Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Artist Book Now!

My artist book Empirer is featured in the exhibition "The Artist Book Now" at La Fab - Chelsea Arts, Culture and Heritage Centre from the November 2nd to November 30th, 2013. Curated by Margit Hideg, the exhibition asks if the the Artist’s Book can evolve into the 21st century. It includes a kaleidoscope of works from all disciplines and mediums as well a community-based interactive installation.

Empirer is an unauthorized translation of Hardt and Negri’s Empire into Unicode text in a unique edition that binds in hardcover with gold text and red ribbon the printed text of a book made available in electronic form. Published at the turn of the new millennium, Empire is a work of political philosophy about the spread of globalization that was so popular at the time of its release it was allegedly hard to keep on the shelves at bookstores. I found a pdf version on-line that unfortunately was locked for printing. In my feeble attempts to “hack” and print the pdf, I generated a Unicode version of the text that gained in aesthetic appeal what it lost in meaning. It serves not only as a signifier for technology and its built-in obsolescence but also as a code book for cracking the mysterious global forces at work today.

In English, Empirer is the title of the book; In French, it is a verb, “to worsen.” Empire gets empirered.

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