Barbara Tetenbaum, “Reading Emerson’s ‘Circles'”

Cover with wrapper view

Cover view

Book view




Barbara Tetenbaum (Portland, OR)

Reading Emerson’s ‘Circles’
Hand-written texts were pressure-printed onto tissue paper. Laser-printed texts printed onto UV-Ultra. Covers: printed Zerkall paper dry-mounted between batiste. Bound with wooden spine and bulldog clips. Wrapper constructed of book cloth and book board.
Edition of 30
24 pages
16 x 20 x .5

During a 2-week residency at Caldera, near Sisters, Oregon, I rewrote Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Circles” using a special pen that leaves a hard raised mark if you go slowly enough. I wrote out 23 pages which took nearly 30 hours. I did this to accomplish three things: to force myself to read Emerson’s essay very slowly; to record distractions and thoughts that I had while reading his words; to create a surface that I would later use to print an edition of artist books using a technique I developed and call “Pressure Printing”. Pressure printing uses a low relief plate (my Emerson writings) which is put underneath the paper to be printed (tissue paper) and then run through the letterpress over a type-high inked block. This allows the low relief image to grab more or less ink from the block as it rolls over it. I have now printed an edition of 30 copies of all the pages I wrote out. My thoughts and distractions will be laser printed on transparent paper and interleaved within the book to show that reading is rarely a linear experience, but much fuller experience unique to the reader.