The Robot Book is the latest creation from Brooklyn-based artist and photographer Thomas Jackson (previously). It’s actually the culmination of a larger photo project he completed last year which follows dreamlike story of a lone robot in a post-apocalyptic future, carrying on the day-to-day menial tasks of life. The book is constructed from sheet metal, salvaged wood, and is embedded with an antenna (!) and other electrical components. It contains 24 giclée-printed photographs and 7 giclée-printed illustrations by Jackson.
When I began this project three years ago, I didn’t know I was making a book. The plan was to create a series of staged photographs addressing a set of themes that interested me, among them our culture’s obsession with hard work and our less-than-harmonious relationship with the natural world. Composed in narrative form, in the manner of a medieval tapestry or altarpiece, the pictures would tell the story of a solitary robot’s last days in a post-apocalyptic place. But when I completed the images in late 2010, the project felt unfinished. The story seemed to need one last narrative twist. The answer, I came to realize, was a book. A book that was itself an artifact from the world I’d created in the pictures. A combination of organic, manufactured and mechanical components, it would be the sort of thing the robot himself might have made. The result is a mixed media mash-up that’s part sculpture, part graphic novel, part photo book and part gadget—an inscrutable relic long lost in an apocryphal future.
If you’re interested in obtaining a copy (a limited edition of 11) you can contact the artist directly via his web site.
In 2004 I moved from Chicago to Prague to finish a writing degree through Columbia College. For six weeks I wandered the narrow cobblestone corridors of Prague, drank beers the size of my head, and in my spare time read the complete works of Franz Kafka. We’re talking every single book including The Castle, his technically unfinished novel that is in essence, madness. I wouldn’t say that makes me any kind of authority on his work, but I will say that these incredible covers by Peter Menelsund, the art director for Knopf (that owns publishing rights to all of Kafka’s work), perfectly captures the essence and concurrent themes in much of his writing. Even the use of Mister K, a font based on Kafka’s own handwriting is surprisingly pitch-perfect and not gimmicky as one might expect. And the eyes:
So, as you can see, I’ve gone with eyes here (not the first or last time I will use an eye as a device on a jacket-book covers are, after all, faces, both literally and figuratively, of the books they wrap). I find eyes, taken in the singular, create intimacy, and in the plural instill paranoia. This seemed a good combo for Kafka- who is so very adept at the portrayal of the individual, as well as the portrayal of the persecution of the individual.
The books will be available in June or July of this year. (via coudal)
The Unruly Alphabet, deftly illustrated by Aaron McKinney. This strikes me as a book that childless people with a great sense of humor would purchase and gift to their nieces and nephews, who would then execute to a T, everything depicted within the book on their parents after one reading. Or maybe that’s just my kid.
There’s been no shortage of book and paper sculpture in this space lately but I’m making no apologies. St. Louis-based scientist and artist (scientist! and artist!) Julia Feld makes delicately layered sculptures and topographies from dissected science and medical textbooks. Many are available through her shop, Holy Stokes. (via dude craft)
Between the Lines is a 2007 piece by artist Ariana Boussard-Reifel. The book is a white supremacist screed that Ariana eviscerated, word by word. I contacted Ariana by email and this is what she said about the piece:
Between the Lines was completed in 2007. It is a white supremacist text that I cut every word out of. Essentially imposing the doctrine of color-based segregation on the book itself, removing all the black from the white, and rendering it meaningless as a consequence. It was part of a series that was a response to the rise in power of The World Church of the Creator, a vitriolic white supremacist group. Also in the body of work is Like Mother Like Daughter, a performance piece and now a group of photographs that I made with my mother, and Hate Begins at Home, an installation piece in which LMLD is projected.