This summer I worked on the Blisner, Ill. book as part of a residency at Columbia College (pictures above from their FB page), working in the photography department as their “digital artist in residence.” It was a long-term residency (it was supposed to end in September…) in which April and Jennifer in the digital lab would provide support, resources, and planning that would allow me to spend as much time as possible finishing and producing the work. In effect, it was more of a long term collaboration. I’ve found more and more that making art and working on projects depends heavily on the support of friends and collaborators.
I wanted to take the space to thank them individually for all the work and support they provided. These guys did so much for me in support of the book, and I feel insanely grateful for the opportunity and lucky to have such good friends.
Jennifer Keats originally invited me to do the residency and heads the digital lab at Columbia. She hustled very hard on my behalf. I proposed to make 60 hand made books and she never questioned it. You can find her at her blog and The Donut Shop (which currently has awesome and cheap prints by my friend Caitlin available).
April Wilkins is a book artist and photographer that also works at the digital lab. She oversaw the physical production of the book, which meant organizing all the logistics and details to make the book ready to be printed and bound. She then did all the binding, including the cover details to perfection. The book exists as a physical object 100% because of her skill and commitment to the project. Hire her to work on your book.
Morgan Brill is a fucking talented designer. I was very excited that she was willing to work with me on the design of the book. Again it was very collaborative, and many parts of the book look the way they do because of Morgan’s conceptual refinement as a designer. Often I’d have an idea for how I’d want something to function, and she would conceive of the design that would make that a possibility. She’s blowing up, so follow her work and her blog. And hire her.
John Friel is one of my best and oldest friends. He wrote the contributor’s essay for the book (which is also available in the newspaper edition (which will be up for sale next week)). He spent many hours for little compensation working on this. He runs the artist portfolio website XHBTR.
Other friends and family provided support. Tanya Nikolic started as an intern and now helps out in my studio, working to finish the printing of the book. The Columbia College work aids Kimberly Kim, Hannah Dunsirn, Claire Carter helped with a lot of the printing for the exhibition and other details in the book production. Ryan Lowry and Meg Noe are close friends who also happen to help me at the drop of a hat. Ramsey Beyer, Adam Golfer, and Joe Leavenworth all provided consoling over the phone and in person when I was at all the lowest points in the process and didn’t think I could finish. My parents and other friends also provided encouragement. And the MoCP graciously allowed us to the book release in their museum. And many people purchased prints and pre-orders that financially made this all possible.