Tag Archives: 2007

Searching for Sebald (trade edition)

Searching for Sebald: Photography after W.G. Sebaldlayout from Searching for Sebald

Searching for Sebald (trade edition): $30.00    BUY NOW

Searching for Sebald: Photography After W.G. Sebald is an anthology of original essays and visual projects inspired by the work of one of my favorite writers, the late German novelist W.G. Sebald, author of Rings of Saturn and Austerlitz. I served as an Associate Editor on this project as well as the lead designer, in charge of design concept and development. I also contributed an essay entitled “All That Is Beyond Hearing: A Life of Arturo Ott”. It was a mammoth undertaking that took four years to complete, finally being published in 2007 by ICI Press.

Sebald interwove his texts with photographs in a highly idiosyncratic fashion—as seen in the layout above, which compares pages from two different editions of one of his novels. The focus of Searching for Sebald is a re-examination of the relation of photography to text in Sebald’s work and in the work of various modern and contemporary artists. I’m proud of the fact that this project was truly international in scope, featuring essays by European and American writers and artwork by Shimon Attie, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Andre Breton, Tacita Dean, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Pablo Helguera, Gerhard Richter, and others. (More about the project here.)

Searching for Sebald is available for purchase through artbook.com ($39.95) or amazon.com ($29.16). At over 600 pages, the anthology is a steal at either price.

Posted in 2010, books | Also tagged , , , |

Ghost Galleries


All of the above are open-edition digital prints on satin-finish fine-art paper, signed by the artist.

“Ghost Galleries” is an ongoing and recent series of speculative photographs of gallery and museum spaces in which the exhibited art has been erased, leaving a few spectral traces and highlighting the gallery itself as the object of contemplation. The erasure process that I use creates the aura of a computer-generated architectural simulation, exposing yet another ghost: the ideal space that underlies the fetishization of the White Box.

In some of these photographs, such as Ghost Gallery #7 (which was included in the invitational exhibition “Professor Dialogues” at I-5 Gallery in Los Angeles in 2010), the erasures have been carried out in such a way that new elements arise, causing the images to shift into a terrain between photography and painting.

I choose the spaces for this series somewhat by chance, when I find myself more intrigued by the space I am than by the art that fills it. An obvious question: why not just photograph the gallery when it is empty? For one thing, gallery lighting is adjusted for specific arrangements of objects or installations and thus can vary quite radically from that of the empty space. The lighting setup offers a kind of crude reflection of the installed objects and—once the objects are erased in my images—a subtle pointer to their prior existence.

For another thing, empty galleries (like empty houses) have a tabula rasa quality: we take them to be waiting to be filled. And that expectation is in part our way around the haunted quality of these empty spaces, our knowledge of their histories of sequential erasures inflicted in the passage of time. We don’t like to acknowledge that moment when the show is over, the work packed up, the people gone. By focusing the “Ghost Galleries” on the removal of the art—even though an artificial removal—I mean to draw attention back to the tenuous relationship between art and context, object and space, image and presence.

Posted in 2011, prints | Also tagged |


Searching for Sebald: Photography after W.G. Sebald

Searching for Sebald

I’ve just added two pages to the site about a book entitled Searching for Sebald that I worked on a couple years back. It ended up being issued in four different editions: a trade edition and three special artist’s editions. I’ve included links to the sites where the book is being sold.

Since Searching for Sebald was published by ICI Press, a wing of the nonprofit Institute of Cultural Inquiry, all sales of these editions help to fund future ICI projects—I don’t see a dime of the proceeds myself.

Posted in 2010, latest | Also tagged , |

Searching for Sebald (special editions)

In addition to the trade edition, three unique special editions of Searching for Sebald were produced by the Institute of Cultural Inquiry:

  • the Artist’s Edition, a limited edition of 100 housed in a unique vintage suitcase containing artworks by 20 contemporary artists ($1000; buy here);
  • the Collector’s Edition, housed in a black clamshell box with a drawer containing study documents, a magnifying glass and a stereoviewer ($200; buy here); and
  • the Reader’s Edition housed in a silver cardboard sleeve with study documents ($40, buy here)

For the Artist’s and Collector’s Editions, I produced limited edition artist’s projects. The Artist’s Edition has a set of small, sealed memory cases entitled no longer not yet. Some of these enclose photographs (the ‘no longer’ of the title) and a handful of wildflower seeds (the ‘not yet’), while others enclose dirt, sand, salt, raw pigments, and botanical materials including seeds.  In the second group, salt introduces a destructive (‘no longer’) potential into the  dormant (‘not yet’) miniature ecosystems. Each unique box thus is both an abstract landscape in the representational sense, and an actual low-relief landscape in the physical sense.

For the Collector’s Edition I created a single-sheet ‘study document’ that relates to the research I did for my essay in Searching for Sebald about a reclusive collector named Arturo Ott. Surrounding a closeup photograph of a page from one of Ott’s albums are 5 comparison images found in a related group of albums, with red lines connecting the pairs of similar images. The purpose of this visual comparison was an attempt to uncover the workings of Ott’s mind.

All of these editions can be ordered directly through the Institute of Cultural Inquiry at the links above (Paypal accepted).

Posted in 2010, books | Also tagged , , |