by tag – books

Ghost National Forest, screenprinted pop-up book - kim ku

We’re suckers for accordion books, paper-cut, and whimsy. So at the LineWork NW festival, when we saw this little accordion from New York based illustrator/designer Kim Ku, it was a must-have. Check out her Etsy shop, where this item, and a few others are available.

For one more along these same lines see our earlier post on a Shelby Arnold project.

Ghost National Forest, screenprinted pop-up book - kim ku Ghost National Forest, screenprinted pop-up book - kim ku Ghost National Forest, screenprinted pop-up book - kim ku Ghost National Forest, screenprinted pop-up book - kim ku

shelf / / Kim Ku — posted on January 4th, 2015

red and blue 2P1040216

The Swiss-born artistic nomad Dieter Roth, spent much of his 5-decade career flitting between styles and media and means of production. But for me, the most exciting slice of this vast and varied career is that moment in the 1950s and early 60s knows as his “Concrete Period“.

During this phase of geometric, op and process-oriented art Roth created over twenty version of what he usefully called “Bok”. These “books”, were collections of loose-leaf pages, that had slots handcut from them according to certain rules and patterns. The pages in each book were largely 2 colors (with one exception), and ranged in number from 10 to 24. The pages in each could be rotated, arranged and stacked to create millions of patterns.

Each book was about 40cm square and the edition sizes were small. Many versions were one-of-a-kind, only four were printed in editions of more than 20 copies. Eventually, in his Collected Works, Volume 8, (Gesammelte Werke Band 8), 2 of these were reproduced in a die-cut edition of 1000.

dieter roth hand cut books

dieter roth  dieter roth bok  white - P1040222

More information about these books at MoMA’s website, as well as at sites maintained by the Grahame Galleries and Zucker Art Books. In print, the volume Dieter Roth Books + Multiples: Catalogue Raisonne has plenty of information about the various iterations of this idea, and is the source of some of the images in this post.

dieter roth javascript sketechAdditionally, in my fascination, I’ve recreated one of these books as an interactive web app project, you can play with it here. (Thanks to Zucker Art Books for providing the measurements.)

shelf / / dieter roth — posted on November 10th, 2014

Illustration by Lebbeus Woods

This is a companion to our recent post of Lebbeus Woods’ illustrations.

Prior to his wider recognition as an architect and theorist, Lebbeus Woods provided illustrations for several works of science-fiction. One of which was a book club edition of Arthur C. Clarke’s The Sentinel publish in 1983 by Berkley Books. This hardcover was simultaneously offered in a deluxe slip-cased edition of 465 copies, each signed by both Clarke and Woods. Nice.

While these illustrations are fantastic, perhaps Woods’ best-known intersection with science-fiction came later when he sued the makers of the film 12 Monkeys for undeniably appropriating some of his images for the film.


For more Lebbeus Woods work, info and links, see our earlier posts on his illustrations for the Red Herring Poets, and on OneFiveFour.

Illustration by Lebbeus Woods

Illustration by Lebbeus Woods
Illustration by Lebbeus Woods Illustration by Lebbeus Woods  Illustration by Lebbeus Woods Illustration by Lebbeus Woods

Illustration by Lebbeus Woods

shelf / / Lebbeus Woods — posted on October 13th, 2013

Fall is here! Here are some books we’re excited to see coming out this season:


Images courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press blog:

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1. In the City by Nigel Peake, Princeton Architectural Press. This is the urban-focused follow up to Peake’s excellent illustrations of rural life, In the Wilds. Earlier this summer PAP put out a set of 12 full color note cards by Peake, including 6 illustrations from the City series and 6 from the Wilds. In the City is available on PAP’s web store now.


Images courtesy of the artist’s website:

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2. Burtynsky – Water, Edward Burtynsky, Steidl Verlag. The release of this book coincides with exhibitions of Burtynksy’s photographs at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery and Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York (through November 2), a touring museum exhibition organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art (October 5 – January 19), a documentary film called Watermark, and an iPad app. Through all of these formats, Burtynsky explores the relationship between civilization and water, and the impact of that relationship on the landscape.

photo from W.W. Norton

3. The Great War, Joe Sacco. This looks exciting. We snap up a lot of accordion books, and we’re eager to get our hands on this 24 foot long drawing. The project reminds us that just before the advent of the motion picture, battlefield cylorama toured the world providing 19th century audiences with sprawling narrative, pseudo-cinematic experiences. This looks like the kind of project that reveals new details each time you pick it up. Check out some more pictures at W.W. Norton, and more still at NPR.

Bonus Track: And once fall is over, you can look forward to something new from James Turrell. Details are scarce but he…

is currently working on a book with LACMA and Kulturforum Järna that he hopes to debut at the end of this year called “The Turrell World Tour”, which challenges fans to visit all 82 of his site-specific works across 26 countries. “You go and visit a place and you have that signed,” says Mr Turrell. “If you visit all the spaces, then you’ll be our guest at Roden Crater.”

That’s according to The Economist. For more details on the “World Tour” and Turrell’s “masterwork” at Roden Crater, here’s a post at ArtInfo. The Roden Crater project has site now too.


Photo from

shelf / — posted on October 2nd, 2013

The photos here are of Warja Lavater’s La Fable du Hasard, published by Adrien Maeght in 1968. Lavater, a Swiss graphic designer, book artist and patron saint of Ruins or Books, began in 1962 to craft the nineteen volumes in her “Folded Stories” series. All of which are as lovely as they are hard to find.

In fact, of the dozens of books that Warja Lavater created, there is only one book in print. The endlessly fascinating Pictograms on Nieves (Printed Matter link). This book, we could not recommend more.

Stay tuned to Warja Lavater. Her work is far too stunning and strikingly contemporary to stay under the radar and out of print long. Hopefully we’ll see a few monographs, reprints and exhibits in the next short while. Printed Matter has already done much to champion Lavater’s work with an exhibit and essay concerning collector Tony Zwicker‘s collection of Lavater’s work.

Speaking of Printed Matter, if you haven’t heard, they suffered major damage from Hurricane Sandy, so consider supporting them in getting back on their feet. And let’s all hope that their Lavater rarities survived the flood that consumed the stack of Warja Lavater’s the Rose and the Tree Frog here in the foreground.

shelf / / warja lavater — posted on November 15th, 2012

This is our somewhat beat up copy of OneFiveFour by Lebbeus Woods, who passed away last week at the age of 72.

The bulk of the book is a relentlessly graphical barrage of ideas, much if it reminiscent of Archigram and Paulo Soleri’s Arcology work. Much of it is conspicuously informed by Woods’ theories, which are briefly surveyed in his introduction that reads occasionally like a bit like Buckminster Fuller’s poetry, perhaps with some zeal subtracted.

Like Soleri’s work but of a darker sort, this is the stuff that inspires science fiction and fuels the imagination. The works in OneFiveFour are from the late ’80s and are largely concerned with an underground Berlin, beneath the wall. A Berlin that is a manifestation psychological and political present, sandwiched beneath the Berlin Wall above and fueled by the forces and energies of the earth emanating from below. Still living with these ideas decades later, Woods posted a film treatment for UnderGround Berlin on his volumnous blog.

OneFiveFour was published in 1989 by Princeton Architectural Press. It spent much of the time since then scarce and out of print. However, it was resurrected in 2011 and is now easy to get a hold of. Copies of the first edition of this title, which is Woods’ first monograph, though still pretty scarce, are available in $50-$100 territory at press time. To us, this seems like a worthwhile deal for an influential and stunning work.

shelf / / lebbeus woods — posted on November 7th, 2012

Words Make the Infinite Finite, an accordion book released in 2008 by Swiss book artist Romano Haenni (or Hänni). A small and lovely volume that we came across at a book fair in our eternal hunt for Warja Lavater editions. Discovering a second Swiss designer of graphically striking, geometrically informed, wordless accordion books gave me pause. In fact, I haven’t quite reconciled this. Regardless, it’s thoroughly lovely. From the artist’s statement:

Access to signs and symbols could lead to peace of mind  in which all unconscious is not anxiously blocked out and avoided but embraced as a way of expanding consciousness. In this manner, the spirit could find a way out of self-isolation in which it is held captive by its unconditional worship of science and technology.

More details about this title are available on the artist’s info sheet.

This title, and many others from Haenni, are available in the US from The Kelmscott Bookshop.


shelf / / romano haenni — posted on October 24th, 2012

As the latest (final?) phase of a project that Nick Montfort and Scott Rettberg have been working on for nearly a decade, the duo have made available a coffee-table photo book of their mail/sticker art novel Implementation. From a post on Nick Montfort’s Post Position blog

Implementation is a novel about psychological warfare, American imperialism, sex, terror, identity, and the idea of place… about four main characters: Frank, Samantha, Kilroy, and Roxanne, who live in a Midwestern town. The action of the novel begins in September 2001 and runs through the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

Playgrounds, parking tickets, churches, benches, boats. The stickers in the photos are often defiant and critical in their placement, competiting with other grafiti or their authoritarian cities. Others are fleeting, barely there at all. Nearly gone by photo time. Some are calling for attention, hitching a ride on a landmark, trying to sneak into the life of someone or something else. Occassionally the placement is aggrivatingly clever, but most often the stickers have found someplace lovely and anonymous to weather away.

You can get the stickers yourself and become part of the project. All the photos are viewable on the project site.

The book is available for purchase/perusal at blurb.

Oh, also. In other Nick Montfort news, let’s together eagerly await 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 from MIT Press. Sure to be the fall’s hottest book titled with a computer program.


shelf / / Nick Montfort and Scott Rettberg — posted on September 4th, 2012

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