The Assignment

 

Casey Gardner
Berkeley, CA

Title: Why Go? Beyond Question

Number of Copies in Edition: 6
Size: 6.50 x 10.25
Number of Pages: 10, plus two interior fold-out books

Medium: Letterpress printed; primary paper is French Co. Construction; interior collages include inkjet printing and various papers; Tyvek accordian binding.

Price: $950

To purchase, please contact Laura at 23 Sandy Gallery.

The Assignment

Why Go? was my Senior Thesis project at California College of the Arts. The assignment was self generated, supervised by Betsy Davids. During the semester, we met weekly; These meetings were magic. In Betsy's ineffable, alchemical process of guidance, I learned how to define the scope of the book, find its form and refine the content.
       I chose the subject matter of the book because I knew it was complex and I wanted to learn how to take an abundance of material and make it into a book with some discourse of meaning. My goal was to combine my two areas of study: book art and graphic design into a work that was both personal and accessible at varying levels for a reader.
       I launched into the project much like landing in a country without a map, but through continuing to work, and write and draw and make things and experiment, the direction became more clear. I learned about conceptualizing and editing and how I like to work, which is to keep moving and then choose what to refine, while leaving space for chance.
       I remember once telling Betsy that I didn’t know why I was doing this book and I was uncertain about the outcome; she said. “If you knew why you were doing it, I don’t think you’d be interested enough to pursue it.”

Artist Statement

Traveling is an act of curiosity and wonder. It’s also about being open to the unknown, not only in the world, but in yourself.  In the early nineties, I went traveling around the world alone. This book was about why I traveled, what I looked for, and what I found.  The writings in Why Go are gleaned from the pages of two fat journals I found in a box I’d sealed over a decade ago. Making the book was an exploration in how time affects our sense of meaning and interpretation. The book reflects the engagement of my ideals with reality by relating some of my travel experiences, such as living on a commune in New Zealand, studying meditation at a Buddhist monastery in Thailand and transforming my historical perceptions in Vietnam. 

The form and content reflect a process of layering, in that the reader can move through the book on varying levels. Some passages contain the raw language of the actual events, and other memories are processed in metaphor and design.

Casey Gardner
Berkeley, CA

Title: Specimen Book

Number of Copies in Edition: 3
Size: 6.50 x 10.25
Number of Pages: 16

Medium: LStone Lithography, Letterpress printed

Tyvek accordion binding

Price: $400

To purchase, please contact Laura at 23 Sandy Gallery.

The Assignment

I made this book in my final semester at CCA while taking Printmaking I with Greg Piatt as my instructor. The assignment was self generated in order to learn some specific things about printmaking and books.

I began with the following objectives.

Experiment with various lithographic techniques and materials: touche, crayon, pencil, transfer and ink.

Use my own imagery.

Imposition printing for 4 recto images on the stone to accommodate a folio.

Plan for letterpress printing on the verso.
Explore how the various printing techniques affect my choice of content.

Taking the experimental aspect of the project seriously, I printed many, many images and learned a lot about lithography. With my chosen images for the recto, I then designed a letterpress "response" for the verso.

In choosing the two processes  I was consciously exploring the softer, more textural qualities lithography for the expressive, "artistic" aspect of the book; and letterpress, with its crisp incisiveness for the designed, more "cerebral" interpretation.

Artist Statement

The desire to learn motivates my work. Usually I am first motivated by content I am curious about, then by a desire to learn a process or about a material. In this case, I was motivated primarily by learning about process, not only in printing and technique, but also in the dialog of art/design response I set up with the recto/verso.

 

All images and text copyright the artists and authors. All rights reserved.