Many book artists explore current social and political issues through their work. The Rollins Book Art Collection is intentionally an interdisciplinary teaching collection, directly supporting the College’s curriculum and its long tradition of liberal education. The purpose of the collection is to use art as a medium through which students can better understand multifaceted issues — global politics, economies, cultures; the tensions around social structures and marginalized populations; conflicts between human development and the environment; art as a concept, expression, and a communication tool; and other contemporary issues that students will encounter in their coursework and everyday lives.
The Rollins Book Art Collection is supported by a close collaboration between three entities on campus — The Department of Art & Art History, the Rollins Museum of Art, and the Olin Library — and is guided by an advisory board that includes students, staff, and faculty from across our campus community. It can be accessed in the Rollins College Archives and Special Collections reading room of Olin Library. The collection is also often on display in exhibitions (see a list below).
50th anniversary issue.
According to the plan, we were to come out with Pist Protta no. 70 here at the beginning of 2011, which in that case would have marked the art journal's 30th birthday, since it has been published continuously since the spring of 1981. At the editorial office, however, we have decided to deviate from the plan, and change the order a little, as we broadcast Pist Protta no. 116 from the year 2031, which, as you know, is 20 years in the future. We are therefore already marking the art journal's 50th birthday, which is a unique, long-standing achievement that no other art journal can match.
In these four bookworks Reznik recounts the violence of Argentina’s last civil-military dictatorship. She has centered her work on the 30,000 dead and disappeared.
“The danger of banalizing past state violence and forgetting its tangible, visceral realness is one that exists throughout the Southern Cone of Latin America. In an effort to revive the memory of Brazil’s military dictatorship, it is useful to look to neighboring countries and share experiences and methods for communicating collective trauma. Here, Artememoria shares Argentinian artist Mado Reznik‘s installation series entitled 30000. Here, Reznik meditates on the statistic 30,000: the symbol of the number of people disappeared because of state violence during the last civil-military dictatorship in Argentina. The number includes the 500 kidnapped children and the 5 fetuses found in the wombs of mothers who were kidnapped and killed.
“Using allegorical forms, the artist focuses on making the gravity of this number felt. She does not need to address the justifications and explanations espoused by those who negate these events — instead, she focuses on the violence itself. One can find interesting parallels when comparing this body of work to the exhibition 'Hiatus: Memory of Dictatorship Violence in Latin America', exhibited in São Paulo’s Memorial da Resistência and featured in Issue 1 of Artememoria.” — "Mado Reznik Remembers 30000" (Artememoria, published March 7, 2019)
Book 1, 30000 Nuditos: A piece made with 30000 knots made by Reznik with lamp strings. One compartment is open (with the number) because the concern about violence and genocide is always possible in many different ways. 30000 is a symbolic number because we still don't know how many people were murdered. The whole piece is designed as to be seen by any angle.
Book 2, 30000: a book with 30000 small holes and no words.
Book 3, 500: The dictatorship kidnapped 500 children most of them still today don't know their identity. Reznik used an old Spanish book ¨La voz de los niños” (The children´s voice) then put 500 knots inside. Reznik says “If you take a look to the counter cover it says that the book has been approved by the Church´s censorship. In my country part of the Roman Catholic Church helped the dictatorship.”
Book 4, Cinco (5): The anthropology forensic group discovered five fetuses in women's wombs thrown alive into the sea. The tides brought the corpses to the shore. It was possible to identify that those women were pregnant, probably the women didn't know. Reznik made an envelope looking like a bureaucratic file. She used five tea bags with lamp strings painted with red encaustic.
"This piece continues the theme of my trans identity. In this one I wanted to look at how I felt over the process of transitioning. The most important part of this piece is the writing, especially with the process of letterpress. The process of having to select every sort, and then after having to put all of them away, related so much to the patience that you need when transitioning. Even if you have enough money to pay for the hormones or surgery, you still are limited by time. That’s why the writing in this piece focuses on waiting and on the impact that that has on a person that has to wait to feel comfortable." — Saxon Anderson
"Its safer for everyone that I write this and not the poem bashing my sleep." — Amy Bagwell
A risograph zine containing poems by Amy Bagwell and photographs by Dawn Roe.
"In 1919 the United Confederate Veterans created a committee with the goal of influencing education to promote a version of history that would look back kindly on the Confederacy. This group, the Rutherford committee, focused its efforts on public education and newly formed state textbook commissions.
"The letter included in this artist's book is a facsimile of one the committee sent to education institutions and textbook-choosing commissions around 1920. In an effort to rid public schools of textbooks that were critical of the Confederacy, this letter was paired with a pamphlet with instructions to reject any textbook that didn't contain 'truths of Confederate history.' Altered facsimiles of this pamphlet and its successor are also included in this book.
"Now, students are required to take a year of Alabama history in fourth grade. Textbooks selected for this course have put forth white-washed versions of history. For this artist's book, pages from the textbook used by the artist as a student were selected and printed as altered facsimiles. These textbook spreads show the persisting influence of Lost Cause mythology in education and the insidious 'truths' it relies on." — Contoura Press
"This project originated from Blount’s powerful artists book 'First Impressions' in which he asked participants to recount the first time they felt othered. Blount put the same question to students in Rachel Simmons’ book arts class in spring 2021. The students responded through personal writing & bold imagery, then designed and printed folios on their provisional presses using metal type and other relief printmaking materials. Their folios addressed a range of personal experiences with feeling demeaned and marginalized—culturally, physically, socially. They responded to the prompt with honesty and courage. For almost every student in class, this was their first time working with letterpress, and they were inspired to take on that challenge by Blount’s bold use of typography in his work. Blount designed & printed the striking covers and Simmons did the colophon and assisted with assembling the edition of 20. The book is now part of the Rollins Book Arts Collection. This project was made possible by a grant from the Rollins College Thomas P. Johnson Visiting Artist & Scholar Program." - Rachel Simmons
Julie Chen and Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder
This long-distance collaboration, between California and Texas, took place during the 2020-21 pandemic. The format of Book of Hours is known as a blow book, a historical structure originally designed as a magic trick which allows the presenter to show completely different visual sequences of pages within the same book. Book of Hours contains 12 distinct sequences. The first and last sequences on each side of the book were designed by the two artists collaboratively, and the other eight sequences were designed individually by each artist. These different narratives exist concurrently within the same space and time of this book but are activated sequentially by the reader. The cone motif used throughout this book was inspired by the concept of the light cone which in general and special relativity denotes a single point in space and time.
Aaron CoHick, Tricia Treacy, and Denise Bookwalter
Colophon: "Life: A User's Manual, by Georges Perec + drawings based on objects from the novel + lists of memories and former homes + lists of objects on kitchen tables + drawings based on lists + wood 'type' blocks of the generated text and images x a gridded press bed x improvisational composition x 2015 - 2021 / numerous interruptions."
Wikipedia (1/10/2023): "Life: A User's Manual (the original title is ‘La Vie mode d'emploi’) is Georges Perec's most famous novel, published in 1978 ... ‘ La Vie mode d'emploi’ is a tapestry of interwoven stories and ideas as well as literary and historical allusions, based on the lives of the inhabitants of a fictitious Parisian apartment block ... It was written according to a complex plan of writing constraints, and is primarily constructed from several elements, each adding a layer of complexity. ... The content of Perec's novel was partly generated by 42 lists, each containing 10 elements (e.g. the ‘Fabrics’ list contains ten different fabrics). Perec used Graeco-Latin squares or ‘bi-squares’ to distribute these elements across the 99 chapters of the book. A bi-square is similar to a sudoku puzzle, though more complicated, as two lists of elements must be distributed across the grid."
In "Memory Life Manual Index," the creators use Perec's approach as a basis for their lists of memories and life events. These lists are in the form of one inch square blocks with words or color or image printed, it seems, randomly across each page. The result is at once stimulating and puzzling, frustrating and revealing.
Åse Eg Jørgensen
In the New York City subway the station names on platform walls are integrated in the walls and 'set' with tiles and mosaics.
A station can have names in the eldest style — colorful mosaic set in a typeface close to Bookmann. It is an artisan's work with delicate variations, and the small ceramic pins follow the curves of the letters with great care. When the station has been expanded and the platforms prolonged, the new names have got the typography of its time. It might be cut out from standard-tiles (numbers 59 and 42), the typeface here looks like Helvetica. The big, decorative number is accompanied by smaller tiles with the same number. Number 42 is accompanied by older, typographic tiles designed by Squire J. Vickers in a typeface, adapted to the square, that bears resemblance to Copperplate with the characteristic small serifs. The colours are white on blackish blue and the blue background leaks a bit of blue into the white number or letter. A nice detail.
This type of tiles are used in many station names (Court SQ, Nostrand, Hoyt etc.) together with mosaics in a sans serif typeface (14TH and partly visible in Flushing). This typeface is more geometrical but still adapts nicely and variated to size, space and curves, e.g. the lifted TH in 14TH.
THE WORK OF THE HAND AND THE MIND is in-part a typeface specimen, a visual poetry exercise and a drawing manual. It presents two variations of a display typeface: CIRC, developed using a technical drawing stencil. This exercise in hand-drawn type connects the poetic and typographic through elliptical, fragmented texts.
THE WORK OF THE HAND... formed from the artist’s research within the photographic 'archive' and business records at Eks Skolens Trykkeri (Ex School Printing), a worker-run print co-operative in Copenhagen. Eks Skolens was founded in the late 1960s as an experimental art school and exists in the same building today, operating now as a commercial offset printer – THE WORK OF THE HAND... is printed on their litho press. The book joins constellations of research touching upon: the acceleration and resistance of late 20th century digital technologies, primitive word processors (IBM), the divisions of time and labour and of collective working.
The die-cut cover functions as a drawing stencil and readers are invited to put CIRC into use – duplication and dissemination are encouraged. THE WORK OF THE HAND... looks towards artists’ self publishing for ways to connect and circulate ideas in printed form, during a period in which immaterial and digital circulation is the default.
CIRC uses Mudejar display type by Jean Larcher as a skeleton for the alphabet, adapted and reworked with a drawing stencil and the addition of glyphs.
Lene Adler Petersen and Tania Ørum
Box set containing a pamphlet-bound essay titled "Syner af hverdagens ting: Lene Adler Petersens feministiske konceptkunst" by Tania Orum, and two softcover books titled "Ting" and "Opsatser" by Lene Adler Petersen. Written in Danish.
"Illness is something that can happen unexpectedly and abruptly. Whether it be because society and our education system has not sought to teach and educate us enough about the variety of illnesses/disorders out there and how we might recognize the signs/symptoms or we do not consider the value in monitoring our health unless sickness does come, this book explores both as it educates about anemia and narrates my personal mental processing of when I was diagnosed with the condition. The structure of the book contains ‘windows’ with transparent paper whose simplistic yet vibrant imagery magnifies the way anemia works in the bloodstream progressively while the text informs on the matter, mirroring how I learned more about what was going on in my body, then narrating how my mind processed it. Illness in many cases is also something whose primary effect on us is physical, but what many disregard is how those same conditions can affect someone mentally. It causes one to face new limits on what you can do, question how you take care of yourself, and feel stressed or concerned about treatment outcomes and the future. Things such as illness can happen in life unexpected, which can take a mental toll on the mind in addition to what it is physically doing to the body, but as said in the last statement of the book, 'Try not to dwell on the what ifs, just focus on what can be done now.' This is both a reminder to myself and other dealing with illness to not be stuck on the past in how things could have been dealt with or what could have been done to prevent things from happening, but what we might do to help ourselves and others as I do now with my book to create awareness and bring up questions on how society deals with illness as a whole; educationally and medically." — Claudia Prado
The Center for Post-Capitalist History invites you to consider your own body and subjectivity in relation to the writing of history. As a field guide, this publication has a goal of helping you identify your own body as a valuable archive of information. Through this process, your body-archive reveals inconsistencies between Capitalism’s promises of infinite progress and the reality of the unsustainable and destructive nature inherent in its systems of production.
"This book attempts to intersect two languages and comes in the form of an alphabet book using Hangul and English. "The Korean alphabet Hangul consists of at least one consonant and one vowel to make a syllable which forms one character. "Words have been selected that reflect my identity. I used the English alphabet but employed the structure of Hangul. By reflecting the Korean letter form and combing the two languages, this book opens a window for an English-speaking person into my struggle with a foreign language. "The Korean font used in this book is 'Hunmin Jeongeum', which is the original name for Hangul. The English font is 'Book Antiqua'." — Jana Sim
Someone will probably consider the new Pist Protta 89 a perfect example of the zeitgeist: It seems unusually design-elitist and delicious, while at the same time being devoid of content. There is basically nothing but blank paper, which is also full of holes and absences.
But we have no doubt that, in all its simplicity, it appeals to the general population. Because there are no agreed-upon, intellectualizing texts, and it can all be experienced here and now with a pair of ordinary eyes in all its concrete paper tactility.
In addition, the magazine can be read equally well on one side as the other, there is nothing that is up or down, it is very easy to deal with.
We have sought out the printer, where we have found old, used-up punching tools in the scrap box, which we have revitalized in a new artistic context. Perhaps some of the die-cuts have previously been used for well-known and important works of art, we do not know, but now they appear here again in a completely new role, that of the art journal. It's sustainable recycling!
It is actually also a counterpart to one of our old issues, Pist Protta 24 from 1994, where we explored the printer's set box and used all the typographic accessories in the form of lines, frames, borders and vignettes for a graphic artwork in his own right.
Although the new Pist Protta 89 is quite empty, because we have endeavored to completely avoid printing ink, space has nevertheless been found for a single printed image. There really isn't much to say about it, other than that it manifests a proud moment in the history of the Danish foreign service that no one wants to remember anymore.
And then we must not fail to note that Pist Protta turns 40 here in 2021, and the new Pist Protta 89 is thus a delicious appetizer for the big anniversary publication, Pist Protta 90, which is just around the corner.
Tensile: A Sublime Love Story weaves together a 19th century poem of seduction by Percy Bysshe Shelley, with current research on bisphenol contamination in our environment and bodies gathered by biologist Alyce DeMarais. Used to manufacture plastics and resins for food and drink packaging, bisphenol impacts the endocrine system, impairing development and reproductive health with transgenerational effects. 19th century writers didn’t know synthetic plastic would emerge in 1907 to change the world. In the midst of industrialization, Romantic era poets reinvigorated a spiritual connection to nature by portraying the Sublime. Shelley’s “Love’s Philosophy” celebrates the mingling of rivers and oceans as scientists conclude that exposure to bisphenol contamination is ubiquitous. Illustrations were printed directly from single-use plastics (including bread-bag ties, milk bottle caps, drinking straws and contact lens containers) to create sublime landscapes, and explore the irony of our love affair with this monster of our own creation.
Sixteen matchbook paintings selected from a series of fifty completed between January 2021 and September 2021. Printed by Cache Printing Services.
A new book of visual poetry by artist Maria Zahle. This collection of 25 poems are a response to life as an artist, mother, sister, daughter and lover.
The poems oscillate between lived experience and formal experimentation, described through memories and intimate speculations. The poetry shape-shifts between words and visual marks: insistent groupings of punctuation, drawn shapes and repeating patterns. Each page is a tactile space, with language and image vibrating in tension with each other. This sculptural poetry encourages an active reader.
Many of the poems reflect on small but vivid events retold and refracted through language. The book is not a linear narrative, but rather an exploration of the ways in which experience and memory collide, fragment and overlap within our consciousness. Throughout our lives, we all exist as a range of selves, taking on various roles – child, adult, artist, friend, stranger. In Zahle’s poems, these selves are present all at once. There is no boundary between a memory, a touch, a word, a thought.
"This book is a response to a two-year dive into the world of mental illness, the healthcare system, and the pharmaceutical system that one learns to navigate in a mental health crisis. The profound affects of a serious mental illness are staggering. This is a book about the fine print.
"For Heather. All text mined from the internet — always full of information some accurate, some not."
Nanna Debois Buhl
Nanna Debois Buhl’s artist’s book Cloud Behavior is a study of clouds through photographs and drawings, essays, and interviews. During summer 2018, Buhl photographed clouds on medium-format film and experimented with the images in the darkroom. Buhl’s cloud photographs connect to historical thinking about clouds, to scientific research on cloud behaviour, and to the mystical and meteorological contemplation of clouds by August Strindberg.
Today, climate researchers study cloud behavior to understand how global warming affects the movements of clouds and how, conversely, the movements of clouds might affect global warming. Strindberg and climate researchers share an interest in reading signs and omens in the clouds—and do so with the aid of photography and other means of visualization.
This connection is unfolded in various ways in the texts of the book: In a text collage by Ida Marie Hede and Nanna Debois Buhl, three fictive characters photograph clouds and speculate about their movements. In their essays, philosopher Dehlia Hannah and literary scholar Andrea Fjordside Pontoppidan connect Nanna Debois Buhl’s cloud studies with philosophical, scientific and literary contemplations of clouds. And in a conversation between physicist Jan Olaf Härter and Nanna Debois Buhl, they discuss thunderclouds and their possible impact on the future climate. The texts are accompanied by pencil drawings, computer simulations and mythological depictions of clouds. Cloud Behavior thus forms a polyphonic narrative of clouds across disciplines and time periods.
Realized with generous support from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the New Carlsberg Foundation and the Beckett Foundation.
In 2013, Monika Fryčová drove by scooter from Iceland to Portugal and then back again. She brought Icelandic bacalhau to Portugal and took Portugese batata-doce back to Iceland. Her extraordinary journey through Europe is documented in this book.
"'Miami Beach: A State of Things' is an artist book that explores the future environmental impacts on Miami Beach through Risograph and Letterpress printing.
"The book is folded in varying dimensions to create unique compositional moments—allowing viewers to see the whole or see individual scenes within the book. The visuals are inspired by architecture details like the MacArthur Causeway Bridge, historic maps, and images of events in Miami Beach. These are depicted with compositions of wood type letterforms, to help portray climate change’s potential and drastic impact on Miami Beach’s historical community." — Tipping Point, Mid America Print Council
Rachel Simmons and Lee Lines
"This interdisciplinary project was completed in 2020 by Lee Lines (geographer) and Rachel Simmons (artist), colleagues at Rollins College who have collaborated on environmentally themed visual art projects since 2010. 'Visible Climate' is the product of more than 175 hours of field work in our national parks, researching and documenting climate change impacts, followed by a collaborative process of translating visual evidence into an artists' book to shed light on the impacts of climate change in some of our nation’s most iconic landscapes. To create the work, Lines’ original digital photographs (and two historical national park images) were reduced to black and white, transferred to Stonehenge paper, hand-colored and then re-digitized by Simmons. This multi-step process created a selective loss of information and degradation, while the hand-colorization references and challenges romanticized landscapes from postcards produced when the parks were first mass marketed to early 20th century visitors. Lines’ handwritten captions — based on his field work in the parks— imagine the voices of park visitors over decades as they encounter changing habitats, receding glaciers, and drought-altered landscapes." - Rachel Simmons
The color brown is the mother of all colors, the first and last color in the universe. When you mix all the colors and stir everything together, you get brown.
In the ideal world it is different, here all colors become gray when mixed, and in the world of light all colors become white light. But in the world of reality, the one we all find ourselves in with all its flaws and irregularities, all colors turn to brown. It is the inevitable outcome of color entropy, the coloristic terminus.
We pay tribute to the color brown with nothing less than a double edition, PP86/PP87. It is so large that it simply cannot be contained in a single edition. In PP86 we have hand-mixed and printed an exclusive range of browns, 16 shades of brown that stand clean and substantial without frills. In PP87, we have asked 16 artists and writers to write a short text or comment on one of the brown colors that they have each been assigned.
A hefty tome that collects all four issues of The Plague Review, a timely journal of immediate visual responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Plague Review Digest™ is published by Rotland Press. It collects all four issues of the journal The Plague Review that were published from April to October, 2020. Each installment was originally released to the sheltered-in-place in the form of a free digital publication. These versions have been permanently removed from their online platform for this printed anthology."
"The Plague Review is more mirror than morbid — the mosaic of emotions presented in its pages offer a panorama of the pandemic and the world as we experience it today." — PRINT Magazine