In the last 3 weeks, I have been exploring the final details and the artistic expression of my last and upcoming book Surveillance. Surveillance naturally began as a direct response to all the security camera warning signs in our social and democratic world.
When an artists' book’s specific concept comes to mind, one has to identify the intent of the book and how it will work.
Is the idea behind the work successful?
Are the feelings accurately conveyed?
Is the specific binding a perfect format for this book?
Is the content designed to create a pleasant experience for the reader?
Since Surveillance comprises an interactive component, there were more details to keep in mind. How much time should be allocated for the inside of the book to be revealed?
Is the familiar sound revealed at the proper time?
Are the electronics the appropriate ones?
How will the reader relate to the predetermined structure?
Will the reader encounter the visual and/or textual information in the proper order? ...
Is the element of surprise well planned?
Will the reader be able to manage or manipulate the book properly? ...
Some of these questions are on going, others were ironed out during a working session with Natalie Freed, while in Austin in early April.
Texas has been a very productive and artistically inviting place for me. During my trips through Austin, keeping in touch with certain people, depending on life demands is important.
I have enjoyed French lunch with Olivia Primanis and other staff of the Ransom Center during my past visits. This time, I was invited to tour the studios of Olivia Primanis and Christopher Hines — one of the highlights of my week in the area.
Olivia Primanis retired from her official position of Senior Book Conservator at the Harry Ransom Center last January. These days Olivia finds contracts to execute special projects to keep up with her considerable skills in conservation and preservation.
Two different studios with two diverse artistic expressions under the same roof, where creativity abounds.
Christopher succinctly explains his creative work:
My assemblages and collages are puzzles, incorporating my color paintings and using found objects, the aged and broken bits of our culture's debris, that explore life and the world we live in. I like to juxtapose artifacts that are incongruous but that work together in an intriguing way around a central theme, which is sometimes serious and political, sometimes whimsical and humorous.
Next stop Salt Lake City, Utah. If you are interested in a visit please let me know.
Meeting artists and visiting their studio is one of the most wonderful part of touring the country.
Till then I will be admiring the sunsets in Gila Bend and Sedona, Arizona.