Fielding Questions: A Guide to 748 Specimens of Rare and Common Occurrence
“It is but a matter of seeing a bird often enough and knowing exactly what to look for, to be able to distinguish, with a very few exceptions, even the most confusing forms.” —Roger Tory Peterson, A Field Guide to the Birds
Fielding Questions is a letterpress-printed artist’s book that uses conventions of field guides to explore and present a personal taxonomy of symbols, mark-making, and record keeping. It is an entirely subjective guidebook hidden within a pseudo-objective reference book. Fielding Questions uses the non-linear structure of reference books as a means of communicating content in an artist’s book. By utilizing paratextual wayfinding elements such as an index and table of contents, the reader is presented with layers of content and a multiplicity of experiences.
2018. Edition of 20. 7 ½” x 4 ½” x ¾” closed; includes a 22” fold-out. Approx. 120 pages, including index. $750.
Fielding Questions: the Field
Installation views of Fielding Questions, K.K. Merker Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa, 2018.
Approximately 18” x 20”. Whale-shaped handmade paper cutout embedded in two layers of translucent overbeaten abaca fiber. 2018
The content of Particular grew out of the long Iowa winter spent obsessing over seed catalogs. This book contains an abstract presentation of a garden season: from cold dead winter to seed-sprouting spring, to overwhelming abundance, to a compost heap of remainders. The production of this book was a meditation on efficiency of resources, and finding parallels between gardening and the creation of an artist’s book.
This book was printed on my handmade paper, which is a mix of abaca and cotton, and includes a small percentage of what I referred to in the colophon as “recycled bits of yesteryear”: old work and off-cuts, lovingly, obsessively curated, and then thrown into the Hollander beater.
The general procedure I assigned to myself for this project was:
1. Print a lot.
2. Find the Book.
3. Print More.
4. Name the Things.
5. Index the Things.
The index tracks and identifies the images in the book, and it is also a record of my thoughts, memories, and responses that seeped into the production. This labeling of shapes, colors, and marks is a second layer of content, prompting the reader to slow down, re-read and try to puzzle out the information.
2017. Edition of 15. 6” x 4½” closed. Letterpress printed with metal type, photopolymer, and pressure printing on handmade paper. $225.
of Seeds & Bones
Details of a site-specific Installation at the K.K. Merker Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa, 2016.
Site-specific installation at Green Plum Collaboratory in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, October, 2013.