08 November 2021

a few books: a project put together for 57W57Arts

 November 2021

A few books out of many that have inspired me: a project put together for 57W57Arts, NYC

Starting at the top of the stack: 


      A handwritten book? I looked closer – it was in English and the writing wasn’t a digital font. I bought it for itself, only later finding the colophon and looking up the description online.

               I’ve often toyed with writing a book of my own by hand – but I dislike my handwriting.

                                                                                                                Kris Martin: Idiot (Aspen Art Press)


“Each new work by Belgian artist Kris Martin puts a fresh spin on the roles of process and duration in art. In this artist's book, Martin has written out the entirety of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, substituting his own name for that of the book's hero, Myshkin, in an extreme act of adulation and identification with Myshkin's desire for spiritual transformation.”


A soft cover book in Japanese with Japanese binding /

on NOH

...picked it up at a flea market and still love everything about it: the paper worn soft, the foxing, the bold characters and skinny illustrations. Because I don’t read Japanese this book renews itself every time I open it. 

       I myself dream of creating an endlessly renewable book....


This is Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams randomized. Completely. The entire book is here, in English, but it reads like a dream whose meaning is scrambled and out of reach. It is good bed-time reading, and reading aloud reveals how much we rely on common linguistic patterns for efficient reading and comprehension.

     As a youth I encountered the standard version of this in my dad’s library and found it bizarre, surreal (though I didn’t have that word yet), even humorous.

Re-writing Freud /Simon Morris.

Translated by Lingo algorithm, programmed by Christine Morris, Edited by Craig Dworkin. Published by Information as Material. 2005


 In each of these illustrations, every item is shouting a number – and each number corresponds to two different sets of sounds. The pages are orderly demonstrations of cacophony. The illustrations suggest narratives – the whole ensemble could be staged... 


(Found in a church rummage sale, nothing else like it in the bin.)





Hand-scrawled/ ball-point pen, this is the polar opposite of slick. Relentless brutality and a language I can’t read – it’s fierce, and theatrical. I think it is an opera. 

Kaldirimlar Destani / Kaldirmlar Kurdun Hayati / 

by Masist Gui / Turkey 2006


Hand-drawn house plans with architectural overlays... Sensing a rich dialogue between the two, I bought the book – only later discovering the heart of it. 

 Published by Raking Leaves 2011

 A Maanippaay dictionary defines Thombu (Thoampu) as a public register of lands....

The Incomplete Thombu

                        by T. Shanaathanan  

“The contents of this file provide records of properties and lands belonging to Tamil-speaking citizens prior to single or multiple displacements from their homes. The enclosed documents are made up of three related elements: ground planes of houses drawn from memory by displaced civilians (with interview notes on the reverse), architectural renderings of collected ground plans and dry pastel drawings made in response to all of the above...” 


Name, Class, Subject by Aisha Khalid / Published by Raking Leaves, 

Raking Leaves is an award-winning curatorial publishing organization based in Sri Lanka. The organization commissions contemporary artists to publish new bodies of work in book form, which are mass produced and distributed on an international platform to reach as wide an audience as possible. 

            This book is almost nothing – but look closely and you discover anomalies – slight – often nearly invisible. The narrative  (the thing that makes you turn the pages) is the anomalies. This generates a strange kind of between-the-lines reading.

     The colophon reveals that each of the 240 pages is reproduced from an original watercolor drawing. 


MAFIA / United States Department Bureau of Narcotics /(2007)      foreword by Sam Giancana 

I saw an ad for this when it first came out and ordered a copy. It’s an exact facsimile (!) of the Treasury Department’s original file on organized crime. It is the look and feel of information that gets my attention. This reminds me of high school yearbooks...

 In 2019, The Afghanistan Papers surfaced and I downloaded a chunk of the 2,000 pages (for a work still in progress). It was generically formatted (text without texture) BUT these were actual transcripts of interviews, voice into print, another kind of facsimile.


In conclusion: there's no accounting for taste - or inspiration.

24 October 2021

SAPPHO / Supersonics 03 /

SAPPHO recoutée par Stéphane Bouquet & Rosaire Appel

Cité de la musique-Philharmonie de Paros 2021


16 February 2021

The Other Side of a Family

 The Other Side of a Family is a photo album of the other side of family photos, the blank side–the side where we would like to find names and dates, locations and connections – but few people make the effort to inscribe identifying details. There are so many unidentified ancestors in the world! There are however definite signs of life on these other sides. Stains, torn corners and dog ears, foxing–along with manufacturing logos and processing numbers. These other sides attest to the the object-ness of photos through histories of their own.

Available at Printed Matterhttps://www.printedmatter.org/catalog/57441

And Amazon

28 November 2020

Typewriter Cafe

 Typewriter Cafe

If this were a different era some enterprising person(s) would create a place, open to the public, that had typewriters and an espresso machine. School desks. Wooden floors. Blackboards. Bookshelves with a good selection of typewriter art, both verbal and non-verbal. The place would put out its own zine of course and why not a publishing arm for books created in the café? As for music – only the clicking of typewriter keys and the ding of the carriage return. Yes, you could bring your own paper. Yes, there would be cushions on the chairs. Carbon paper, white-out, correct-type strips – what have I forgotten? The café would be popular at first as a novelty, but the mood of it, the mood of people thinking and creating is contagious and soon… eventually there would be subscriptions, special rates for frequent typers… and ancient machines available for use at extra cost.  The location would be in my neighborhood, of course, near the chess shops – aren’t rents going down? So many storefronts are empty now…. It’s too good an idea to stay local though, cities across the country would want their own – and why not an international organization of typewriter cafés,  typewriters of other languages could be traded, exchanges of multi-linguistic works, and…. Ah, but we’re in the midst of a pandemic, social distancing, encroaching poverty, climate change and, as always, threats against equality and freedom….

23 September 2020


 ...I’m happy to introduce the French edition of my book SOUNDTRACK/S published just now by Editions Adverse in Paris  


11 July 2020

Corona Panic Score

Corona Panic Score / 2020



                                        No specific beginning and no end in sight, it’s just there, here, frazzed energy, relentless, unfixed and unusable. It goes on. 


Abstract music / visual sound. Created during the pandemic in the spring of 2020, while quarantined in New York. 

Ink on vintage sheet music forms, edited for publication. 

This is asemic music and anyone is welcome to play it.

 8.5x11”, 44 pages

At Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/y7lp5dl4



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