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Posts Tagged ‘dave allen’

  1. Book Artist of the Month: Sarah Bryant

    December 22, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    Simulations-SarahBryant

    I really enjoyed this week’s response by Sarah Bryant on her inspiration and creative process behind Simulations on a Two-dimensional Grid. You can read about it below, but first the specs. Simulations was created in 2013 in an edition of ten. Zerkall paper is used for the pages and have been manipulated with letterpress printing, hand-drawn imagery, wax and folding. The loose pages are bound up in a waxed paper wrapper also decorated with hand-drawn imagery.

    Simulations2-SarahBryant Simulations3-SarahBryant

    Two sources of inspiration are behind this artist book: Barb Tetenbaum’s Aritst Book Idealation Deck and David Allen’s 2011 dissertation. Can you talk about how these two pieces came together as a guide for the concept of this artist book?
    So in late 2012, Barb Tetenbaum invited me to participate in a show using a set of cards that she and Julie Chen had developed over several years called “The Artist Book Ideation Deck.” The deck has categories for structure, paper, layout, technique, text, image, color, and description. It also has “adjective” cards. Barb and Julie drew random hands from this deck for all of the artists who would be making a book for the show. My hand went as follows:

    Imagery: none
    Structure: unbound/boxed
    Text: collaborate with writer/poet/other
    Layout: across folds
    Color: favorite
    Technical: hand drawn, painted/collaged, etc.
    Paper: pre-treated, crumpled, painted, pasted, etc.
    Describe: narrative
    Adjectives: personal, scientific, ordinary, complicated, colorful

    Dave Allen and I had been talking at this point about collaborating on a book, (this was just before his visit to the UK and the beginning of our Figure Study project,) so I turned to him for some text. He sent me a few excerpts from his PhD thesis for the University of Michigan and I selected this one: Simulations on a two-dimensional grid reveal that if the conditions are met to destabilize the spatially homogenous equilibrium then individual patches cycle out of phase with their neighbors. At any particular time the grid has a checkerboard-like structure (Figure 2.1), and through time individual patches exhibit a two-cycle.

    We worked together to pair it down to the following: Simulations on a two-dimensional grid reveal that if conditions are met to destabilize the equilibrium, individuals cycle out of phase with their neighbors. This felt more like a universal text, open-ended enough to invite us in and call for different interpretations.

    Once the text was selected, it was time to work with it and knead it into a book using the external prompts that came from the Ideation Deck. I used a series of folds, expanding from sheet to sheet, to disturb a grid made up of holes and lines. I loved this project, it forced me to do some new things that I surely wouldn’t have attempted without a set of instructions. Waxing the pages, for example. Also the loose sheet format that I have adopted for two subsequent projects.

    Several people have pointed out that my book is not strictly following the guidelines set by the deck. It does have imagery, for example, even if that imagery is minimal. And of course this is true. But the deck is meant to generate ideas, and so I considered the cards as prompts rather than unbreakable rules. You can still get the decks, by the way. I use mine all the time in classes or just to get my mind moving.

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    Setting limitations for a project can bring unique challenges and even heighten creativity. I was so thrilled to learn about Tetenbaum and Chen’s Idealation Deck. I may need to get my own copy and begin exploring artist books again.

    If you’d like to read a more in-depth description of Simulations, check out Heather Doyle-Maier’s review on the Abecedarian Gallery Blog, where she describes the tactile qualities of the book.


  2. December // Book Artist of the Month: Sarah Bryant

    December 2, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    FigureStudy-SarahBryant

    As a work still in progress, Figure Study is a creative collaborative project between book artist and printer Sarah Bryant (Big Jump Press) and her biology professor cousin, Dave Allen. In the interview below, I’ve asked Sarah a series of questions about this project because its production is partially possible due to a successful Kickstarter fund. And of, course due to the brilliance of the design and content of the project.

    Figure Study is a book about population data. Housed in a custom box is a series of population diagrams printed on drafting film. The translucency of the drafting film allows one to arrange the prints in unique combinations creating new sets of data and artistic forms.

    FigureStudy2-SarahBryant

    Figure Study has an interactive element. How do you see the owner of this work connecting with the population diagrams?
    I hope that the process of comparing the shapes will be a truly addictive one. I find it that way. Of course, the owner of the book will be able to look at the figures in a purely analytical way if they wish, layering a sheet of drafting film printed with a figure onto a grid and using the index to determine which regions are represented. But additionally the layering yields beautiful forms and stark contrasts that appeal to both the analytical parts of our brains and our more basic appetite for creating and experimenting.

    It is interesting to me that over the last two years or so I have made three “books” that are essentially composed of loose sheets that can be rearranged. I didn’t set out to do it this way, but somewhere in the back of my mind I have been interested in the viewer reshuffling and recombining the content. I think this book is the natural conclusion of that impulse because the reshuffling of the data is so essential to the core of the book. Comparing, revealing differences and similarities, investigating.

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    I’m really excited to present this interview with Sarah Bryant. I continue to enjoy the work she produces and was pushed to conduct this interview from as a suggestion given by Michelle Ray, who I interviewed last year. Sarah is creating really interesting artist books in beautifully designed and bound formats. I recently made a pledge toward Sarah and Dave’s successful Kickstarter fund and am anxiously awaiting my reward. I see Kickstarter as a potential avenue for other book artists to fund their ambitious projects and a goal of this interview was to discuss the entire process with Sarah.

    Check out the interview after the jump for more about Sarah, her background and creative process. Come back each Monday during the month of December for more about Sarah’s work.

    read more >


  • Visit My Bindery
    My name is Erin Fletcher, owner and bookbinder of Herringbone Bindery in Boston. Flash of the Hand is a space where I share my process and inspirations.
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