Thursday, January 28, 2010

Collepilogue Part 1

Collepilogue: The final chapter of a collaboration



Question:

How does one go from this...



to this...



and this...



Answer:

Round up 6 artists...



and spend 1 year in an altered book collaboration...



One year ago I joined 5 other artists on an altered book adventure called Inner Works. This collaboration included Jill, Veronica, Rita, Roxanne, and our host Supria. We each chose our own book and our own theme. All 6 of us had the opportunity to work in each book once as we (the books, not the artists) rotated by mail. Our adventure has come to a close and over the next few weeks, each of us will be posting the results of the collaboration on our own blogs and on our group blog - Inner Works. My own experience with this project will unfold in a series of upcoming posts.



I chose Distressed Elements as my theme for this altered book project. I find that I gravitate toward art and art supplies that have their own history...that have a natural, weathered patina...that have the nicks of life that make them more interesting. Like people who have lived and taken risks and gone on their own personal journeys and adventures.



I am mesmerized by a distressed surface - marks, scratches, dents, chips, rust, frayed edges, layers and the like speak to me. For this project, though, I also wanted to explore the layers beneath the surface. The layers within. And maybe to use this project to tap into the awareness and expression of some deeper feelings. The book I altered lends itself quite well to this theme.

I chose to alter Oracle Night by Paul Auster. The book was the perfect size (8 1/2" x 6" + 3/4" thick) and its relatively new, crisp pages made a sturdy base for altering. More importantly, Paul Auster is a favorite author. Like me, he lives in NYC and the city plays a big role in his novels. His writing style is very distinct and there is a magical component to his work, which often focuses on coincidence and synchronicity. There is one section in this book that even describes the quest for a book, coincidentally much like my own search for the right book to alter.

When my book was returned to me after nearly a year, it was bursting at the seams --- just as every altered book should look.



The pages were not just filled. They were filled with extraordinary, unique, and meaningful art. Each artist interpreted the Distressed Elements theme very personally and very differently. I thank each and every one of them for the thought, care, and time they clearly put into my book and this project.

Join me in the coming days as I post images from both my own book as well as from the pages I completed in every other book. And follow along on our group blog, Inner Works, for additional images from both myself and the other artists. You can go there now for some page previews!

28 comments:

Julie said...

Can't WAIT to see more of this!

TechnoBabe said...

Kind of a Round Robin letter only this was a Round Robin Book Art Project. Sounds great. And sounds like it would be such great fun.

Kerin said...

This looks phenomenal Seth!! I'll be checking back often (and at the other sites) so I don't miss anything. LOVE what I'm seeing so far. This is so exciting!!!

Chris said...

Absolutely, I'll be here! I love seeing this and I enjoyed the peeks from the collaboration site.

It's amazing how things evolve sometimes, isn't it?

Sharmon Davidson said...

This is a fascinating project; I can't wait to see all the results! It must be quite an experience, having others add to something you've created.

Rita vindedzis said...

Working on this project with you and all the other artists was such a learning experience. I feel much more relaxed and confidant about working in mixed media and am happy with how I handled each book. Working in your book Seth, I learned a new appreciation for the time worn and weathered. I notice the beauty of "aged" things much more and have even been stopping to collect found items. Looking forward to your posts about the project.

Jill Z said...

As a participating Innerworks artist, I can only say that everyone will be mesmerized by what they see. I was the last artist to work in your book, and ironically, the only person in our group to have been so blessed to actually see in person all of the pages- even before you saw them! Everyone's going to get the treat of their lives as you slowly reveal the breathtaking pages that you've set the stage for- both in your post and in the magical pages that you've created!

La Dolce Vita said...

absolutely beautiful, would love to see it in person... thanks for sharing..

William F. Renzulli said...

I am never disappointed when I visit your blog...the art is phenomenal! your affection for the material is obvious.

Ragamuffin Gal said...

I am very excited to see inside of your altered creation!

neva gagliano said...

staying tuned......!!!

angryparsnip said...

This intrigues me and I look forward to see more.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Once again I am in awe of your collaborations. You have the most fun and create the most beautiful pieces as a result.

Jacky said...

Amazing collaboration....I look forward to seeing more.
I am going to check out the Inner Works link and the other artists.
Jacky xox

Lynn said...

Very exciting project. Especially like the way you chose your physical book to use...I wonder what that author would think of what you turned his book into?
I for one am looking forward to seeing what you did and the others did to alter the pages of this mysterious creation.

layers said...

I am also intrigued by the layers and layers of weathered and well used, worn surfaces of objects-- a patina worn deep into the layers-- that reveals a history-- can't wait to see more of your project

Lawendula said...

Talking of coincidences, look who has finished her first own altered book:
http://wovenletters.blogspot.com/2010/01/svea-proudly-presents.html
And Paul Auster is very special, I enjoyed "Moon Palace" some weeks ago and I really love his anthology of gathered stories from other people (I don't know the english title). You must tell me, what's your favorite book by him sometimes.
"Oracle Night" sounds very interesting and your version looks very inviting.

Gillian McMurray said...

I remember when you first embarked on this project. The finished item is stunning. A wonderful piece.

Laura Hegfield said...

This is wonderful...the whole concept of creating art as a community gives the work so much more liveliness and depth. Can't wait to see what you have all made together.

Patti said...

Oh wow, how amazing - I can't wait to see more! I'd love to participate in a project like this, how cool.


dalike

Margaret said...

Awesome Seth!! now that's a book you're going to want to look at again and again. Can't wait to see more. M

Sherry said...

if you ever feel up to doing another RR, feel free to count me in (*hint*)
I'm going to go to innerworks now to see what I can but I look forward to seeing more here.

Angela Wales Rockett said...

I so want to hold this in my hands!

sam aka sheila sabatino said...

when i woke up this a.m., i thought i was still asleep and dreaming a wonderful dream--alas !!! my computer was calling to me --- oh yes, what a message there was in my e mail---Seth's magic was coming through again---never a boring message when it is from Seth---can't wait to spend tommorow going through everything you have sent to us already plus your new goodies---Seth the magician !!! xxxooo sam

ArtPropelled said...

Brilliant! I'll be back to see the rest.

Debrina said...

Well done Seth and congratulations!!! As one of the members of the Pulp Redux altered book collaboration, I am experiencing some of the BIGGEST highs of my artistic and creative journey. It is, at times, an almost a spiritual experience that spills out onto those pages. I truly hope your future experiences are as special.

Evangeline said...

Wow! I want to see more!

Kim said...

Been busy and in catch up mode again. I am so looking forward to watching your posts on this coolaboration Seth!(Not a misprint!) I love that your book is bulging with art and inspiration from all the participants! Excuse me while I find a tissue to wipe my drool, LOL!