Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Artist Who Finds Beauty in Bound Periodicals

For years librarian have lamented how ugly bound periodicals can be and why they generally sit untouched on library shelves. Now, artist Mickey Smith located and photographs bound periodcals. Part of the beauty is that these bound periodical are ephemeral and will soon be replaced by digital texts. This is a little like finding a typewriter in a garage sale. If you have a good camera and eye for photography, start right away.


Collocation No. 14 (NATURE) Left Panel
Volume documents bound periodicals and journals in public libraries. Most of these publications are being replaced by their online counterparts. Several titles photographed in the process of this project have been destroyed. Searching endless rows of utilitarian text, I am struck by the physical mass of knowledge and the tenuousness of printed work as it fades from public consciousness.

The act of hunting for and photographing these objects is fundamental to my process. I do not touch, light or manipulate the books and words—preferring to document them as found in the stacks, created by the librarian and positioned by the last unknown reader. I focus on simple, provocative titles that transcend the spines on which they appear to create conceptual, language-based, anthropological works.

Recent works in this series are multiple panel installations, called Collocations. Collocation is defined as "the act or result of placing or arranging together, specifically: a noticeable arrangement or conjoining of linguistic elements (as words)."