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Various Small Books: A Shadow History of the Internet

by

Various Small Books: A Shadow History of the Internet Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

andlt;Pandgt;In the 1960s and 1970s, the artist Ed Ruscha created a series of small photo-conceptual artist's books, among them andlt;Iandgt;Twentysix Gas Stations, Various Small Fires, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Real Estate Opportunitiesandlt;/Iandgt;, and andlt;Iandgt;A Few Palm Treesandlt;/Iandgt;. Featuring mundane subjects photographed prosaically, with idiosyncratically deadpan titles, these andquot;small booksandquot; were sought after, collected, and loved by Ruscha's fans and fellow artists. Over the past thirty years, close to 100 other small books that appropriated or paid homage to Ruscha's have appeared throughout the world. This book collects ninety-one of these projects, showcasing the cover and sample layouts from each along with a description of the work. It also includes selections from Ruscha's books and an appendix listing all known Ruscha book tributes. These small books revisit, imitate, honor, and parody Ruscha in form, content, and title. Some rephotograph his subjects: andlt;Iandgt;Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Forty Years Laterandlt;/Iandgt;. Some offer a humorous variation: andlt;Iandgt;Various Unbaked Cookiesandlt;/Iandgt; (which concludes, as did Ruscha's Various andlt;Iandgt;Small Firesandlt;/Iandgt;, with a glass of milk), andlt;Iandgt;Twentynine Palmsandlt;/Iandgt; (twenty-nine photographs of palm-readers' signs). Some say something different: andlt;Iandgt;None of the Buildings on Sunset Stripandlt;/Iandgt;. Some reach for a connection with Ruscha himself: andlt;Iandgt;17 Parked Cars in Various Parking Lots Along Pacific Coast Highway Between My House and Ed Ruscha'sandlt;/Iandgt;. With his books, Ruscha expanded the artist's field of permissible subjects, approaches, and methods. With andlt;Iandgt;VARIOUS SMALL BOOKSandlt;/Iandgt;, various artists pay tribute to Ed Ruscha and extend the legacy of his books.andlt;/Pandgt;

Review:

"Charting the influence of Ruscha's photobooks of the 1960s and 1970s, this collection navigates the multiple critical and artistic responses born from Twentysix Gas Stations. This 1962 book is the first of several by the artist that document commonplace objects, ranging from parking lots to palm trees, in straightforward and prosaic images. Ruscha is identified as a proto-photoconceptualist, and the critical introduction untangles questions of medium, methodology, and content that his deceptively simple photobooks have raised. The bulk of the study, however, collects 91 photobooks by other artists that engage Ruscha's work; the range of and challenges raised by these homages perhaps the greatest testament to Ruscha's importance. Representative images from and of these books are accompanied by critical and descriptive notes, furthering the inquiries begun by Ruscha while considering the newer projects on their own terms. It is this 'return to and recalibration of an aesthetic of interest' that drives the book, the question of where our interest is drawn renewed through the language of photography. At once celebratory, serious, and challenging, the collection gracefully offers new points of inquiry for considering an artist whose core questions remain wonderfully unresolved. Color and b&w illus. (Jan)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

In the 1960s and 1970s, the artist Ed Ruscha created a series of small photo-conceptual artist's books, among them Twentysix Gas Stations, Various Small Fires, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Real Estate Opportunities, and A Few Palm Trees. Featuring mundane subjects photographed prosaically, with idiosyncratically deadpan titles, these "small books" were sought after, collected, and loved by Ruscha's fans and fellow artists. Over the past thirty years, close to 100 other small books that appropriated or paid homage to Ruscha's have appeared throughout the world. This book collects ninety-one of these projects, showcasing the cover and sample layouts from each along with a description of the work. It also includes selections from Ruscha's books and an appendix listing all known Ruscha book tributes. These small books revisit, imitate, honor, and parody Ruscha in form, content, and title. Some rephotograph his subjects: Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Forty Years Later. Some offer a humorous variation: Various Unbaked Cookies (which concludes, as did Ruscha's Various Small Fires, with a glass of milk), Twentynine Palms (twenty-nine photographs of palm-readers' signs). Some say something different: None of the Buildings on Sunset Strip. Some reach for a connection with Ruscha himself: 17 Parked Cars in Various Parking Lots Along Pacific Coast Highway Between My House and Ed Ruscha's. With his books, Ruscha expanded the artist's field of permissible subjects, approaches, and methods. With VARIOUS SMALL BOOKS, various artists pay tribute to Ed Ruscha and extend the legacy of his books.

About the Author

Jeff Brouws is a photographer whose work is in many private and public collections, including Harvard's Fogg Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His homages to Ruscha include Twentysix Abandoned Gas Stations.Wendy Burton is a photographer whose work is in such collections as the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the University of Louisville Photographic Archive. Her homage to Ruscha is Real Estate Opportunities.Hermann Zschiegner is a principal in the award-winning New York--based design agency TWO-N, a member of the ABC Artists' Book Cooperative, and the author of Thirtyfour Parking Lots on Google Earth.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262018777
Author:
Taylor, Phil
Publisher:
Mit Press
Author:
Rawlinson, Mark
Author:
Zschiegner, Hermann
Author:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Author:
Burton, Wendy
Author:
Brouws, Jeff
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Art - General
Copyright:
Series:
VARIOUS SMALL BOOKS
Publication Date:
20130201
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
298 color illus., 55 b, &, w illus.
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
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Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Various Small Books: A Shadow History of the Internet New Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages MIT Press (MA) - English 9780262018777 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Charting the influence of Ruscha's photobooks of the 1960s and 1970s, this collection navigates the multiple critical and artistic responses born from Twentysix Gas Stations. This 1962 book is the first of several by the artist that document commonplace objects, ranging from parking lots to palm trees, in straightforward and prosaic images. Ruscha is identified as a proto-photoconceptualist, and the critical introduction untangles questions of medium, methodology, and content that his deceptively simple photobooks have raised. The bulk of the study, however, collects 91 photobooks by other artists that engage Ruscha's work; the range of and challenges raised by these homages perhaps the greatest testament to Ruscha's importance. Representative images from and of these books are accompanied by critical and descriptive notes, furthering the inquiries begun by Ruscha while considering the newer projects on their own terms. It is this 'return to and recalibration of an aesthetic of interest' that drives the book, the question of where our interest is drawn renewed through the language of photography. At once celebratory, serious, and challenging, the collection gracefully offers new points of inquiry for considering an artist whose core questions remain wonderfully unresolved. Color and b&w illus. (Jan)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , In the 1960s and 1970s, the artist Ed Ruscha created a series of small photo-conceptual artist's books, among them Twentysix Gas Stations, Various Small Fires, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Real Estate Opportunities, and A Few Palm Trees. Featuring mundane subjects photographed prosaically, with idiosyncratically deadpan titles, these "small books" were sought after, collected, and loved by Ruscha's fans and fellow artists. Over the past thirty years, close to 100 other small books that appropriated or paid homage to Ruscha's have appeared throughout the world. This book collects ninety-one of these projects, showcasing the cover and sample layouts from each along with a description of the work. It also includes selections from Ruscha's books and an appendix listing all known Ruscha book tributes. These small books revisit, imitate, honor, and parody Ruscha in form, content, and title. Some rephotograph his subjects: Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Forty Years Later. Some offer a humorous variation: Various Unbaked Cookies (which concludes, as did Ruscha's Various Small Fires, with a glass of milk), Twentynine Palms (twenty-nine photographs of palm-readers' signs). Some say something different: None of the Buildings on Sunset Strip. Some reach for a connection with Ruscha himself: 17 Parked Cars in Various Parking Lots Along Pacific Coast Highway Between My House and Ed Ruscha's. With his books, Ruscha expanded the artist's field of permissible subjects, approaches, and methods. With VARIOUS SMALL BOOKS, various artists pay tribute to Ed Ruscha and extend the legacy of his books.
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