Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mars Tokyo, Psychedelic Faces, 2015

A funky and vibrant little artists' book from the Baltimore-based Mars Tokyo. With its corrugated cover and faux Ray Johnson bunny on the front to its inside strip of beautifully drawn psychedelic faces that pop out like a gallery show on steroids this tiny book packs a big punch!

Individual pages 1 5/8" x 2". 10 pages, fully extended at 1' 8".  

Loris Lora, Eventually Everything Connects, London: Nobrow Press, 2014.

Another cool addition to the Nobrow leporello series. This book's theme comes from Loris Lora's earlier project that "...started while attending the Art Center (Pasadena), which highlights the relationships and connections of creatives during a very innovative and exciting time period of design." The accompanying poster/booklet spells out all the different ways in which the figures in the accordion's assorted scenarios were connected to each other within this new architectural & design moment. Prominently displayed across the back of the poster/booklet is a quote from the design guru of this period, Charles Eames, "Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects... The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se." 

Single pages 13.25" (height) x 7.75" (width). 20 pages, and fully extended at 6' 5.5".

BMB con #11 Shhhhh, Den Haag: Stroom, Netherlands, 2009, ed. 1000

This is a curious accordion publication that I found in the 'sale' section at the book store in the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. On the inside flap BMB con, is described as being "...founded by Justin Bennett, Roelf Toxopeus and Wikke 't Hooft in 1989. Since 2006 BMB con. consists of a core duo working together with a changing group in invited artists/performers." The BMB con periodical appears to have taken different shapes over the years including audiocassettes, mini cds and regular cds. This particular issue would seem to be an anomaly with its printed matter format. 

One side of this well-produced accordion is taken up with color photos of what look like sound producing instruments accompanied with instruments for recording sound. The back is made up of texts with recurring themes of sound, music, performative instructions, and tucked into all this text the real giveaway piece that situates all these pieces within one of the larger themes of the piece a take-off of Cage's well known work, "4'33" ticking away Atlas Sirius Eslipicales, Inlets (faithfully blub bulb)."  For more info about this interesting project see: bmbcon.org

Single pages 9" x 6.5", all 16 pages fully extended 8' 8".

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Michael Peven, Cradle of Civilization, Fayetteville: Primitive Press, 1993 [2nd edition, 2011]

This lively accordion has stood on my mantlepiece for a number of weeks now and it still holds its own after all this time. Essentially one long print folded at particular key spots, the different types of imagery and assorted texts work well in combination with the profusion of color to thoroughly discredit the idea and activity of war. One-sided with single pages 4.5" (w) x 8" (h), and with its 14 pages opened up its 5ft 3inches long.

Pictures of scenic spots in Tokyo, n/d

The title on the book's outer covering is "Pictures of scenic spots in Tokyo." 
Inside on the the cover of the accordion is "Eighteen favorite Kabuki pieces." The book is made up of 18 small screen printed images of Kabuki actors all representing roles in a famous set of 18 of the best kabuki plays (Kabuki Juhachiban). 

Turning to the back of the accordion a whole new story is revealed. From the dedication on the inside page of the book we can see that Nancy Frank, a bay area artist and organizer gifted this book to John Held Jr., in 2014. In 2015, John Held in turn dedicated it me knowing of my passion for accordion publications! But John has added a new twist to the accordion as he's stamped all the empty backs of the pages with rubber stamp images from his archive, creating a cool rubber stamp panorama. Individual pages 3" (h) x 1.75" (w). At 20 pages when this book is unfolded it's 2" 11".