Unidentified Found Object Song
"Unidentified Found Object Song" is a 16-page bound book housed in a drop spine book enclosure by AB Gorham. The covers feature a protruding shape covered in book cloth that reminds viewers of flying saucers or other unidentified flying objects. The book’s visuals vary from solid saturated colorful shapes to soft gradients. The text in "UFO Song" is fragmented and lyrical, contributing to the book’s unknown and intriguing nature. The text draws on written experiences of aliens in encounters and creates a playful space where the reader can reflect upon the idea of truth and understanding. It is through these written experiences, like the ones described throughout UFO research and within books like Allen Hynek's "Project Blue Book," that "Unidentified Found Object Song" is able to create the book's enchanting atmosphere. The text and visuals come together to create a mysterious and dreamlike reading experience.
"'Unidentified Found Object Song' is an artist book that draws on published documentation of unidentified flying objects (ufos) and other alien phenomenon to create a mysterious visual/reading encounter. This book exists on the edge of visual and textual logic, taking recognizable objects and elements of landscape and defamiliarizing them through digital manipulation, unexpected color combinations, and isolation from context. Each spread contains a vaguely-familiar visual mystery letterpress printed in colors from saturated reds and golds to transparent violets. There is sidewalk cheese, lenticular clouds, and a landscape of crumbs. There is reassurance that what the reader/viewer sees is in fact real. The book ends with a silver landing. The text in the book, densely lyric and fragmented, follows a through-line voice that affirms itself as Transcriptionist, Jokester, Witness. Inspired by research, including J. Allen Hynek’s 'Project Blue Book,' first-hand alien encounter documentation, and photos, diagrams and sketches from reported sightings, 'UFO Song' seeks to open up a playful space within the conversation about believability and the shifting nature of truth and understanding. This artist book posits that creating a book-art-reading experience which captures the concept of making familiar things alien could lay the groundwork for larger cultural acceptance of an individual’s distinctive, strange, real, or imagined event. Although, early written accounts, photographs, or videos of unidentified flying objects or alien encounters were often considered to be hoaxes, the real casualty of many of these encounters is the way that these events jeopardize the integrity of the individual who experienced the encounter.
"In American Western culture there seems to be a limited capacity for accepting and crediting people’s unique experiences, especially when they don’t align with the status quo. 'UFO Song' presents imagery and fragments of language in a way that challenges the reader/viewer to make connections, draw conclusions, reveling in an unfamiliar sounds and visual sequences, and maybe even expand their willingness to accept the rarest of visions as possible." — AB Gorham
AB Gorham (self-published)
Alien encounters, aliens, believability, belief, personal experience, manipulated reality, UFO, Flying Saucer, science, science fiction
6.125” x 7.125” x 0.25”; 16 pages including pastedowns.
Bound hardcover book. Drop-spine box enclosure.
Resin, book cloth, book board, Zerkall Book papers.
Resin casting, hardcover book binding, letterpress printed.
Gorham, AB, "Unidentified Found Object Song" (2022). Rollins College Book Arts Collection. 125.