This book was a writing collaboration between Ron MacCauley and myself. It was a structure that unfolded to reveal secret passages, and in multiple directions (like life's journey) and incorporated all of my own photography from seven countries and locally. This visual focus is often the spaces in between objects. It is a 7" cube when picked up, and unfolds to 20 feet in length and sometimes 3 feet in height. A copy resides in the Rare Book room at the WVU Libraries.
This book is a prototype, waiting for me to make the edition. Ten paperfold translations of jungle beasts accompany stories told to me by my Tacano indian guide on a trek through Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. Figuring out the animals took a month of a sabbatical.
This book was about the schizophrenic loss of identity and finding it again in the divorce process. It is actually positive as it progresses. There is a reversal of text and image. Pages are image-only, with metaphors abounding, and text becomes aggravating folded strips emerging from the binding as conflicting voices. An edition of 90 copies made for a grant from the Rosendale Press in NY, was the largest edition I will ever make of an artists book!
I call these Books on the Wall because they involve more text than most pieces you might expect to see in frames. The text is letterpress and the elements are very tactile, using handmade paper and lots of assemblage. The series is about all kinds of touch— the good, the bad, and the ugly. To fully find messages within the pieces, you are invited to touch it and manipulate parts of it to reveal hidden components, or to add your own content. They are each in 4" deep handmade frames about 27" high.
This one is about The Untouchables—those too young, too old, too unbeautiful, too disabled to be heard or noticed, those we marginalize or fail to befriend. Their stories are captured as they exit IV tubes on red ribbons, symbolizing the lifeblood of contact that can be lost. Hawthorn barbs surround their compartments like the invisible barriers that we put between ourselves and those we ignore. An image of an oxidized reaching hand on an ancient sculpture is barely seen on monofilament fabric above a DO NOT TOUCH warning in the back of the compartment.
You Were no Gepetto, Sir is about pedophilia and manipulation. One can have fun working the puppet with various rods before realizing the victim's plight. This is a personal story and one that set me on a social justice course long before I heard the term.
Touch as Drug is about romantic touch and ferremones and chemicals like oxytocin that our bodies make in response to such pleasure. It is about the best of relationships that can extend past the age of raging hormones. One plunges veterinary syringes outside the frame to reveal four sequences of text about the topic.
Hi, how are you? asks you to rethink how casually and mechanically you confer this greeting without ever "touching" or connecting with one to whom you spoke. When you move the mask, you reveal what you might have missed. When you turn the cylinder from above, you get different states of fear, joy or sorrow that you could have shared if not in such a hurry.