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Woods in the City

By Alisa Golden
Berkeley, California: never mind the press , 2013. Edition of 20.

Box: 6"(w) x 10"(h) x 3"(d). Book: 3.5"(w) x 9.75"(h) x 1"(d), opens to approximately 27". Materials: Nideggen and Ingres papers, Cherry Paperwood (veneer) paper, Cave Paper; Mylar; book cloth; Davey board, museum board; linen thread. Letterpress printed from handset Bodoni (bold and italic) and Onyx metal types, linoleum blocks, wood type, and photopolymer plates of handlettered words. Book structure: a modified winged book designed by Alisa Golden .

Alisa Golden: "This hardcover book in a windowed box was inspired by the architectural designs of Lebbeus Woods, and many of the decisions were based on a draw from the Ideation Cards created by Barb Tetenbaum and Julie Chen. [See]

"Ideation Cards: technique: high-tech (letterpress, offset, or printmaking); layout: random or unplanned; paper: handmade; text: self-generated; image: none; color: monochromatic; structure: innovative structure (tunnel book, magic wallet, carousel book, flag book, etc); adjectives: textured, layered, impressionistic, transparent, ordinary or mundane.

"A Lebbeus Woods exhibit at SF MOMA featured buildings that incorporated their own ruins, contained their own destruction. Could I create a book that appeared to be disintegrating, yet be structurally sound? I began with an innovative structure I designed: the Winged Book. For the text, I had documented the seemingly ordinary demolition of a house; once fictionalized, that seemed right for the content. After I began to set the type by hand I saw I would only have enough letters for one section at a time; each section had to be condensed to 77 words. My type was also wearing out: I had to replace letters, change words, or grit my teeth and use a worn s or two. Incorporating its own destruction, already. As a cumulative piece, the sections are impressionistic. The printed words from photopolymer plates are random. The building-shaped box to house the book has a transparent window. Because I could use no pictures I hope the writing presents vivid images for the mind’s eye."


A woman buys a lot,
demolishes a house,
and to the astonishment of
her neighbors—and to
the woman watching and
photographing the process—
turns it into a garden.

Woods in the City

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