Babel 2016

In 2006 I began collecting jargon phrases that I heard or read in the media: obfuscational terms like “disintermediation” and “premature optimization”, and phrases like “down sizing” and “collateral damage” that were designed to obscure the fact that actual human beings were harmed. The collection appeared in 2007 as the text of my one-of-a-kind artist’s book Tower of Babel.

A year later I produced an edition.

You can find out a little more about those books here.

Last summer, after the Republican National Convention nominated their candidate for the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I decided it was time to re-visit the structure.

Babel 2016 is an open edition artist’s book.

The colophon printed inside the inner wrapper reads:

With shallower slots and thinner card stock than the edition of Tower of Babel, it is  impossible to build the pages into a lasting structure. (And yes, the choice of Comic Sans as the typeface was both intentional and a joke, as I find the subject of the work definitely not funny.)

I mention the book today for several reasons.

The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America took place this week, and I spent part of the week finishing five more copies.

Also I came across a related work on Tumblr, posted by the Decker Library.

A Primer for Democracy is by Bonnie Thompson Norman of the Windowpane Press, who describes the book as follows:

The primer’s main theme, VOTE, is repeated and reinforced: CALL and/or FAX your elected representative, often, because your voice – and everyone’s voice – matters. Essentially, this alphabet book [printed on a 10 x 15 Chandler & Price] can be constructed, reconstructed and deconstructed in countless ways. Like democracy, as a completed structure, “A Primer for Democracy” is a little bit wobbly and requires care in constructing and maintaining.

In other book arts news, David and I went to the opening of Susan Mill’s exhibition at 330g. It is a tiny gallery but perfect for exhibiting the two volumes of Interaction of Tantra. You can see a couple of videos about the source materials/inspiration for the work here. Susan has a video of the book on her website. The show is open Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. until February 11, but may also be viewed by appointment. I highly recommend a visit to the gallery if you happen to be in Saskatoon while the book is on view.

Other stuff:

I left puzzle #30 from Manifold lying on my workbench for a couple of days, then suddenly ‘saw’ the solution as I walked past.

If you are planning to try the sample puzzles, I would suggest doing #30 before #20. I think the folding is a bit less complex. At least it seemed that way to me.

I have knit more of David’s vest. (There are times when I wish my husband wasn’t quite so tall!)

If I had heard about them before Friday, I have might have been knitting these.

CBC News photo


About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, moveable books and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Babel 2016

  1. lcmt says:

    I love the way you think!


  2. Pingback: A Bit of This… | Byopia Press

  3. Hilke says:

    I liked Babel when I first learned about it. Reading that bit of the making of story here was interesting. I wasn’t aware you had been “collecting” for a while. And while reading it, I though: Wow, she should start collecting now, what with the scary nonsense (no, sorry, alternative facts) that is sold as news in the US these days, plus the even scarier news of which you hope without reason they might be “fake-news” but turn out to be true. Sigh. – And scrolling down I found out that you already did! Are copies for sale somewhere? I would love to have a copy! Despite your choice of font 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: …and a Bit of That. | Byopia Press

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