Quiet mind, calm mind and the search for meaning
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Impractical Labor

Yesterday was the Fifth Annual Festival for Plead for Skills that is celebrated by members of the an unusual  ILSSA: the Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts. I’ve been a member of this organization whose members make experimental or conceptual work with obsolete technology since it’s origins, five years ago. In honor of the day, members practice working with their obsolete technology to make something.

This year’s practice amused me greatly largely because not only was I going to practice some sort of obsolete technique/technology, but our internet has been down since July 4th. And since we live in a pocket of land where the Verizon wireless signal barely blinks, I was really going to be using obsolete technology. A real paper dictionary and thesaurus. I haven’t used those in ages when writing/brainstorming and I turned to my book shelves, image files and the woods for ideas and images instead of Google. It was kind of refreshing, liberating even.

Theme: nucleus–for the latest in my American Australian Mail exchange.

Structure: a one-page maze book.

These woods pictures were taken about two miles into the woods from my house, right near a bridge that crosses Kitchen Brook, the stream that runs from a source high up Mount Greylock, through our woods and down the mountain into Cheshire Lake. This particular spot beckons me. Renders me to standstill. Invites me to come and sit, to listen to the babbles and the gurgles of the stream, quieting my mind–giving me the same peace of mind that walking in my labyrinth does.

I worked out the draft for a one-page book that I will be printing using my Vandercook III on Thursday. I wasn’t able to do it all in one day. It will be a small edition requiring me to cut and fold and be exact, using my bone folders, rulers and knives to be as precise as possible. The layout will be such that it will take me “hours” to set-up in the bed of the press, something that would take a quarter of the time in a computer, but without the lusciousness of letterpress.

Check back later in the week to see what the final version looks like. Better yet, come visit PRESS on Thursday to see it being made.

1 Comment

  1. […] Perhaps you saw my earlier post that got into a bit of the preliminary process. These new images take you through the printing, from the first lock-ups to the last. I am grateful to Antoine, the PRESS BHIP 2013 intern for his help in solving the lock-up “puzzle” and for taking these pictures. You can see more pics from PRESS at our Flickr page. […]

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