The book FAQ

June 3, 2008 at 11:01 am (Uncategorized)

This is an attempt to put together a bit of an FAQ surrounding the massive book that I’m building (see Building the Book part one, part two, and part three to get the background on the piece). It’s in response to some of the questions I’ve been getting and also some that I anticipate as this project goes on. If there’s something I don’t address here that you’re curious about, please let me know!

How big is the book when it’s closed?
About 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches, the size of an Artforum magazine. There will be a third dimension there – a thickness – that I will have to add once the project is completed as I don’t really know what it is just yet, but I anticipate it being around 4″ thick.

How big is it when it’s totally opened?
I don’t know just yet because it’s not finished and I’m letting the project evolve organically, as best I can. I hope it will be around 20 – 30 feet wide, but we’ll have to see. Currently (and I haven’t updated the pics on this site yet) it’s about 6′ wide and absolutely nowhere near being done.

Does your book really pop up completely from this small, closed thing to its full size?
Yes! No… wait… no. Not at all. Or rather: I wish. While I’ve been referring to it as a pop up book, that description is actually a misnomer. It’s actually a book that is made using a variety of book-making techniques, among them pop-ups and accordion-folds, and but also requires the concentration of the reader to assemble tiny little parts together. Those little parts all fit into a pouch at the end of the book and are part of the overall “package” of it when it is closed. (I’m thinking here a bit about those Japanese candy toys and other objects from kid popular culture that call upon the child involved to have the patience of a saint to put together, but – when assembled – resemble this entire world that had been living in a simple little box.)

While it doesn’t pop-up per se, it does un-assemble down to this very small object (the size of the book when closed, ie 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches). I fully admit that it is an unruly thing that would be completely impractical if it were mass manufactured… but that was never the point. It’s a work of art, a one-of-a-kind, so it can have its own rules.

Are you making a video of the book being assembled?
In theory, yes – although it should be noted that I lack basic equipment needed to do such a thing, including a camera(!). But in order to properly document it, I’ll have to make a video… but that’s a little while away.

Wait – won’t this thing totally take over your apartment? How are you going to be able to function with this thing there?
Yeah. That’s sort of a mystery.

Have Oswald or Squinky discovered the book yet?
Thank god, no. Generally speaking, although they are really ill-behaved in every other way, they leave my studio stuff alone. My fingers are crossed that this will hold true.

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