SCA: Second Year Studio Major [Artist books Alt.Publishing]

Various scattergun notes and links relating to second year studio major (photomedia)

ALT.Publishing and Artist Books

Queensland State Library Online resources on Artist Books

A really concise history of the Artist Book from Yale Library

An incredible website about all things Artist Books, the BookArt Web particularly good for tutorials on the making of various types of bindings.

Here is a link to an Artist Book I made last year with Joyce Hinterding with contibuting texts by Amanda Williams and Anne Finegan titled ” The Immaterial’s Langauge Molecules Vibrations ” it also might give you some ideas about how to use a blogging platform like wordpress as a CMS (content management system)

Heres some practical links to the craft of bookbinding

Adapted article on japanese stitching

And here is a link to an excellent website on Japanese bookbinding showing the accordian style bookbinding which is the method we shall use for our class assignment

Zine Links

Big List of Zines

Independent Publishing Resource Center

Lathe Cut Records

Peter King Lathe Cut Record Manufacturing

Important Links to Artist Books via two of the most famous outlets for Artist Books

Printed Matter NY

Online website of Bookie Wookie a shop in Amsterdam that only sells Artist Books

Practical Links/Technique

A good link relevant to the Inclass project on Paper folding Techniques


Here is a link to Ipaper by Scribd

Force & Syntax

What is a force you might say? – Its not that complicated. A force belongs first to movement and then to a multiplicity and a becoming. A force is a movement, an interaction – “when a mountain collapses, what was once still beneath the sky falls downwards and interacts with what it touches. Thankfully, it’s not always this dramatic. A force then, is simply a dynamic interaction between some states.

The forces that exist in art works that are unleashed, however, exist at a different scale to the mountain, they exist at the scale of the molecular and the energetic, in the form of waves – pressure waves of sound, or photons of light commonly thought of as a wave, but actually a frequency and now, lately in my own work – actual molecules – things that are normally thought of as having not much substance or even no substance at all, in the case of the work in the gallery they are an emission of types of energy, providing a strong psychic and physical presence in the space, they figure more obviously in the collaborations that involve the electromagnetic, but also lets not forget that forces operate at the level of ideas (which is something that has no physical substance) and they also operate at the level of representations that transmit time from beyond the present into the present. It’s important to remember that there are gentle forces as well. Forces that are the barest whisper, soft rain like we get in the mountains – or a lovers breath and even the works that don’t have resonating sculptural structures in them also contain other mysterious forces.

Sometimes forces are fabricated virtual arenas – fabulations – synthetic fabulations – a house vents its contents into an imagined and yet credibly realised artificial anti -gravity – or a different kind of house vents water endlessly, forever, as if nature had found a menacing musical dimension in the form of seemingly infinite loops, eddies and reversals of flow.

Even models and simulations can create a force in the world if they are capable of giving shock or wonder. If even something as still and manufactured as a maquette or model is capable of shock, then naturally, concepts and ideas can also create shocks and rifts out of the chaos –“tearing a slit in the firmament” as DH Lawrence would say.

Representations are signs that emit, but this emission at the level of signifier is also a force that is on par with the physical dimension of forces that I am describing. The Neo-Gothic house in the work, House Two gathers up and transmits the gothic line into the viewers mind – the gothic line enters the room softly as a familiar trace. This is why I like the gallery space – it’s a container for these things, a container without distractions. This is why we like the book it’s a little machine and a container of emissions. Books get inside the head and cause the mind to make projections onto its screen and we live with books as if in a waking dream. Books are a kind of dwelling – they house things both psychic and real, when full of facts they become like museums filled with time abstractions. Books perhaps are not made to represent but to represent a reality that is yet to arrive. For every configuration of image, word, text or sound there is a kind of composite that takes place, a multiplicity that forms a new world. Why because one is constructing, construction itself. This is what the Artist is doing.

Let’s not forget what it means to be an Artist. An artist is a force in the world as well. So is a priest, or a judge or a teacher, forces are not limited to only non human phenomena – there are powerful musical forces. Walking in a manner is also a force and even a style, a certain gait, I have a friend, she has a beautiful style to the way she walks, sometimes fast with long strides, sometimes stealthily like a cat. I saw it the other day at twilight in the mountains – we where filming with a contraption that also causes one to walk in a mysterious and extra dimensional way; there are different modes, speeds and differentials, a whole multiplicity to walking. And language certainly has a rhythm.
Lately these rythms are intensified and worked with in Hip Hop lets take Aesop Rock by way of an example

Who broke the verbal squad sensor? Root down, feelers out across the marsh before it was “Awesome Car! ” I called in car cavalry cooked in an 85 Dodge Aries, gas for Huntington and back barely. Equipped with super soakers full of piss and an uncanny knack for constantly upsetting pigs by doing stupid shit. The kid? bartered? his ring king dummies to King Cullen where they hollered “F**k the World” from a parking lot of the suburbs. A couple spray cans and a little litter, but they’d look at us like swindlers with them Ricky Kasso jitters. So f**k em, a glutton sunk into the alley for props but things will still go bump when them halogens pop. Believe. I’ll be there when it happens so shake another place off the mantel, snake another flames off the candle, lady of the lake off the answers, admitting their mistakes to their? deplaning? cadavers. Now it’s rest in peace when Peter’s? sinner heaters sung? disturbingly referred to reevaluate your beast of burden’s urgency. Damn doggy, good times, thanks. I wrote your name in wet cement by the Brooklyn banks.

?… Smack? for later. Made a fire, made a wheel, made a snack for later. Catacomb kids cuddle up and test the paper. When the town’s speed freaks sleep, trap the traitor. He will ask for papers.? See I’m a nice invader?, made a roof, made a weapon, made a flag from paper by the snotty little nuzzle of a latchkey neighbor. When the? pope does shaggy? over some dap from gators, he will catch the vapors.

But so does a series of images, there are all kinds of atmospheres and territories and timeframes that appear from a series of images, images in series. Isn’t there a syntax of darkness that comes with Hensons landscapes or time frozen in Jeff Walls dramatic scenes.

Humans are capable of creating extra dimensionality by using an artists logic which contains all the sense of nonesense. This is why Tarkovsky’s, levitational love making scene in his film The Sacrifice, totally stands up, because it’s not really that far out of reach and it seems natural within the very curious logic of the narrative

Everything that interacts belongs to the nature of a force. The colonisers used walking in a different way – armies marching across the fields – a terrible kind of harnessing of chaos – and then our indigenous peoples mysterious walking on their dreaming tracks – I walked on one in the Wollemi wild country recently and saw drawings on the walls of caves, some look like women with ectoplasmic nets coming from their mouths or maybe I wondered, if these powerful drawings was also some kind of premonition of the speech bubble, to come.

What is a becoming you might ask? It is a joyful leap into plurality, an embrace of change and experience – a discovery of freedom – it is according to Nietzsche to live life naturally, with the multiplicity, rather than through fixed conceptions of the one truth or how the One universe is conceived. The common model then is thrown out the window. One no longer has to struggle with the reconciliation of a fixed abstract conception that never seems to adequately stand up to the reality of the polyphony of a life and change becomes a productive force away from the centre rather than an experience of discomfort.

I have come to think of the artwork itself – any artwork as a kind of transmitter or radiator of energy, once it reaches the brain, new pathways are electrically connected and wired up and we gain extra consciousness as a result. A necessity when the world presents a continual unceasing, multiplicity. This might be one part of the reason that Art has had such endurance, even through great traumatic events in history, or has managed to have a place in the most turbulent of cultures. Perhaps it’s playing a role in the drive towards the required evolution of our subjectivity. – it might be the hunger in the brain – its appetite.

The vibe I am detecting of late, is significant interest within some parts of critical theory and philosophy, with cognition and neuroscience; that presents a turn towards something far more visceral , expressive and trans-disciplinary – another multiplicity. There is still interest in an emission of signs, of course, but there is also a biological investigation brought into the fold that goes as far as taking into account even the quantum level of scales which are mysterious forces to say the least.
And, I think this is a productive turn. Deleuze himself says that he believes more in the future of molecular biology of the brain, than in the future of information science, or of any theory of communication, perhaps some people are taking their cues from him, after all, Foucault joked, “ that this century would become Deleuzian “.

With the art then, it’s both a mind fuck and a physical thing; they can’t really be separated. It could be said that the work happens in the head, a strange manifestation of touching the cave and folds of the inside of the head. Thankfully then, we are really talking about waves, particles and photons and mental images, not anything larger than that. Molecules are indeed tiny; you cannot see them with the naked eye

The work then is all about revealing a force – something in movement – light that enters, sound that enters, forces that act on the senses. The works are structures that stand up for a time, that enter the body. Why use the word “styling” you might ask? Because style, is as much a question of inhabitation of a particular territory, as it is of a particular type of speaking or syntax – ‘you wear particular ensembles of clothes that present your style” style creates a territory, it’s also an inhabitation, of a multiplicity of modes and qualities.

Fashion sense, its easy to dismiss, but look at the way its changing all the time – there is a definite time base, involved – tied to capital for sure, but also tied to desire, so we cant even dismiss something that feels vulgar at times – marketing – the true enemy of fashion. The winds of change in dressing are tied to a flow of data as much as to what costumes we decide to emit. Even if you don’t think you have style, you have a style.

The force could be said to be waiting for its coupling, this is a strange idea – one of completing the circuit. Art then is also another kind of electricity.
Art calls to the viewer. It doesn’t always call out in the same way that the media does, or other types of communication do – overly clipped and in high resolution – something literal and vulgar – art allows for mysterious and unintelligible forms of communication to be part of the equation and done with a kind of elegance, even if its of the ugly, this is its primary difference from the “everything else, whatever” and provides an antidote for what Adam Gezy described the other day in his seminar , as the “tribunal of boredom” in our contemporary world. Art puts a show stopper on opinions and provides a kind of “station break “ where we can all finally put down our guns and breathe a sigh of relief.

Art is the best vehicle for the forces we work with too transmit, because they reach people who are receptive – it might be that some of these forces have appeared in the past as something uncanny in a science lab, or as data in a report, but who would they be reaching in that setting – who would they enter, not enough people. Not that the forces them selves care either way, of course – but from the perspective of someone who is interested in discovering them and someone who is a kind of medium of these forces, I think Art is the best way to allow these things to make an appearance in the world. There is a real specificity in art, in these relationships, because the works are formed from very specific assemblages and sets of relationships that would never be allowed to coincide in other disciplines. Look at the authentic characters of art that Brancusi gave us for example – a strange brass form resembling a bird and a kind of twisted smooth brass cylinder – a character to come later in the Alien films or as any number of future characters in science fiction, fashion, photography or architecture. Artists are literally sketching our future. I am no scientist, even though parts of the work use scientific principles; mindful of a formula set out by Proust, which is one of – “ speaking as a foreigner in ones own tongue” allows a certain kind of wisdom based on stupidity, to be elevated, never becoming too much the authority on anything, poking around in the dark , in other words, I like to grab what I need, from a multiplicity of activities, its one way to stop complacency, you never quite feel like one is on top of things – the algorithm for images, physics and optics for imaging the sun, perfumery ( that one alone contains a lifetime of experimental knowledge to be explored). Make no mistake about it, the methodology may follow aspects of scientific or technological processes, but it’s always done only in relationship to art and curiosity – which is the work. Is there not a hidden wisdom even in Naivety?

The forces that are revealed are tied to the specific assemblages or laminates of Art. What is an assemblage? I barely need to say it; but for the sake of the argument today, it is a construction of things, a bunch of materials – a compositional plane (the canvass – or the projection – or the political meeting) that provides the surfaces and corridors that allows the forces to transmit. A lamination is an overlay of elements welded together, a composition or composite of things solid or not solid. A kind of ramshackle, though sober constructivism is what I think I am engaged in.

We are all working in a discipline that is totally able to assimilate failure at the level of the work and the concept – is open enough to encompass the inadequate as much as the sublime and that allows for a whole universe of tangible and intangible things to coincide – such is the nature of the poetic. There is a lot of freedom in all of this, that makes our field unique as an activity…as you can see I am a lover, not a straightener – embedded in a practice that may even be able to encompass ultimately something as unimaginable as a collapse of the forms I’ve built up, the possibility of one day an inversion of all of the principles discovered in the trajectory, even at a cost that it becomes a kind of dark star on the work, that has preceded – Some days I dream about inverting everything – a folding back – eventually just making a turn around and why NOT !

Art is a totality that can accommodate its opposite – Anti-Art. What about engaging in a sweeping arc, a beautiful and graceful piroughette. Instead of emitting energy in the work, maybe the work could be all about sucking it in – Art as a black hole. Instead of a black house, build a house of timber and light, with crystalline shard forms instead of boxes. Or instead of gathering the energy out of the air -hold it back – invert all the forms . Instead of Noise – Silence. A ghostly presence suggested this on an airplane flying over the Pacific. Maybe the process has already started. A new work (a much too soon work) titled Telepathy, will start to do some of this inversion stuff.

I like this group statement very much from New No York – a bunch of friends working in the experimental sound scene, on the lower east side of Manhattan.

We have often been told that what we make is not music and generally we have no argument with that. If music is only sound constructed within what this day survives as the common notion of musicality, then, no, we don’t make music. This is not to say that we reject all sound-constructions developed within ‘music’ (in its narrowest sense) — there are certainly ideas developed within this tradition that we use — but we do believe that the traditional concept of music is too impoverished to encompass the sound worlds we wish to create. …..we are with those artists that desire the freedom to reject all rules/relations from everywhere. Taking our cue from Herbert Brun we call this Anti-music. As with Brun’s concept of anti-communication the ‘anti’ of anti-music is “used here as in antipodes, antiphony, antithesis, not meaning ‘hostile’ or ‘against’ but rather ‘juxtaposed’ or ‘from the other side’.”