Birthing … in stages

Well, I am thrilled to say that the launch of Archives of Absence was a success!

The event on the 26th was well attended, and it was tremendously exciting and rewarding to see all the various elements of this first iteration of the project come together in one place … and to see it all connect and make sense in the ways I thought it would. In some ways, images speak louder than words in this regard, so to that end – her’s a series of images from the night of the Launch:

Installation view of Gel transfer work, Cabinets, and other artifacts

Installation view with Video on

The two “bermologists” beginning the Reading. Photo Credit: Tracy Kolenchuk.

Me, Reading from the Miscellany. Photo Credit: Tracy Kolenchuk.

Catherine Reading. Photo Credit: Tracy Kolenchuk.

The two of us, reading from the Miscellany. Photo Credit: Tracy Kolenchuk.

The amazing Thom Golub, who provided a magical musical counterpoint to word and image throughout the night.  Photo Credit: Tracy Kolenchuk.

And the books are even more beautiful than I dreamed they’d be!

Trisia really outdid herself in making this aspect of the project come to life … with tremendous sensitivity to the overall aesthetic of the project, and our own personal concerns regarding sustainability and treading gently in all the work we do.

These books are all hand-assembled and hand-bound. The care and attention that went into this is apparent, and I really feel these books stand on their own as works of art.

The collection presented on the 26th: Berm: Morning Eclogues, Berm: A Miscellany, and the essay Engaging Space. The three were available as a set the night of the launch directly from Red Nettle Press – and contact them directly to get copies! The essay was co-written by me and Catherine, and will be published this Fall  by Wolsak and Wynn, as part of a collection of prose work by Catherine Owen called Catalysts.

The Eclogues folio opened, to show the 4 chapbooks inside, and the amazing piano-hinge binding … created with ribbon, linen cord, and twigs.

A chapbook opened, to show the hand-stitching. Each chapbook comes with its own set of images, appropriate for the season the booklet documents.

The folio and a chapbook opened, with the set of photos spread out. The goal here was for the reader to be able to experience the Berm visually whilst reading Catherine’s meditations upon the space – a reiteration of the collaboration of word and image we undertook in this project overall.

The Miscellany – again, with a hand stitched binding.

Flyleaf. The saying and image were derived and adapted from a manual on Berm Construction that Catherine found, that dates from the 1960s.

Miscellany title page. The work in this book is quite diverse: a lexicon, a series of erasure poems, list poems – among other forms. It was an opportunity for us to explore the berm linguistically, and have some fun with it too … Bermtastic!

A fold-out page from on of the berm Erasure Poems that made up a sequence entitled the Desirable Berm: A Self-Esteem Manual. I really love the presentation of this sequence!

I’ll post more on the project – including a link to a great essay by Anne Pasek on the project – soon!

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