DEFORM THIS BOOK!
(Stage 1: “Exhibits”)
This online gallery is a collaborative offshoot of the Galerie de Difformité, published in Fall 2011 by &NOW Books and distributed by Northwestern University Press. This hybrid novel is structured as an art catalogue, with choose-your-own-adventure directives, helping to navigate a reader through varied paths and many manners of genres in a curiosity cabinet dedicated to deforming deformity. “Exhibits” are only one element of the collection and are narrated by one of the main characters: a deformed reincarnation of Dante’s Beatrice. A synopsis of the book can be found here, or view an anti-trailer here.
As a collaborative offshoot, this virtual gallery invites “Subscribers” (in the antiquated sense) to materially deform “Exhibits.” Early submissions helped to illustrate the print book, and future submissions will continue to change the book’s reading experience, as readers follow instructions from print pages online (through QR codes) to visit changing and multiplying “Exhibits.” If you’d like to participate in Stage 1: please download the electronic text of your preferred “Exhibit” (A-Z), deform it (visually, aurally, sensorily, however you like), then email the Undertaker a photo / video / audio file of your metamorphosis, to post on this website with your permission. Please credit yourself (using your actual name, a persona, anonymously, what have you) and include a title, as well as a brief list of materials. Voilà! <<Image specs: 600 dpi at 100%.>> Documentation, such as an artist statement or the like describing your deformation, is particularly welcome.
If helpful to lead you to a letter, available themes currently include (alphabetically & very generally speaking): apologia (or archaeologies), bees (or beginnings), colors (or chronologies), dreams (or detours), edges (or ends), fragments (or fissures), gardens (or growths), hands (or hierarchies), identifications (or idiosyncrasies), juries (or jars), kaleidoscope (or keepsakes), light (or legibilities), maps (or margins), novels (or negotiations), oysters (or oceans), puppets (or petitions), questions (or quivers), relics (or rites), scansion (or seduction), translations (or tellings), unfinished (or undoing), voices (or vibrations), waggish (or webbed), (e)xcised (or X-ray), you (or years), zoo (or zero). While visiting “Exhibits” in this online gallery, please notice licenses taken by subscribers: deforming texts through a range of materials (e.g., paint, yarn, ice), techniques (e.g., drawing, collaging, folding), metamorphosing from a tree-sized mobile to bracelets to a bird. For a sampling, see links off homepage.
Particularly imaginative submissions (past and future) will be considered for inclusion in a catalogue that will document the project. When you submit, it will be helpful to include how you heard about the project, your approach to your deformation, and the materials used. Additionally, further invitations will be included in the published book and here (including for a traveling exhibition of deformed book-objects to visit small galleries and college campuses in the tradition of an antiquated freak show).
If you know of others who might be interested in becoming Subscribers, please send them this way! If you are a teacher interested in involving your students/courses in whatever way, please read this Resource Page for Teachers as you think about how to incorporate this exercise in your syllabus. For more details, read the the Undertaker’s Note on the Text and/or enter The Destruction Room. To consider the latitudes of a page and how to read, see What is a Page? and How to Read? For information about venues that have helped to support this project, see &Etc.~Thanks. To learn about Stage 2 of the book’s deformation, please see Chapbooks. Details about Stage 3 will be posted in the future.
Disclaimer: All deformations are subject to be deformed.
* This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.