Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kate Farley, D704, 2001, UK [ed. 20]

In this rather intriguing accordion Kate Farley has abstracted details of the landscape she observed when traveling in France along the D704 road from Frayssinet to Gourdon to create this lino-print interpretation of the landscape. This bookwork is one of a number in which Farley has been inspired to interpret a landscape into patterns/designs for the printed page, indeed she sees her "...relationship with landscape as the constant in the variety of what I do."

For further information about Farley's work see:

Lino-print, colored wash and pencil. 8 pages, single-sided, 6.7/8" (h) x 3.3/8" (w), open 2ft 3".

Back cover

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Valentin Orange, Dinard Londres, 2016, France [ed. 15]

I'm going to let Valentin Orange explain what this fascinating little leporello is all about with its title referencing these two European cities. This statement is from October, 2017.

"About the book: What is printed on it are photos. You maybe can't really guess at first glance what is on the photos but that’s normal. They are taken in a plane with a GameBoy Camera, a lo-fi camera made by Nintendo for the GameBoy in 1998. It's not unusual to photograph the take-off of the plane or the clouds from the windows with a camera, but doing it with this kind of camera is really different. The result isn't descriptive, or let's say the informations are hidden behind a smog of pixels. 

This particular camera was a center of interest to me and the start of this work (did several tests with it). You can also use it with a GameBoy Printer, another accessories made by Nintendo used to print pictures (mainly the pictures you took with your GB Camera) on a cheap thermal paper. Here were my concerns: you can't preserve well this kind of print and you can't really directly use it to make a book. Moreover, the camera is limited to 40 photos that you can’t transfer onto a computer, the print is the only way to "save" them, but as i said, it's not really made to resist the passing of time. 

What i wanted to do with this book was finding a way to preserve the photos and also thinking about an easy way of viewing/reading them. I printed them with the GB Printer, scanned them, resized them a little, then looked for the right paper and laser printed it. I can't remember the name of the paper and i don't have the documentation about it with me now, i'm sorry, but i chose this one for some simple reasons: good quality, thick enough so you can be able to do a good leporello, and above all because for the texture which kind of copied the raster of the GB screen. 

I chose the Leporello format for several reasons: i find it easer to manipulate than a regular booklet format given the size of the book; you can read it frame by frame or in the whole length-wise, doing so you can see the photos in chronological order (from the take off of the plane to the landing) and compare one to another, doing so it can help to understand what this series of photos is about; the book unfold is also a continuity of the original pictures printed with the GB Printer: this printer prints on rolls of paper, the leporello format is closer to the roll than a booklet format, it's still one piece of paper; finally i did a recto/verso print because you can read it from A to Z or from Z to A, you can see the take off of the plane as a landing and vice-versa. 

Last thing: the little sheath used to hold the book closed was printed using the GB printer and some thermal paper. The drawing of the plane and the title of the book (the two cities related to the flight) were drawn with the GameBoy (the GameBoy Camera allows you to draw on your photos, photographing a bright white background allows you to draw on a "white paper"). This can get erased by time, it's not that much of a big deal, the more important to my eyes are the photos."

Book details: 13 pages double-sided, 4" (h) x 3.25" (w), when opened 3ft 6.25".



Thursday, September 28, 2017

Denis Briand, V.L.D.D.P., Les Editions Incertain Sens, Rennes, 2011

This is a smart publication that works at a number of different levels. At its most basic its the reproduction, in printed form, of a 1970s slogan (Vive le dictarait du proletature) whose painted outlines can still faintly be seen on the wall of a university building on the Rennes University campus. With the original image fading this book was conceived as a way of fighting this disappearance, and of preserving a historical link to the social conflicts that embroiled this campus and many others in France from the late 1960s until now. 

The phrase "the dictatorship of the proletariat" was adopted by the founders of Marxism as a description of the inbetween stage between capitalism and the full collective ownership that would come with communism.

Denis Briand works as an exhibitions curator and artist in the visual arts department at Rennes 2 University, France.

16 pages, single-sided, individual page 5" (h) x 4" (w), fully extended 6ft.

The back cover shows the outline of the original slogan as it was painted on the concrete facade of the building and the book replicates the spacing and placement of the original letters and words across the accordion folds of the book.

Anna Plestilova, Ukolebavka pro male pavy (Lullaby for Little Peacocks), Prague, Czech Republic, 2014

A subtle series of drawings and texts make up this rather delicate one-sided accordion that takes as its main theme the 'eyes' in peacock's feathers with the final image of a closed eye 'closing' the book as it were. According to the artist each page of verse is a different take on peacock's eyes and she notes that she chose the accordion format as " is possible to open it as a hand fan," in a similar manner as to how the peacock displays its feathers in a fan shape.

For more information about the activities of this Prague-based artist: Nakladatelství | Bylo nebylo

13 pages, single pages 7.5" (h) x 3.5 (w), fully extended 3ft 9.5". 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Jessica Spring, An Inflammatory Guide to Banned and Challenged Books, Springtide Press, Oregon, 2012

With its humorous play on the modest form of the matchbook this really fun and lively double-sided accordion strikes out at an important issue as it was published to commemorate Banned Books Week at King's Bookstore, Tacoma, Washington in 2012. At 3" square the book fits comfortably in the hand and the printing is topnotch and sadly, the message is always timely. 

For more info about Jessica's work: springtide press

Single page 3" (h) x 3" (w), 11 pages & fully extended 33" (2ft 9").



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Julien Duporte, Etropud's I.S.B.N., lendroit, lapressepuree & etropud, france 2013 [ed. 100]

I really know nothing about this book or its author, but I'm sympathetic to the book's theme of how we have been reduced to numbers. For the record here is what can be found at the International ISBN Agency website on the definition of an ISBN:

An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number. ISBNs were 10 digits in length up to the end of December 2006, but since 1 January 2007 they now always consist of 13 digits. ISBNs are calculated using a specific mathematical formula and include a check digit to validate the number.
Each ISBN consists of 5 elements with each section being separated by spaces or hyphens. Three of the five elements may be of varying length:
  • Prefix element – currently this can only be either 978 or 979. It is always 3 digits in length
  • Registration group element – this identifies the particular country, geographical region, or language area participating in the ISBN system. This element may be between 1 and 5 digits in length
  • Registrant element - this identifies the particular publisher or imprint. This may be up to 7 digits in length
  • Publication element – this identifies the particular edition and format of a specific title. This may be up to 6 digits in length
  • Check digit – this is always the final single digit that mathematically validates the rest of the number. It is calculated using a Modulus 10 system with alternate weights of 1 and 3.
What is an ISBN used for?
An ISBN is essentially a product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the registrant as well as the specific title, edition and format.
Either way this is a fun little double-sided accordion with one side comprised of abstracted colors and the other the 13 numbers that form an ISBN.

Single page 3.5" (h) x 2 5/7" (w), 12 pages and fully extended at 2ft 8".

The back of the book and back of the label.

Ed Young, Mouse Match: A Chinese Folktale, Silver Whistle & Harcourt Brace & Company, 1997

A beautifully produced book that illustrates this Chinese fairytale about a mother and father mouse and their search to find the most suitable marriage candidate for their daughter, i won't spoil the ending, but this story is known as the 'Mouse Bride' story in China.

Ed Young illustrates this large book with his collages and cutouts, and while these are serviceable they create a dark and muddy kind of field, and the mouse figures seem to fight against this background. However, the struggle and the search that form the heart of this story are clearly communicated through this ambitious collage.

Single page 11" (h) x 8.5" (w), when open 18ft 5".

Alzbeta Zemanova, Untitled, Loop publishing, Prague, 2011

Another cool publication from Loop in this tight format and this one by another czech illustrator. This book takes 'a walk in the woods' as its theme, but the atmosphere Alzbeta creates is much more relaxed & innocent than Frantiska Lachmannova's treatment of the same theme (see next blog entry).

Double-sided and single page 4.5" (h) x 6" (h) and when fully opened 24.5" (2ft 1/2").

Frantiska Lachmannova, Untitled, Loop publishing, Prague, 2011

This accordion by this Czech illustrator would seem to be telling a dark little tale about a walk into the woods, but nicely done! Same publisher as the previous posting with all the accordions by Loop publishers, Prague.

Single page 4.5" (h) x 6" (w), when opened 24.5" (2ft 1/2").

Saturday, September 23, 2017

8 Accordions, Loop & Umprum, Summer, 2017

I was in Prague for a week this summer and spent the whole time chasing down cool art places, bookstores and galleries, and with Prague's printmaking history in mind, I was also looking for accordion publications. It was during one of my last days in Prague that I stumbled into the gallery and funky bookstore Galerie Xaoxax (see photos of space below). Pleased to find such a cool place I started exploring this storefront store. Soon enough I noticed a whole table of accordions just sitting there, i couldn't believe my luck! From this great selection I'm presenting 8 of them here.  Talking with the woman in the gallery she said that they had been done for a class with a professor at the University and then taken to the Tabook, the yearly arts & literature festival in Tabor, Czech Republic, presumably for sale. They are all the same size and same paper but they are a smart set of accordions ranging allover the place in content and style, but neverthless a very exciting series of artists' books exploring the accordion format. Xaoxax's website doesn't seem to be up but they have a facebook presence.

Each page 5.5" (h) x 7" (w), double-sided, when open they are 28" (2ft 4") wide. 

The table of accordions, i was in bliss!

Tsai Hsin-Ying

 Zuzana Sagitariova


Katefina Kozakova

Jakub Bachorik

David Dolensky

Sofie Tobiasova

Nikola Logosova

Zuzana Bramborova