Manifest,O began with a question. I wondered if I could visually interpret an aural experience: that of losing most of my hearing. Could I make a book that would allow you to see what it’s like to have only muffled, indistinct, confusing sound, to rely on reading lips? What would it look like?
The paper is semi-translucent abaca, ‘printed’ as the sheets were formed. Sentences and paragraphs are composed of holes in place of letters: the words have all dropped out of the pages. Each sheet was stained in dull tones to recall aged parchment, and to signify inconsistent, homogeneous sound.
Over a third of the 264 pages are illustrated with drawings, in Prismacolor pencil, responding to the page’s patterning. Each drawing is repeated with slight variations on the verso.
After the opening sequence (shown), images progress to views of mouths making the shapes of speech, or expressing different emotions (a short selection is shown). Illustrated pages are interspersed with full pages of text-holes, through which the drawings can be partially seen.
The cover boards and spine are cast kozo. The binding is a tightbacked, adapted split-board structure, with sanded Harmatan leather joints. The boards are covered in Pergamena transparent vellum, which reveals the restless patterns of the fiber beneath, like so much background noise.
2006, 18 1/2"H x 13 1/2"W x 4"D, closed
Manifest, O was created with the generous support of:
The Ragdale Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and partial support from a Columbia College Chicago Faculty Development Grant
Viewing Options: Click any image to begin a slideshow. Or, view larger images HERE.