Well my email inbox tells me that readers are clamoring for more about the Hybrid Book Fair. Sorry for the delay – I got back from the conference and promptly flew away again. But now I’m back and have added some images to my last posting on the Fair and have the next installment below.
Robin Price, 43
Clever, visually enticing, introspective, humorous, Robin Price’s 43 is a delightful response to a 43rd birthday. Price has concocted a book structured around the number 43 in every way you can imagine. Having compiled a personal bibliography of 86 (twice 43, see?) books which have played a significant role in her life, Price began counting in them, forwards and backward – pages, sentences, words – to find the gems that might lie at the 43rd position. She then took these texts and laid them out on translucent pages which float above sections of maps (all from the 43rd parallel) to spell out the themes in her life. Undulating shapes beneath starkly gridded text combine into a visual harmony. A river, running through the whole book and printed on the translucent paper seems to merge with the maps below confounding one’s perception of the different layers. It is a wonderful book, especially when you start to read all the excerpts from her autobibliogaphy (to coin a term; this book makes me want to invent new vocabulary…).
Emily Larned, Stock Project
A set of 3 socio-economic broadsides, available individually or as a set, Emily Larned’s Stock Project is appropriately printed on old defunct stock certificates. Bold black lettering, turned sideways and printed over the delicate engraving of the originals, proclaims the misguided impetus of putting too much stock in the name or price of an object. Taking her theme a step further, Larned changed the price of the broadsides throughout the day on Friday in response to the vagaries of the Dow Jones Average. Calling in each hour to learn the current price of the DJA, she increased or decreased the price of the prints accordingly. True to the nature of our economic markets, once the closing bell hit on Friday, the price was set for the rest of the Fair.
I have to mention another project Larned was showcasing (but of which I don’t have pictures): ILSSA aka Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts, a collaborative venture with Bridget Elmer which you too can join and support the movement that “favors independent workshop production by antiquated means and in relatively limited quantities.” The joyous perversity with which they turn conventional economic wisdom on its head, declaring as their mission “as many hours as it takes,” is indicative of the new flavor of DIY in the 21st century.
Carolee Campbell/Ninja Press, The Intimate Stranger
Carolee Campell of Ninja Press was showing a new book, still in proof form, called (I believe) The Persephones, which utilized a lovely wash of ink stippled by means of salt sprinkled onto the wet paper which sucked up all the ink surrounding it and left a gorgeous mottled pattern. But, true to form, the book I took pictures of was fundamentally geometric and symbolic in nature. The Intimate Stranger is made up of sheets cut to reveal sections of subsequent pages and designed to create a visual harmony between spreads. Geometrically geographic in design, each page spread combines printed shapes and lines that interact with the cuts in the sheets; as the pages are turned, lines that had formed one trajectory on a former spread, take on a new role on the next spread, creating an interconnected landscape in which the text is positioned.
Stay tuned for more from the Fair….