Bookmarking Book Art — Justin James Reed

2013 by Justin James Reed Publication Date: 2012 Artwork type: Editioned book Medium: inkjet Dimensions: 9.5 in W x 13.0 in H Binding Type: pamphlet Publisher: Horses Think Press
2013 by Justin James Reed
Publication Date: 2012
Artwork type: Editioned book
Medium: Inkjet, UV Firefly Ink
Dimensions: 9.5 in W x 13.0 in H
Binding Type: pamphlet
Publisher: Horses Think Press


2013 is apparently a booklet of blank pages, until the lights go out and the reader begins to search the pages with the ultraviolet flashlight that accompanies the book in its archival box. Is this reading with one’s whole body? The tactile nature of a book takes on more than three-dimensionality through the pages’ reaction to the reader’s gestures.  The time it takes to “read” the book is the time it takes to perceive its ghostly images.  Reading the book becomes experiencing the book.

I enjoy the idea that when a viewer first encounters the book it appears to be blank. Indeed, this notion of the “invisible book,” was an important starting point for the work.  And in this, ingrained in the book itself, are two very concrete ways to experience the book: as a set of blank pages and then, with the help of an ultraviolet light source, a completely radical way of looking at pictures. My intention is to have this process lead a viewer to perceive the imagery less representationally and more sculpturally….


For me, this book is broadly about the future and the end or rebirth of time. The title, “2013,” came about because of the rapid pace of technology and culture. No longer do we have to look far into the future to perceive change, we witness it daily, to such an extent that even the idea of the year 2013 seems far away and distant. Beyond this though is also the concept that time is a construct. Again, this ties into perception, that in addition to the viewing experience, I want to reinforce the notion that time itself is just a way of perceiving reality. The iconography in the book: sculpture, form, nature, digital information, etc., is all mixed together so that a viewer encounters each on the same plane, and by the end of the book the number 2013 takes on the same qualities as one of the landscapes, the number has meaning.


One of my main goals with this book was also to facilitate a group experience. In my mind most books are made to be enjoyed by oneself. However, with this book, it is my intention to make something that encourages people to share in the viewing experience…. I am fascinated by the idea that an object, a book, can be a reason for people to come together and share in something. In some ways this is one of the most important components of the book.


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