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March 03, 2009

Multiples Mall: A Bookish Fair


Click to enlarge.

This is kind of late… but better late than never. On Saturday (Feb. 21), The Walker Art Center hosted the Multiples Mall event. Subtitled 'A Bookish Fair', it featured the work of artists who make 'book-related multiples'. It was a pretty fun event and I hope the Walker keeps doing it every year. Here's the pile of stuff I picked up. I took this picture with my Nokia 6300. It's not the greatest, but my Canon is dead, so it's going to have to do. 3 Minute Egg has some video of interviews from the floor.

(1) A Labor of Gratitude is a collection of 4 small zines designed and put together by a group designers associated with the Walker itself. Each booklet is a tribute to a significant public figure or artist that the designers felt was under-appreciated by the culture at large. Michael Chang, Major General Michael Collins, Levi Eshkol and Anaïs Nin. Their significance is examined through quotations, reflections, images and statistics. My favorite booklet was the Michael Collins one. It's filled with poetic descriptions of Collins' time in space excerpted from Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys. Now I know what Roy Batty's final monologue in Blade Runner was inspired by!

(2) Cipher Text by Brian Aldrich. A small booklet filled with text that's been enciphered using an unknown (to me) encryption system. I liked the newsprint paper it was printed on and the idea of text I could not decipher.

(3) Texas ++ by Sean Lynch. A brief western melodrama drawn inside of an old Borland C++ technical book. I believe the characters were based on some kind of chart from that book. Occasionally, elements from the book become part of the story. It's an interesting experiment. I really liked the colors. Sean had some really cool stuff in that Borland Book/Sketchbook. I want to see some of the other strips to surface from it. Especially the post-apocalyptic one.

(4) Me No Like by Josh Journey-Heiz. A series of images paired with short text pieces that act as a critique of life in late-capitalism. The images feature hairy primitive neanderthal-ish creatures wreaking havoc on emblems of capitalist modernity: office buildings, golf courses, Hard Rock Cafe, Hummer limousines, etc. Like some kind of archaic luddites they hurl their stone-age weapons at tanks and security cameras in a futile attempt to keep technology at bay… but, they seem to know enough about modern ways to hunt frat boys using booby trapped beer kegs. With accompanying phrases like: "The ghosts of high-capitalism haunt those not shopping", what's not to like!? Josh is also part of Knife World. See #6 below.

(5) Befoul'd by Hardland/Heartland. I assume the art is done by different members of the Hardland/Heartland collective. I couldn't tell if there's an overarching theme to the drawings… but who cares! The art was compelling enough for me to pick up the book.

(6) Knife World by Knife World. The record as a physical object is stunning. The wraparound artwork is printed in old-school red-blue 3D. To view it in its three-dimensional glory, you don't need a set of 3D glasses… the blue-red lenses have been built into the center of the vinyl disc itself! The cover depicts a desiccated wasteland populated by piles of toys and a looming Mt. Rushmore re-carved into some sort of rock 'n roll monument. The music is fast and frenetic… I keep wanting to say it's vaguely reminiscent of a '60s psychedelia inflected Lightning Bolt… But that's not a very good description. Check out some of their stuff online.

(7) Manny + Bigfoot by Meghan Hogan. A surreal little fable of… well the titular characters and a bunny. A nice eco-conscious package with a velcro seal for safe keeping. Meghan & Raighne publish the Good Minnesotan.

(8) Opolis by Elisabeth Workman and Erick Brandt. Opolis is a prose poem pamphlet exquisitely printed (in Doha, Quatar) on very thin (think phonebook paper thin) translucent pink (or yellow, or blue, or green) newsprint. Each part of the the poem is paired with a photograph. The poem reads like an illicit stream of consciousness love affair colliding into strange unfinished urban neighborhoods built on top of forgotten ancient red light districts haunted by specters of angular furniture designed by lonely architects permanently exiled to little known oriental mega-cities… it's probably my favorite bookish object from the Multiples Mall. More info here.

Posted by tomk at March 3, 2009 11:23 PM

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