In Dialogue With Texts
My experiment at the Public Library had sparked an interest in libraries and other archives, and I had begun thinking quite a bit about the book as cultural artifact. I revisited some foundational texts on materials and making such as The Medium is the Message and The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and discovered some new works that I thought might shed some light on my budding interest in archives, books, process and materials including Springer and Turpin’s Fantasies of the Library, and Lisa Gitelman’s Paper Knowledge: Towards a Media History of Documents, to name just a few.
Because I prefer to take notes directly on the page, and since most of these texts were found in borrowed books, I found myself back at the copy machine. This resulted in dozens of pages of rough copies of books, and printouts of low-res PDFs which I was free to underline, highlight and scribble onto.
These marked, photocopied pages had an interesting low-resolution quality to them, and the notes I left behind on them were inadvertent indexes of the close reading I had performed. The natural next step was to transform these pages into a new artifact that could express this process of research, information retrieval, duplication and close reading.
I continued to experiment with the copy machine until I had fully explored its interaction with contrast, texture and typography, and turned the experiment into a 64-page hand-sewn book that attempts to convey the relationship between a reader and their deep engagement with texts.
The content of this book is comprised of fragments of the books that informed this stage of my research process, and its form aims to capture the poetic relationship between the reader and a text. This book is itself a sort of bibliography—a physical index of the research process.
—Format (closed): 6.25” x 8.25”
—Binding: hand-sewn kettle stitch
—Printing: standard laser