Thursday, November 15, 2012

Testing book structures for "A Day"

My deadline for the wedding album is now very close, so that has had all my attention. That was until last week when the reaching of a significant birthday milestone demanded some celebration time and subsequently even more recovery-time....

However, before that I finished binding the album and I am very pleased. It is both lovely and sturdy. Result!
Now I have about 100 photos to print and insert into the album, as well as some decorative finishing to complete in the next 10 days or so. (In case you are confused, yes the wedding has been and gone, and I am aiming for an anniversary finishing date.)

As promised, in this post I will share some photos of structures I tested for my Book Art Object edition, and I'll also just talk a bit about my general approach to the title. However, I won't talk too much specifically about the decisions or thoughts coming from the test structures, as that could make quite an essay!

My title is "A Day Just Like Any Other", which like everyone else's this round is one of the one hundred short stories written by Sarah Bodman and buried in a Danish forest, after Kurt Johannessen's Exercises. You can read more here.

Although this title sounds very like the beginning of a story, along the lines of "Once Upon a Time...", I don't work with narratives very comfortably, and I selected the title so that I could explore the idea of a day.

I'm really interested in time, and when I hear the word "day", my first thought is about a day as a chunk of time.

A day is a particularly interesting amount of time to me. Often a day can absolutely fly, but at other times it seems to stretch out, seeming like eternity itself.

A day also offers us a refreshing beginning. A chance to start over that comes around comfortingly quickly.

A day is the amount of time we choose when we want to honour or remember an event, a person, or even a moment, whether good or bad.

And of course, there is day's mate: night. Or is it really day's nemisis?

Centuries ago, we developed ways to demark our days, and now we can gather them together in bundles of varying size according to our need (weeks, months, seasons, years, generations, and so on). It wasn't easy to wrestle the days into our rigid structures, with our desperate obsession with whole numbers. Some might say that the leap year we slot in every fourth year is a sign that we didn't really win that one!

So you see I've been reading about what we mean by "day", about the planetary movements, the development of various calendars going back through history, and all the while thinking about the elasticity of time.

For the book, I had an idea to use one or some of the photos of sunrise that I took last year while flying home from Paris. You might remember one from this post. I wasn't sure what structure would work best to convey my thoughts, and so I tried making some maquettes (or models). Below you can see some photos of the experiments. Promising beginnings!


  1. I'll say they that's a promising start! and I had no idea how tiny tiny the model was until I saw your hand in there! ooooo can't wait to see how this progresses

  2. I love the transparency of the accordion model and I do admire you for being able to work with such small structures. I'd never pull it off. Somehow, the accordion seems to reflect well the sequence of days and the flow of time. It can even be read backwards, defying our progressive preconceptions. Looking forward to the finished book!

  3. Looks wonderful and what a great exploration of our days...

  4. Love the sunrise images on your 'tiny' maquette - were you thinking ahead or is it just a lucky coincidence that you'd taken such suitable photos for your book? Look forward to seeing more.

  5. Oooooo! This looks fantastic! The translucency looks stunning. I can't wait to see how this progresses.

  6. I can't add anything to the previous comments except to say that I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of your experiments!

  7. Thanks for your encouragement.
    Ronnie - yes, the tiny size has prompted some new thoughts.
    Ersi - good to hear your thoughts. Mine are the same, but its always good to hear that others are thinking similarly.
    Thanks Fiona!
    Helen- when I saw the sunrise, I knew I had to photograph it, and I hoped it would tie in with something arty, but I had know idea how.
    Ellen - yes I LOVE transparency too!
    Thanks Sara - I'm dieing to get back to it!

  8. This is wonderful! And I like the title together with the image - it leaves the viewer a lot of space for their own thought and still nudges them in a certain direction.
    I am very much looking forward to seeing which direction it will take from here!

  9. I love the concertina yet the bottom image really struck me....a mirror and a window at the same time. lovely...