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Volume 3

Volume 3
Volume 3
Volume 3
Volume 3

L>R: Covers (Front, inner front, inner back, back)

Introduction

As a format, the book is a compelling medium whose potential was sidelined by the rise—and continued development—of screen-based communication. Its very nature is more closely parallel to our human experience than that offered by digital devices: bound by the limits of physical presence, constrained to a linear structure, composed of specific elements that, beyond a certain forced modification, cannot be changed without significant and lasting effect. Through 15 years of working with the medium, the Distorted Perspective volumes have been crafted as creative pivot points: a thesis in which the book itself is the work—not simply the content. In this regard, Volume 3 is no different than its predecessors.

The content, however, remains the true soul of the work. This volume deals with the world as seen from multiple vantage points: the personal, the social, the political. Narrative is constructed through an amalgam of original writing, illustration, and photography assembled with an approach to graphic design more inspired by post-modern art movements than the rules of the trade. The result is both a statement and a self-portrait, a mirror and a lens.

Volume 3
Volume 3
Volume 3
Volume 3 Volume 3
Artist Statement

2016. I notice a considerable decline in the amount of self-portraits I’d been making. Since owning my first camera at 17, they’d been my most frequent form of expression. Was it a reaction to the over-abundance of absent-minded selfies that had grown to supersaturate the internet? Or was it a reaction to time, to its ongoing loss and the confidence of youth that it comes with? How much, if at all, does it affect my self-awareness, my consciousness, my life? These are the questions that served as a starting point for this project.

I’ve always been drawn to books. Even though my initial practice in art was drawing, it was the comic book that inspired me to that point. Though I grew up around Photoshop, graphic design didn’t grab my attention until The End of Print by David Carson.

In his later monograph Trek, Carson compared his design books to vinyl records. I like that idea; it accurately depicts the significance of the book as a format and not simply a means of publication. This confusion between what a book is and what it can be largely serves as the basis of this work.

For its rather significant cultural history, the book is often ignored in the arts. Stories and ideas are so relevant to our nature that the book is seen only as a utility of their reproduction, overlooking its potential as a whole. Books are more than just their content, though rarely are they thought of–or treated–as such. Like a record and its grooves, the pages of a book have limitless potential.

In my ongoing studies of the book as a format, I’ve decided to return to the subject of self-portraiture. This work is a study on how we, as people, consider objects and information, through the lenses of self-examination and self-expression.

The format is a replica of the individual and what is–or can be–ever known about someone in our limited scope of interaction, our world of controlled exposure and composed settings. The aesthetic is a reaction to curated feeds, cherry-picked bits of information, out-of-context quotes perpetuated by personal biases toward unknown motivations. This seeks not to contribute to that social swamp but confront it as the redundant and divisive mess it is.

Our concepts of identity, circumstance and reality are fractured—slivers of their true nature, warped through each individual gaze. There is no answer, no whole. The closest we can come to meaning is to attempt understanding the balance of all things.

A disguised man asks a rhetorical question while slowly backing out of the room, holding a water pistol and burning a photograph of the internet. Bags of fake money are tossed between faceless people wearing mirrors, dangling from the ceiling above.

Volume 3
Volume 3
Volume 3
      Details
  • Distorted Perspective Volume 3
  • Released 5 April 2019
  • 7.75in x 10.75 in
  • 96 pages: 72 CMYK / 12 CK / 12 K
  • Printed by Conveyor Editions in the USA
  • First edition /100
  • $35 ppd
  • Purchase includes audiobook

Information

This work continues my efforts in crafting a multi-disciplinary linguistic approach to my work, in that on top of the various visual mediums used to communicate the concepts an accompanying “Audiobook” was written and recorded.

Keeping in time with themes established in Out of Mind, some of these books from the first edition have been hand-modified. Though these individual markers were not a cornerstone of this project as they were my last book, the summary of concept Volume 3 represents would not be complete without a nod to the previous publication.

Another Way

Every now and again I experience a strange type of creative block. It’s a desire to step away from my developed methods and try new things—but still feeling unfinished with whatever it is I’ve been working on. The result is usually a heavily conflicted, transitionary work that is stubborn in nature and dense in expression. This is one such piece.

Though book-making hasn’t been a conceptual interest of mine since Out of Mind, the familiar territory—still ripe with opportunity to labor over—let me focus more on what to say instead of how it would be said.