translation to give the resulting poem, “In the Book Mines,” a new sense.
Pictured here are page spread layouts from the book.
2014 12” x 9” 28 pp. saddle-stitched inkjet printing; each copy comes with a unique, altered ‘errata’ page ed. of 10