Artist Book

by Thom Kiraly

In case you’re wondering what I do during my few waking hours I’ll make you happy by doing that web 2.0 thing: sharing.  (as we all know; Sharing is scary)

Recently we got an assignment in school to make an artist book, i.e. a book that looks like anything but a book. At least this was our teacher‘s definition (here’s wikipedia’s) so that’s what we all did. The product of our work was to be a 3D object functioning as a carrier and arranger of information (though not necessarily text) and based on an abstract idea.

My first idea was to make a large maze out of cardboard and paste text on the floors and walls. Navigation would happen through the use of a small ball with “avatar” written on it. The text was supposed to correspond to what was happening in the maze, much as the text in parts of House of Leaves and it was going to be taken from that book and some stuff by Borges. That idea grew a bit too large the more I planned it and proved too much for this small project and I settled for another concept.

The second concept was a bit more blunt (I’m not the most subtle person, mind you) and direct. I work with the abstract ideas of direct/passive action in a political contexts. The books (two of them) are thus stones with slogans and  political sentiments written on them. The slogans represent the passive action of carrying a sign protesting some injustice and feeling that it’s sufficient. Some slogans are popular graffiti slogans, and that may be considered something in between direct and passive. Direct action is represented by the stone itself. Needless to say, stone throwing is what we have to resort to when we don’t have anything else to use to fight the class war or just create a general outrage. The stones also act as both arrangers (with their six sides) and as carriers (since they imply an active use i.e. throwing them at/through something).

The first stone is the “Anarchist” stone. I’m most happy with the A and a bit less pleased with the side about voting.

"Revolution = Unroot Evil"

"Revolution = Unroot Evil" - Anagram

"Peace = Justice?"

"Peace = Justice?"

"If Voting Changed Anything It Would Be Made Illegal"

"If Voting Changed Anything It Would Be Made Illegal"

No War But Class War

"No War But Class War"

Anarchist A

Anarchist A - "No Justice, No Peace"

Burn Baby Burn

"Burn Baby Burn"

The second stone is leaning towards the situationist side as far as the slogans go. This stone also uses the sides more interestingly. “The Beach” is probably my favorite.

"Under the Paving Stones - The Beach"

"Under the Paving Stones - The Beach"

"Commute, Work/Sleep/Die"

"Commute, Work/Sleep/Die"

"We have a world of pleasures to win..." continued on next side (below).

"We have a world of pleasures to win..." continued on next side (below).

"And nothing to lose but Booore..." continued from last side and onto the next one.

"And nothing to lose but Booore..." continued from last side and onto the next one.

"...dom" as in "boredom" from the last pic. Continued on the next side (below), forming a new sentence.

"...dom" as in "boredom" from the last pic. Continued on the next side (below), forming a new sentence.

"... is counterrevoutionary"

"... is counterrevoutionary"

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