3.1.09

This Porch




So here are the images of 'This Porch'. It's finally a book that brings together the three episodes: Sleeping On Front Porches, Standing On Front Porches and Swinging on Front Porches.
It measures 140 x 140 mm. Consists of 15 individual concertinas made up of 4 panels each bound together with Japanese stab binding. The paper is Newsprint 48 gsm which is great to work with when using the typewriter as each marking kisses the paper just enough to leave an indent on the page without stamping all the way through.
With regards to bookmaking, I'm not happy with the following -
The last two stitches of binding on the back cover are not in line.
I should have invested in an awl or maybe just a push pin to make neater holes to feed the thread through as the binding can sometimes be seen creeping out of the spine.
I think I should have prepared cover boards instead of using Newsprint paper for the front and back covers- the stitching and embroidery has resulted in some curling and messy holes.
Plus, there is a spelling mistake.

4 comments:

zillakiller said...

the third photograph down, showing the text 'we will stand in the place...' reveals the beauty of your methods and your skill with the typewriter. From this picture I can see how your choice of materials and your eye for layout is integral to the work. This double page is very moving, and this effect comes from the balance between language and medium.

Is language a medium in itself here? The typewriter is probably the best tool to reveal each letter and each word as a - I want to say something like testament or monument or imprint. We imagine the little typing hammers striking out and yet this mechanised, definite act is made vital and fragile by the sheer page, just thick enough not to be struck right through with every letter.

Who is the creater or compiler of this testament, or imprint (can the word monument be used for something so fragile)? There is a non-verbal communication of presence, an invisible identity that subordinates itself to its chosen phrases. At the same time, the text is humbled by the page as if, through not being destroyed by the message, the paper asserts the authority of its role as messenger.

karen sandhu said...

Thanks for this - lots to think about here especially with regards to language as a medium and its relationship to the medium of the page.
This piece started with wanting to explore the concept of 'memoirs' some more, particularly focusing on 'what' one observes and 'how' one observes. The text originates from a travel log which is a collage of objects, persons and language taken from each new space occupied when travelling through a foreign landscape.
It involved a practice that is the opposite to "Seeing everything but noticing nothing". Each object, person or phrase acts as a marker, a marker of a moment, a moment that would otherwise merge into the everyday but must be intentionally singled out and 'noticed' so that when seen or heard in another moment or space, it signifies the last space it was made strange and noticed in.
I find myself returning to the Formalists and their idea of seeing the everyday anew. Making everyday objects such as an umbrella strange by looking at them as though for the very first time. I think this sort of heightened awareness and the anxiety surrounding trying to 'capture-it-all' relates to the idea of the wandering tourist in a new landscape - the instinct to photograph and record everything no matter how obscure or mundane, remembering to never forget, keeping something like a napkin which by being situated in an alien place feels new and 'is' new as it's being experienced in a new space which impacts the way one sees it.
I don't know, there's still quite a lot that needs to be figured out here. But with regards to style, it was back to O' Hara and a read through of 'Personal Poem' and 'Steps'.

Anna said...

Another lovely book. I just wanted to say in particular I like your choice of wool (?) embroidery as the title - so reminiscent of those traditional American crafts like quilting and embroidery, which ties in so nicely with the porches theme - and quite conceivably, that one could sit on one's porch, knitting or quilting, and observe the world going past. So it is also a craft practice that accompanies observation, the theme of your work. Contrary to a traveller in a foreign land, this presents an idea of a person rooted in home and community who watches from a fixed space rather than a mutable one, making a nice contrast, and also being another example of that meditative watchfulness and heightened awareness, but in a different way - the watcher who is so familiar with the environment that they notice the smallest things because only the smallest things change. So in a way, both watchers notice the smallest things - one because it is strange, and one because it is intimately familiar.

Went off on one there... just really interesting and again to think about crafting habits and the kind of heritage, cultural associations, etc they have.

Bookmaking in itself is a craft pursuit which as a behaviour surely has a certain set of references, so by engaging in the practice of making a book, using typewriter, making maps, whatever, you align yourself with that tradition. So I'm starting to think the act of craft creation itself is a kind of performance, or rite in its own right. Maybe. OR, maybe not..... xxxx

karen sandhu said...

Thank you for your reading of the book Anna.

Yes, I hadn't looked at it in this way before - the notion of being familiar with a landscape and thus noticing the little things. I've been preoccupied with mapping my own journey through a landscape but it would be just as interesting to map the immediate space around me.

I like the connection you made between embroidery/quilting and the porch. I was having second thoughts about the cover- the way in which the cover is embroidered but the text is typewritten. I think I'd like to have more continuity in my choice of medium - perhaps making a quilted book that I could embroider text on to?

You've got me [re]thinking about this project again and that's all good!

k xx