The Assignment


Kent Manske
Redwood City, CA

Title: Between

Number of Copies in Edition: 2, with 1 trial proof
Size: 18” x 18”
Number of Pages: 10 pages plus cover & back

Medium: Screenprinting, pigment printing, collage, wax, mulberry/hemp paper on oil paper.

Price: $1400

To purchase, please contact Laura at 23 Sandy Gallery.

The Assignment

Write or select a meaningful line of text and use it as the departure point for the conceptual development and production of an art object that takes book from. Design, layout, typography, materials, media, techniques and binding decisions should all serve the text’s content. This is an exercise in mindfully addressing subject matter, content, context, form and technique prior to the books production. Prepare a presentation of your ideas including conceptual sketches, mind maps and rough maquettes for the first group critique of this project.

Artist Statement

The inauguration of Barak Obama brought light to a huge eight-year dark cloud. I was personally jubilant and felt for the first time, in a very long time, politically validated. Between is an artist’s book that explores my contradictory feelings of personal optimism and intellectual pessimism.

With typography, the book plays with language as visual and semiotic code. Motivation for the book resulted from observing how language in political campaigns was crafted, tested, and delivered using sophisticated branding and advertising strategies. After delivery, those same words were further twisted for political gain. Popular news hand-picked and delivered sound bites doing little to provide context or deconstruct the text.

In the book, the sentence “he is dubious” is fractured into phonetic bites (He Is Do Be Us), decorated in elaborate script, and, in red, deconstructed into grafitti-like forms. Things I thought about include: words are not pure; information is not communication; information is not knowledge; misinformation is authoritative and convincing lies; disinformation is insidious mass misinformation and uninformation is the brazen presentation of uninformed beliefs as if fact.

Cover and back cover typography bracket the word ‘we’ within the word ‘between’ commenting that language is an organized principle of control. Language is also a contract that “we” agree on. Language is a legislation depending on mutual consent.


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