These works are part of a series I created using screengrabs from the e-catalogues that Sotheby’s produces for their antiquarian book auctions. I fragment the iconic form of the book in order to create digital grotesques that undermine the self-contained and inward qualities often associated with print culture. By accentuating the surface of these images created for luxury consumption, I complicate notions of the integrity of objects and emphasize the slipperiness of the digital present.
5 Murderers, Finger Man, Little Caesar, Mosquitoes, The Silver Forest. A friend who was an art director in the 1960s and 70s amassed a collection of transparencies of paperback covers for a book he was writing on the history of paperback cover art. The book was never produced but 40 years later I used a microfilm scanner to distort the transparencies and create this series of images.
Agent Orange, Central Park, Discoteques, Disarmament. Obsolete index cards used to catalog news stories from the New York area in the 1970s and 1980s stored and forgotten in a filing cabinet. The cards both evoke an earlier time and place while simultaneously pointing to the irretrievability of the past. As cataloging shifts from physical to digital systems of storage and retrieval, these images remind us of our ongoing attempts to physically and cognitively control information and make sense of the world around us.
"In a cold winter why not burn books?" -Georg Christoph Lichtenberg