Book art about our environment -
"Illustrated History No. 15" by Mariona Barkus. "This is the fifteenth in a continuing series I began in 1981. I chose the postcard format because it is intended as an activist’s tool. Illustrated History No. 15 mimics a newspaper, combining fabricated illustrations with factual texts. I’m chronicling contemporary social and political issues with implications for our future, as well as pondering whether the surreal has become the new normal. The topics include: Privatization of Prisons-for-Profit; Domestic Commercial Drones Invade U.S. Airspace; Deleterious Effects of Excessive Digital Screen Time; Bulletproofing Children and Schools As the Only Viable Alternative to the NRA Gun-Control Stranglehold; Environmental Consequences of a Projected Oil Boom in U.S.A.; Keeping in Touch Via Posthumous Social Media; War on Women’s Basic Rights; and ALEC Writes Legislation for Corporations’ Benefit at Expense of Individual Rights."
"Earth Cube" by Kate Boyes. "A dead zone is growing in the ocean along Oregon’s central coast, where I live. Dead zones lack adequate oxygen, making it hard for life to exist in them. In the past, they were found almost exclusively in areas with high levels of population and pollution. We have little population or pollution here, so what caused the new dead zone? Scientists believe the answer might look like this: climate change → warmer water → changes in ocean currents → changes in wind patterns → lack of wind to reoxygenate the water → lack of oxygen → death or dispersal of sea life = dead zone. One change to a cycle or system in the natural world can have a cascading effect. Earth Cube, my response to the dead zone, is stable when all panels work together but falls apart when one is removed. Easy reassembly instructions are included."
"Gordian Knot" by Larry Calkins. "Gordian Knot is about something that scares me: environmental catastrophe, specifically nuclear disaster. Politicians and scientists risk destroying our sense of well being by threatening us with the indiscriminate destructive force of the atom bomb and by allowing dangerously unsafe environments such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, Japan to destroy lives of innocent bystanders. The potential for other disaster areas might be just a matter of time. The making of this book has coincided with the new crisis in the Ukraine. As a child I was made to feel vulnerable by Cold War rhetoric. Russia’s recent invasion of its peaceful neighbor reminds me of how unstable the world is and will always be. Political decision making often goes over the heads of a peace loving, general population and serves special interests of a few powerful players. I ask myself whether attacking Japan with nuclear bombs really helped win the war or whether, in the long run, we actually lost it."
"Environmental Book" by Joan Iversen Goswell. "The environment is a mess and getting messier. Chemical additives in our food, poison in our air, developers grabbing any green space they can, genetically modified food and seeds that become our food, poisons in our water and loss of farmland brought on by multi-national agricultural mega-corporations. Do you like the fact that Monsanto can produce a corn seed that is sterile? How about a corn seed that is patented, and then, when its pollen blows into a farmer’s perfectly normal cornfield, and the patented corn grows, they sue for infringement and win. How about radical global changes in our weather? How about antibiotics in our meat that creates resistance in our bodies so that when we get sick, the antibiotics don’t work? And, best of all, how about real human beings, freeze-dried and displayed in Science museums all over the country? It’s about time we started thinking in terms of an environment that is clean, productive and beneficial to humans and animals alike."
"Encroachment" by Carrie Larson. "The development of this piece began with the simple observation of moss growing within sidewalk cracks. As I contemplated this rather beautiful phenomenon during neighborhood walks, I was also mulling over media reports about the National Security Agency’s data collection, particularly in light of Edward Snowden’s revelations. The moss began to symbolize that infiltration—a creeping loss of privacy, a gradual erosion of rights. What may appear rather benign, instead has a highly destructive capacity, capable of crumbling foundations, whether these are foundations of trust or a country’s founding principles."
"Food for Thought" by Mary Jeanne Linford and Lynn Agnew. "Food for Thought is an outgrowth of many thoughtful studio conversations about the state of the world. While we can always find problems to complain about, as artists we believe that there are also solutions that exist/can be discovered. This book is a home-grown attempt to prompt some creative, organic thinking about the problems that confront the world today. When making construction choices for this book, we made an attempt to use recycled or re-purposed materials as much as possible. Our intent in making this work was to cut down on the amount of "stuff" that is thrown away in our culture. The box was inspired by a 1930′s seed display box and crafted by Bill Agnew using leftover fir flooring. The seed packets and labels are original collages of decorative papers, stamps and old dictionary pages, which were scanned then printed with recycled inkjet cartridges. The trinkets or "seeds" enclosed in each packet were culled from the flotsam and jetsam of years of 'studio collections.'"
"2.5" by Bonnie Meltzer. "For the last two years, I have been immersed in stopping the proposed coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington. Although my previous work had environmental themes, over a year ago I began making mixed-media artworks specifically related to coal. The work in this show, 2.5 is an adaptation of a much larger crocheted and beaded work called "Particulate Matter." PM 2.5 refers to the unseen, tiny particulates that are taken into our lungs and cause the most damage. The mining, transporting and burning of coal leave us with an abundance of these dangerous particles. As a sculptor, the intimacy of a small accordion book captivated me because of its ability to change shape in the reader’s hands. Crocheted wire and fishing line, my usual materials, had to be adapted to book techniques. Folds had to be hammered; letters drawn with wire, then embroidered on; and transparency problems solved, yet embraced. The text is 'Some dust you can’t see but lungs know.'"
"Local is Global & Global is Local" by Bonnie Meltzer. "For the last two years, I have been immersed in stopping the proposed coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington. Although my previous artwork had environmental themes, over a year ago I began making mixed-media artworks specifically related to coal. The work, Local is Global & Global is Local is an adaptation of a large work by the same name, techniques and materials. Weaving Portland maps with maps of the other involved regions (Montana and Wyoming, Puget Sound, Asia and the whole world) is a good way of expressing the entanglement of the personal and the worldwide implications of coal. It is a relatively simple accordion book with embroidered train tracks that embellish the collage and connect the pages visually."
"Devil Wind" by Barbara Milman. "This book is about the effect of climate change on California wildfires. Forest fires in California are caused, or made exponentially more violent, by the hot, dry “devil winds”—the Santa Monica and Diablo Winds that blow in from the desert. With climate change, these winds are becoming stronger and more frequent. Devil Wind contains pages on each of the 20 biggest forest fires recorded in California since 1932. More than half of them have occurred since the year 2000, and they have been steadily increasing in size. Climate change is the most important issue humanity faces today. Unchecked, it will threaten the existence of our cities, decimate the world food supply, destroy the ecological balance of the earth, and create global political instability. Yet it has gotten very little attention, and even less action, from our political leaders. My books express these concerns about climate change in concrete artistic terms."
"Precipitous" by Nicole Pietrantoni. "Precipitous is collection of five hand bound accordion books that expand to create a life-sized panoramic image of a rising sea. As books, the works gesture to the authority of the encyclopedic and the cataloging of natural specimens. As an installation, they dismantle sublime images through cuts, folds and halftone dots. The overlaid poems by Devon Wootten are appropriations from a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change titled, “Climate Change and Water.” With a specific interest in printmaking’s historic relationship to representation, in this work I gesture to humans’ role in constructing and idealizing landscape. Referencing 19th-century panoramas as well as Romantic painting, the work nods to a particularly fraught period in our relationship to nature. Similarly, today’s changing landscape demands an examination of the tension between the enjoyment of beautiful, idealized landscapes and an awareness of their ecological complexity."
"Attempted Fix" by Tyler Starr. "Attempted Fix: Dams Bases and the Resulting Wobbles in Japan explores cross-relationships between the anti-dam and anti-U.S. military base protest movements. Factual data and historical references amassed during seven years of research in Japan are imbued with poetic associations and offered as points of departure for the reader. Unintended consequences and contradictory intentions that commonly appear in politics, protest movements, construction projects and everyday desires are explored as essential to the attempts to “fix” perceived wrongs in the world. The word “wallowing” encapsulates a critical element of this work and has several definitions. One is to revel in an emotion. Another is to struggle through something like mud. Attempted Fix commemorates these dual human conditions."