names name no lasting name
16 1/4" x 13"
calligraphy, sumi ink with gold, inkjet prints
names name no lasting name is a one-of-a-kind artist's book exploring the Taoist idea of the slipperiness of language that informs a lot of my work. Each spread features a word in large brush calligraphy on the verso page, which I've burned away with an incense stick. The recto of each spread is a thick sumi ink wash, with flecks of gold ink hand painted to fill in the white gaps in the brush strokes. Each page also features a hidden printed image, nested inside the french-folded paper.
The theme of the inadequacy of language and its willful misuse seems to be even more vital during the course of the current US presidential campaign, not to mention public conversation about other crises. To get a randomized cross section of words that are in the air today, I selected the word for each page by taking the first noun from a sequence of reader comments on the New York Times website. I created the hidden prints by doing a Google image search on each of the words, downloading the first result, and digitally manipulating it into a new image and print. Parts of the prints show through on each page where the words have been burned away.
heart sutra remix (cassette edition)
3" x 4" (24" x 4" when open)
edition of 75
heart sutra, remix is a handmade, accordion-fold artist's book inspired by one of the central texts of Mahayana Buddhism. It features digital collage and a poem in brush calligraphy. Each copy is inkjet printed, finished with unique burns through the pages, allowing it to fit snugly into a reused cassette case.
I composed the text of heart sutra, remix almost 20 years ago as an oral poem when I was first learning about the Heart Sutra. For this edition, I performed the calligraphy for each page spread ten times. After finishing the calligraphy, I scanned my favorite version of each page spread and used it as the basis for the digital collages printed in this book.
This project isn't meant to be a commentary or an expansion on the Heart Sutra, but rather an homage, an example of the long history of chanting and copying it in calligraphy as a devotional act.
Doctor Mister Miracles’s Vocabulary Guide for the Perplexed Miraclis
4” x 6”
hidden side sewing
ed. of 100
Doctor Mister Miracles’s Vocabulary Guide for the Perplexed Miraclist is a book-long riff on a line from the Tao Te Ching: Names can name no lasting name. As a sometime Taoist and an all-the-time verbalist, I can’t stop thinking about that line.
The book's subtitle is A Glossary of Seventeen Terms Compiled to Vivify Your Miracle Practice. At first it seems straightforward. Real-world sacred terms (caritas, paramita) mingle with new words to describe ideas that could benefit the world (“humilitocracy”). But as the book goes on, the system breaks down — terms grow more opaque, words are burned away on the page, and disturbing images start to invade.
What looks like a stack of smudged index cards rubber-banded together is actually a painstakingly printed, hand-bound book, its sacred aspirations muddied by the inability of words to name a lasting name.