Curators’ Books

Copper Frances Giloth

“Ruins provide the incentive for restoration, and for a return to origins. There has to be an interim of death or rejection before there can be renewal and reform.” John Brickerhoff Jackson.

In June of 2010 I was wandering in the gardens at the Palace of Versailles when I found myself in one of the less crowded areas. I was at an entrance to the Bosquet de la Reine / The Queen’s Grove. After walking through and looking at the minimal statuary placed in the sparsely planted central square area, I thought this place might be the least interesting grove I had seen at Versailles. I was mistaken. As I was leaving, I read the sign at the entrance and found out that in this location from about 1665 to 1774 a labyrinth designed by André Le Nôtre had existed populated with 39 fountains each of which illustrated an Aesop fable. I looked back through the gates and tried to visualize those winding paths with fountains at every turn. That day, now almost four years ago, was the beginning of my desire to experience the Labyrinthe of Versailles. Physical and psychological places have often been starting points in my art making process.

In July of 2014 I released the first version of my Labyrinth of Fables built in Unity and available for the Apple at the Google App stores and for your Mac, PC, and online. Then in March of 2015, we released a version for the Oculus Rift HMD.

Labyrinth of Fables ( © Copper Frances Giloth

Hye Yeon Nam

Among our everyday habits, having a meal is a banal routine. With tabletop technology and computer vision, however, a diner encounters a magical moment in which imaginary creatures appear during the meal. Meaningless everyday gestures become meaningful when a participant touches the point of entry into a new world. Dinner Party provides an environment in which people meet and interact with Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky (1872), which describes creatures hiding in the shadows. There is a chair, a table, and a table setting for one person’s dinner. The table becomes the interactive platform between the participant and the imaginary creatures that are living in the shadows of the table setting. Creatures move from the shadow of the main plate to other shadows while scattering or hiding in between. When the participant waits long enough, the creatures reveal themselves, and one can read the poem of Jabberwocky. In our solitary modern society, an imaginary friend is able to make us no longer lonely.

Media: Interactive Projection with table, chairs, and place-setting.

Dinner Party © Hye Yeon Nam

Jacquelyn Ford Morie

Skipper’s Book is a tribute to my older sister illustrating my memories of her early years when we lived in Germany after the war. There are words, but no structured narrative as I wanted to convey the way I, as a baby and small toddler with little command of language, experienced this older, wonderful person, who was often lonely, lost and yet full of childish wonder. Each page represents emotions and events occurring during 6 months in 1950, starting with June. It can be viewed as sequential pages on a computer monitor or printed as a small folder accordion-style booklet.

Media: digital print and photography.

Skipper’s Book © Jacquelyn Ford Morie

Bonnie Mitchell

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, otherwise known as Lewis Carroll, created numerous scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, manuscript materials and photographs throughout his life. One of his personally selected collections of materials is currently housed in the Library of Congress. Lewis Carroll wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871) which, because of their metaphoric and imaginary approach to storytelling, have inspired countless other writers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers. This scrapbook adds insight into Carroll’s interests and inspiration for his books.

Scrapbooking is a method of collecting information by deconstructing existing materials and recontextualizing it. Extracting information from its source to create new material abstractly mirrors the growth of a tree as it takes energy from the soil and atmosphere and produces leaves, each one unique. Transfiguration explores the evolution of ideas connected to Carroll’s work, from scrapbook to the visuals associated with his writing. The ideas are further abstracted by juxtapositioning John Tenniel’s illustrations on Dodgson’s scrapbook. Tenniel visually interpreted the text and created the first published illustrations of both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Similar to how scrapbooks collate and trigger memory, Tenniel’s illustrations are connected, like leaves on a tree, to the root of Carroll’s creative endeavors.

The project uses materials in the public domain that are copyright free because of their age (1865). They come under the Fine Art Copyright Act of 1862. The scrapbook is housed in the Library of Congress and available online.

Media:The artwork is modeled and textured in Maya with additional manipulation Photoshop.

Transfiguration © Bonnie Mitchell

Scottie Chih-Chieh Huang

DYP (Digital Yellowed Patterns) is an algorithmic art work, rethinking the physicality of the book in digital age. DYP detects the user’s finger movement on a digital reader, thereby generating through tacit effects the yellowing of books over time. It is inspired by the traditional printed book: people can easy recognize the time-yellowed patterns on a book cover, touching and remembering significant memories of the past.

Media: digital print and photography.

Digital Yellowed Patterns © Scottie Chih-Chieh Huang