Thursday, December 5, 2019

Part 1: Layout – The Artist’s Scrapbook

I have been buying about-to-be-discarded books from public libraries for years.  In San Francisco we have weekly sales plus two semi-annual events that are huge.  The typical price I pay is always $1.  These are books usually a step away from the recycling bin.  Sometimes I read the books but more often they get cut up for other mixed media projects.  In the last few years I have begun converting these books into artist scrapbooks.

This entire year I have been laying out a new artist book in an old copy of Layout: The Design of the Printed Page by Allen Hurlburt.  40 years on, the book still stands up as a good design book.  One might ask why I just did not add it, intact, to my own library.   There are no shortage of used copies available online for less than $5.  The book is not rare.  And, if you wish to indulge a delusional hoarder, you can buy the same book for $965.  I see these sort of dealers at library sales all the time.


The Layout Scrapbook  is now full.  It includes pages of my own work, ephemera old and new as well as some of the mail art I receive.   It includes things picked up at this year’s inspirational Codex Art Book Fair.  The book contains pages with contributions from the artists at the San Francisco Correspondence Coop.  There are two pages full of ticket stubs. Mostly from 2019.  It is like a diary of museum shows I saw.   Another page was inspired by my visit to Then They Came for Me — an excellent show about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.  My response to this who was to create a collage by adding maps of the U.S. Southern border where children are currently being forced into concentrations camps.  In the center of the collage is El Paso where a week after finishing the collage, a terrorist targeting Latinx people drove across Texas and murdered 22 people and injured 24 others.


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