Preserving English Proposals for Reversing Connotative Concretization addresses how language evolves over time, and how this evolution shows traces of processes by which the possibility of expression is conditioned and curtailed. Whether through technological obsolescence, privatization and copyright, taboo and othering, changes in our language reflect the ways in which we are policed and have learned to police one another.
Though the book thus draws on theorists like Lacan and Althusser, it also subverts the rhetoric of academic writing and publishing. It is not clear whether the "proposals" are the densely written introductory comments or the comically accessible single words that comprise most of the book. Practice, rather than theory, is prioritized, as reflected in the book's preference for pronunciation guides rather than definitions.
Preserving English was produced in an open edition of 40 copies. The book is xerographically printed and saddlestitched, measures 3.875 in. x 6.875 in. and has 32 pages.
Carley Gomez and Levi Sherman
In 2014 we travelled to Colombia’s coffee region to see for ourselves how the representations of coffee production seen in US advertising differ from the reality. We arrived amidst labor unrest which had begun as we first planned the trip and has continued on and off throughout the production of this book, culminating in the summer of 2016.
Pyrolysis interweaves news reports, advertising copy, and a report of our own time in Colombia to examine the contradictions between reality and representation, as well as the inherent contradictions in the mode of production that dominates the coffee industry. Even as the book raises the possibility of change, the influence exerted by the past on the present manifests in a ceaseless boom-bust cycle and a predictable pattern of violence. It is this inevitable conflict which the smooth facade of advertising and propaganda must cover, and which remains discernible beneath these efforts.
Pyrolysis was offset printed and handbound in an unnumbered edition of 125. The covers and textblock were printed on 80# French Smart White Cover and Text, respectively. The book has 20 pages and measures 8.5 x 5.5 in.
Printing was done on a Heidelberg GTO at the Center for Book, Paper and Print at Columbia
College Chicago thanks to an Alumni Access Award and ample help from Brad Freeman. Travel and research were made possible by the Aiko Fellowship and a CBAA Project Assistance Grant.