Of Simple Men: Operation - Maintenance - Parts
2015 | Digital Laserjet, 2-Prong Fastener, Plike
11" x 17", 54 pages, limited edition of 17
(display pedestal is part of original installation, made out of salvaged lumber, the same lumber used for the machine the manual references.)
Of Simple Men: Operation - Maintenance - Parts is a machine manual as artist book, a critical component of the kinetic sculpture and performative installation, Of Simple Men. The book addresses a number of themes: the machine as cultural and aesthetic object; the history of technology, processes of production/reproduction and their impact on land and culture; an examination of rural life past, present, and future; the land, the body, and value of labor in everyday life; and how these themes are intrinsically linked to one another. Most importantly, Of Simple Men: Operation - Maintenance - Parts asserts rural America as the site for these investigations—both maintaining and affirming its place in historic and contemporary cultural discourse. A carefully constructed complex web of poetics, prose, didactic and theoretical text, this operator’s manual addresses the origins of these ideas, and their contemporary ramifications.
• Seldom Rest is available for sale, $35
• Of Simple Men: Operation - Maintenance - Parts, $150, book only
Of Simple Men: Operation - Maintenance - Parts, $150, book only
2014 | offset, letterpress
4.25” x 11”, 60 pgs, ed. of 100Seldom Rest is a series of poems that work in concert with original material as written by John Perry Hanna II between May 4, 1941 and May 7, 1942 in Diary of an Illinois Dairy Farmer 1941-1947. It is a contemporary distillation of the profundities of life’s seemingly mundane events, the ghost of rural life in the 1940s in Midwestern America. It is a conversation with history; a poetic reenactment of a way of life that we can only understand in fragments. As such, Hanna’s original entries have been fractured, edited, broken up, and synthesized in a purely poetic voice under my own influence, and in rare moments meld with my own new material. The fusing of the historic with the contemporary allows for a more cyclical understanding of history. Hanna speaks to me, and I speak back.
Made possible with support from the Caxton Club of Chicago.