Part 3: An Encyclopedia of Everything

Page 1

(Part Three) (Books 500 - 580)

For (Parts 1 and 2) See:

Foreword I am currently sitting with nearly 600 books which make up a collection of handmade, unique and/or very limited editioned artist’s books. They are small volumes, perfectly fitting into the realm of ‘vade mecum’. The big question is - what am I going to do with them? They represent a large part of my artistic output for about 7 years, have become an intimate part of my waking life and yet, now they take up cupboard space. It’s almost as if a new stage has been reached in my life, (steps in new directions which we all take), and should the old be taken along with the new? Seeing as, from inception, most of these books have been documented on-line, but perhaps are lost in the ether, I’ll repeat some of the articles which have appeared*. On re-reading some of these articles, not much has changed in the making, collection, collaboration and concept behind these works. Like all collections, there are amazing volumes, complex volumes, purely aesthetic volumes, average volumes and really not very promising volumes, but in totality, this corpus is a ‘one of a kind’ body of work. Some of my own works have merely been ‘triggers’ to greater things, most especially books relating to The Bhubezi Mythology (The Women Who Hold Up the World) and copies of aleatory poetry works. I have one more international collaboration running titled 3.0 # 22 (Architecture). Some books relating to these collaborations are in previous catalogues and obviously the rest of #22 will follow in the final summation of the collection. There will again be about 8 of us in this project (See catalogue listing below). As I have now ‘retired’ from formal academic writing, please excuse the lack of referencing and notes - it gets to the stage where it’s all…well…too tedious! Besides, all the knowledge I have gained is now part of my own persona, although right here I acknowledge that many sorts of disciplines and their practicing artists have contributed; many of whom I would call friends – thank you! July 2020 *See end of document

Books Catalogued/ (Artists Listing) 3.0 # 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and part of #22 Collaborations 3.0 # 16 (Letters and Alphabets) Balmer, Jac (UK) - 3.0 # 16 (Letters and Alphabets) Nartuhi, Kathleen (USA) - 3.0 # 16 (From A - F) Peral, Marcela (Argentina) - 3.0 # 16 (Letters and Alphabets)



Rastello, Martine (France) - 3.0 # 16 (Dot the ’s… and cross the ’s) Shaw-Williams, Ruth (UK) - 3.0 # 16 (Just my Type) Southorn, Jo (Australia) - 3.0 # 16 (A letter from Vera) TICTAC, Ptrzia (Germany) - 3.0 # 16 (School of Fish) and 3.0 # 16 (ETC) Turnbull, Stephanie (UK) - 3.0 # 16 (NEW YORK NEW YORK) and 3.0 # 16 (Yr Wyddor Gymraeg) 3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling) Balmer, Jac (UK) - (Hungarian Flowers) Nartuhi, Kathleen (USA) - (there was and there was not) Penn, Cheryl. (South Africa) Rastello, Martine (France) Southorn, Jo (Australia) TICTAC (Germany) (Smoothie) Turnbull, Stephanie (UK) Wahl, Svenja. (Germany) 3.0 # 18 (Endings and Beginnings) Balmer, Jac. (U.K) - Fairy Tales Penn, Cheryl. (South Africa) - Pehernefer Ptrizia (TICTAC). (Germany) Turnbull, Stephanie (UK) Viljoen, Petru (South Africa)


3.0 # 19 (Nature) Balmer, Jac (UK) Nartuhi, Kathleen (USA) Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) Rastello, Martine (France) TICTAC (Ptrzia) Turnbull, Stephanie (UK) Viljoen, Petru (South Africa) Wahl, Svenja (Germany) 3.0 # 20 (?) Balmer, Jac (UK) Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) Ptrizia/TICTAC (Germany) Turnbull, Stephanie (UK) 3.0 # 21 (Asemics) Balmer, Jac (UK) Boyle, Kathy (Australia) Farina, Cinzia (Italy) Mc Cue Boes, Catherine (Australia) Lopdell, Adrienne (New Zealand) Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) TICTAC (Germany) Turnbull, Stephanie (UK) 3.0 # 22 (Architecture) Farina, Cinzi (Italy) Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) 3

Sandwich Art (Joaquin Gomez – Spain) Lois G Magarinos (Spain)/ Cheryl Penn (South Africa)/ Francisco Escudero (Spain)

Artists Listing Balmer, Jac (UK) 3.0 # 16 (Letters and Alphabets) 3.0 # 17 (CoLours/FolDing/ReCycling) (Hungarian flowers) 3.0 # 18 (Fairy Tales) 3.0 # 19 (Nature) 3.0 # 20 (?) 3.0 # 21 (Asemic Writing) Barvenko, Victoria (Russia) FLUXUS Farina, Cinzia (Italy) 3.0 # 21 (Asemics) 3.0 # 22 (Architecture) Gomez, Joaquin Ferreira Sandwich Art (Collaboration) Lopdell, Adrienne (New Zealand) 3.0 # 21 (Asemics) Mc Cu Boes, Catherine (Australia) 3.0 # 21 (Asemics) Müller, Peter (Verlach Friedrichrodaer Hefte) (Germany) Cast Iron Covers living and working in future city after the big… Nartuhi, Kathleen (USA) 3.0 # 16 (From A - F) 3.0 # 17 (there was and there was not) 3.0 # 19 (Nature) (the Salish Sea) Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) 3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling) 3.0 # 18 (Pehernefer) 3.0 # 19 (Nature) 3.0 # 20 (?) 3.0 # 21 (Asemics) 3.0 # 22 (Architecture) Evidence for Trees (Aleatory Poetry) Mail Art (Starting Backwards) Vol 3. (Odd pieces, mainly relating to The Ghost Writer). Mail Art (Starting Backwards) Vol 4. (The Authentic Massacre of the Innocent Image Series, cut-up paintings #’s 72 - 84). 4

Narrative Therapy (Book 1) Non-linear Yesterdays - Today (Part 2) Non-linear Yesterdays - Today (Tilting into tomorrow - Sometimes)(Part 3) SO, how was YOUR day? Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 1) Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 2) Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 3) Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 4) Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 5) Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 6) Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 7) The Right of Writing (Part 1) The Right of Writing (Part 2) The World Town is in Pieces Where I’m At (Once and Again) (1) Where I’m At (Once and Again) (2) Where I’m At (August/September 2017) Peral, Marcela (Argentina) 3.0 # 16 (Letters and Alphabets) Pogarsky, Mikhail (Russia) Book of Fire Paripar Rastello, Martine (France) 3.0 # 16 (Dot the i’s… and cross the t’s) 3.0 # 17 (CoLours/FolDing/ReCycling) 3.0 # 19 (Nature) The valley of birches Shaw-Williams, Ruth (UK) 3.0 # 16 (Just my Type)

Stone, David (USA) Citadel (12 - 19) TICTAC, Ptrzia (Germany) 3.0 # 16 (School of Fish) 3.0 # 16 (etc) 3.0 # 17 (CoLours/FolDing/ReCycling) 3.0#18 (Endings and Beginnings) 3.0#19 (Nature) 3.0#20 (??) 3.0 # 21 (Asemics) 5

Turnbull, Stephanie (UK) 3.0 # 16 (NEW YORK NEW YORK) 3.0 # 16 (Yr Wyddor Gymraeg) 3.0#17 (CoLours/FolDing/ReCycling) 3.0#18 (Endings and Beginnings) 3.0#19 (Nature) 3.0#20 (??) 3.0 # 21 (Asemics) Wahl, Svenja (Germany) 3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling) 3.0 # 19 (Nature)

Collaborative Books (Part 2) Bealy, Alan (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) - Collaborating Bennett, John (USA)/ Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) - BennPennett Alphbot Chirot, David Baptiste (USA), Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) - Up and Running Stone, David (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) – Fallibility Stone, David (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) – It’s Just not Wonderland Stone, David (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) - Migration Stone, David (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) - Mirrors of Mortality Stone, David (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) - The Mirror of Me Stone, David (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) - Unpacking Jasmine

Assembly Books Mail Art Makes the World a Town Edition 15. Mail Art Makes the World a Town Edition 16.


Catalogue of Books in Artists’ Alphabetical Order Balmer, Jac (UK) 3.0 # 16 (Letters and Alphabets) Edition 4/12, Colophon with note: ‘We devise symbols which we call letters, we collect letters together to make alphabets, we use alphabets to write and send letters. Acrylic monoprint on stationery weight paper, recycled postage stamps, inkjet, acetate’. An accordion book, which holds beautifully made envelopes, which in turn house fragments of a stenciled alphabet. Covers made from envelopes, which speak to the whole concept of the book. Thanks Jac.

3.0 # 16 (Letters and Alphabets ). Jac Balmer. 2016 (Book 511) 3.0 # 17 (CoLours/FolDing/ReCycling)(Hungarian Flowers) No. 8 of an Edition of 8 handmade books constructed from recycled books and papers. A pop-up book whose title “Hungarian Flowers” points the viewer to the methodology employed by Jac, that of an origami type fold book - called on her blog “a Hungarian map fold” - This one’s a beauty, complex in its construction and where I can see only practice would make perfect.

3.0 # 17 (CoLours/FolDing/ReCycling)(Hungarian Flowers). Jac Balmer. 2016 (Book 527) 7

3.0 # 18 (Beginnings and Endings)(Fairy Tales) Varied Edition 5/6: Collograph print on Somerset paper, book board, brown paper, shellac. My first receipt for this collaboration was well worth the time each of us have taken to complete this task – it’s been long! Fairy tales are found in oral and literary form, with the name ‘fairy tale’ first ascribed to Madame d’Aulnoy (late 17th century). She called her stories contes de fées and this term has since been used for this genre of tale. I don’t know, if in Jac’s version, all young women become witches? For authors like Clarissa Pinkola Estés, the time of the old hag, or ‘the crone’ may be a time of the greatest powers of all.

3.0 # 18 (Beginnings and Endings)(Fairy Tales). Jac Balmer. 2016 (Book 534) 3.0 # 19 (Nature) And the bees still buzz Edition 1/9: Colograph print, book board, inkjet print, metallic paper. Another beautifully crafted book from Jac. I know Jac tried an assortment of medieval slugs, then butterflies, then bees, the words “And the bees still buzz” kept going round in my head. See: From this blog Jac writes (and I quote) “Ryan Willams wrote this poem immediately after the attack at the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017. (Worker bees have been a symbol of Manchester for hundreds of years). I live in Preston, not Manchester, but it’s nearby. My daughters lived there for a few years. They worked at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. My son works in the city center. We regularly go to the City and the Whitworth Galleries, the John Rylands Library and the Exchange Theatre, I print in the studio at Hot Bed Press in Salford. It’s part of home. This book isn’t a comment on the politics of the situation or meant to point fingers of blame at any group. Like the poem I want it to reflect the response, the sorrow, the quiet anger and determination, the unity of a city made up of so many different people in the face of an attack on the way they choose to live and work alongside each other. I want it to reflect on the best of human nature in the face of wanton, senseless violence”. Jac, a very fitting response - many thanks. 8

3.0 # 1 (Nature)(And the Bees still buzz). Jac Balmer. 2016 (Book 555) 3.0 # 20 (?) No 2 of an edition of 10 handmade artists books. I looked on Jac’s blog just to make sure I had got my facts straight as I was a bit uncertain of what I was looking for… and this is what she said: “The brief for these books, which are part of a collaborative artists book swop, was "?". I chose to make a gatefold cover that housed a sculptural print. Not quite sculpture, not quite print, not quite a book - hence "?" This is a varied edition of 10 books containing acrylic monoprints”. Jac - a really beautifully made book - MANY thanks! See: . Jac’s book brings the number of books in An Encyclopedia of Everything to 564. This excludes all chapbook copies of original artists books. And the collection got just what it needed - a conundrum J.

3.0 # 20 (?) Jac Balmer. 2018 (Book 564) 9

3.0 # 21 (Asemic Writing) No 8 of an edition of 12 handmade collagraph artists books. “A set of purposeful marks that look like a system/code to convey language, which adopt the mark making conventions of pictogram or script in terms of shapes, grouping and direction of travel. Generally, the groups of marks appear to have a stylistic coherence” – so reads the script at the end of Jac’s beautiful book. Jac’s blog gives us insight into her working methodology: “I make my collagraph plates on mount board. I cut into the surface and peel back areas to give line and tone. I also paint onto the surface and stick on various tapes and other materials to give texture. When the block is completed it is sealed with shellac varnish, inked and printed using an etching press”

3.0 # 21 (Asemic Writing). Jac Balmer. 2019 (Book 579)

Barvenko, Victoria (Russia) Fluxus Limited edition (#6 of 10), hand stamped lapello stamped with date 1.1.2017. I met Victoria on IUOMA at least 8 years ago. In fact, when I went to the mighty google to look her up, I saw that the first mail I ever received was 12 February 2012. That’s a LONG time ago. Victoria works/ed with Svetlana Pesetskaya as an artistic duo and I remember very clearly the wonderful documentation which followed their exhibition in Rostov. The exhibition was curated by these two fabulous artists under the title: Belka&Strelka Fluxrus Group. It’s wonderful to have something in the Encyclopedia from Victoria and as an ardent Fluxist, it’s about time!

FLUXUS . Victoria Barvenko. 2017 (Book 546) 10

Farina, Cinzia (Italy) 3.0 # 21 (Asemics) Our 21st collaboration - that's quite hard to believe. Some of us have collaborated for over 5 - 8 years I think... - of course I could be wrong - time is the strangest thing of all to keep track of - its power is relentless! Both Cinzia and Adrienne are new to our small group, but what a pleasure to welcome them - their books are fabulous. Cinzia, in a crisp manner has succinctly placed her asemic book in the language debate, referencing letters known and unknown. The palette is beautifully mute.

3.0 # 21 (Asemics). Cinzia Farina. 2019. (Book 571)

3.0 # 22 (Architecture) Architecture comes from two Latin words meaning chief and creator. It is both process and product. It can be seen in material structures such as buildings which are also seen as cultural symbols and/or works of art. History is sometimes based on surviving architecture Three principles apply: Durability – a building should stand up robustly and remain in good condition. Utility – it should be suitable for the purposes for which it is used. Beauty – it should be aesthetically pleasing. These three principles certainly apply to my first work received in this series from Cinzia Farina (Italy). 'Zoot and flight eight house shape float across a text filled background, the tan colour of the shapes contrast well against the white of the background. There are numerous notes and scribbles hand written on the shapes, indicating architectural notes. The building shapes appear to fly across the page, getting smaller as they disappear into the distance. A simple but elegant format that suggests something else is going on here’. (Comment by Catherine Me Cue – Australia on our collaborative Facebook page).

3.0 # 22 (Architecture). Cinzia Farina. 2020. (Book 578)

Gomez, Joaquin (Spain) Sรกndwich Sandwiched between two corrugated covers lie 3 quite dissimilar artworks comprising an assembly book object. This project, titled Sรกndwich Art is conceptualized by Joaquin Gomez (Spain), who is himself a published and prize winning experimental poet. Participants in this particular collaboration are Lois G. Magarinos (Spain), Cheryl Penn (South Africa) and Francisco Escudero (Spain). See:

Sรกndwich Art. Joaquin Gomez (curator) 2019. (Book 575)

Lopdell, Adrienne (New Zealand) 3.0 # 21 (Asemics) Adrienne has referenced the organic nature of asemic writing, the way it can float as light as feathers through the pathways of our language mind.

3.0 # 21 (Asemics). Adrienne Lopdell. 2019. (Book 572) 12

Mc Cue Boes, Catherine, (Australia) 3.0 # 21 (Asemic Writing) Catherine Mc Cue Boes sent one of her really interesting printed books with the following note: “While an artist in residence at the Gillmore and Qulpie gas plants I produced a series of fictitious notes based on the insects and plants found on and around the plant. These handwritten notes were invented and made no logical sense or meaning. At that time I was working on the postcards from the Gillmore series, so I considered these notes as a starting point for the Asemic writing artist book project, so hope you enjoy them”. I love it - thank you!

3.0 # 21 (Asemics). Catherine Mc Cue Boes. 2019. (Book 574)

Müller, Peter (Germany) Friedrichrodaer Hefte Cast Iron Covers Envelope book, unnumbered edition, 23 postcards of photographed Japanese cast iron covers. These small works are reminiscent of Remo Camerota’s book Drainspotter. It’s a lesson that art is to be found everywhere, if one looks with a discerning eye.

Cast Iron Covers. Peter Müller . undated. (Book 525). 13

living and working in future city after the big… I don’t know much about Peter Müller, except to say that I think he is a prolific, generous artist who works in multiples with digitally altered photographs being his main interest. I’m guessing he travels a lot as I have books inspired and photographed in areas such as Japan and this multiple edition inspired by his trip to Namibia - one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Peter has taken photographs, digitally manipulated them by superimposing characters from noir films and passing the images through photoshop art filters. The landscape is that of Kolmanskop, a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia. It was named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement. In 1908 a guy found a large diamond - his name was Zacharias Lewala. Subsequently German miners began a settlement and the residents built a village in the architectural style of a German town. After World War 1 the town declined as the diamonds were exhausted. Kolmanskip was abandoned in 1954. This book is a wonderful reminder of what once was, that there is beauty in desolation, that nature reclaims its own. This certainly is living and working in future city after the big…

living and working in future city after the big… Peter Müller . 2016. (Book 533). rot I - XXV Unnumbered book of perfect bound postcards, Red - a warm and positive colour associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. Red is energizing and excites us to action. It has shades and hues which each influence its impact. This is compounded when text and texture are added to the mix, as found in Peters glossy collage reproductions.

rot I – XXV. Peter Müller. 2015. (Book 507).


Nartuhi, Kathleen (USA) 3.0 # 16 (From A - F) Yip, I wonder if the rest of the alphabet would like to be treated this way? I'm sure it would - especially in this

careful manner where objects accede to meaning. A - A Woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water. B - Be brave to be happy. C - Curing most anything - PIE - I KNOW that one! D - I am not your doormat! E - Embrace all the rules…Miss all the fun… F - Forget the dishes, the Dance wont wait. Thanks Kathleen for reminding me of a few basics.

3.0 # 16 (From A - F). Kathleen Nahurti. 2016. (Book 510) 3..0 # 17 (there was and there was not) This small volume which references Three apples fell from heaven, through its poetic choice and

subject matter conjures desperation - the Armenian Genocide (1915 - 1929). “Genocide virtually exterminated the Armenian intellectual layer when politicians, poets, writers, teachers, doctors and others were killed during the genocide. Deletion of the Western Armenian institutions meant that the Western Armenian language (official language of present-day Armenia is Eastern Armenian) and its literature is among the enlisted endangered languages”.

3.0 # 1 7 (there was and there was not.). Kathleen Nahurti. 2016. (Book 524)

3.0 # 19 (nature)(the Salish Sea) With her usual handcrafted precision, Kathleen has produced a beautiful Flag Book structure. I have never made one - the instructions always look too complicated! “Originally developed by Hedi Kyle for her work April Diary, the foundation of the deceptively simple Flag Book structure is an accordion folded spine. Rows of flags attached to opposing sides of each of the spine’s “mountain” folds allow the artist to fragment and layer a number of complementary or contrasting images and narratives. When read page by page, the viewer sees disjointed fragments of image and text. When the spine is pulled fully open, these fragments assemble a panoramic spread. This transformation is accompanied by a delightful flapping sound. The spine and covers provide opportunities for additional imagery” - from Her subject matter is the Salish Sea - “the unified bi-national ecosystem that includes Washington State’s Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Islands as well as British Columbia’s Gulf Islands and the Strait of Georgia. The name recognizes the first inhabitants of the region, the Coast Salish” (The SeaDoc Society. Kathleen - wonderful - many thanks.

3.0 # 1 9 (nature)(the Salish Sea). Kathleen Nahurti. 2016. (Book 562) 16

Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) 3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling) Colophon: Book made for a collaboration on and added to The Encyclopedia of Everything in May 2017. Spines and covers are from The Authentic Massacre of the Innocent Image series. Handmade edition of 8. Acrylic paint on Fabriano Paper over prints and writing. Over-writing and insertions of various things gathered, folded and recycled from March - May 2017. Ink-jet printed text. This book actually came before I was finished our 16th collaboration. I cannot explain why I found number 16 (the second version so difficult, but there it is - it’s HARD!!) . And as I write this, It’s still not finished - so these books may be going out first… My habit of collecting is REALLY weighing me down - I’m an extreme hoarder and after helping move my parents to their retirement village two years ago I thought it was time to clear, but never got around to it - I NEED EVERYTHING!!! So, it’s happening as I made this book. I’m TRYING to be good L - but the inroads to make are humungous…. You see, I colour, I Fold and I ReCycle as a matter of course. How could I NOT have been finished this book first? Even this computer gram paper came from the recycling. We waste a lot, don’t we. I’m thinking I’d better stop throwing away. I may not have had this book if I had.

3.0 # 17 (Colour/Folding/Recycling). Cheryl Penn. 2016. (Book 515) 17

3.0 # 18 (Beginnings and Endings) (Pehernefer) Edition of 6 books, cut-up painting number 103, started in mid-2016 finished February 2017 - that’s the problem with stories and books - they have a life of their own. But I’m SO pleased to have finished - it seems its taken forever, and all this time, Magenta and Sienna still wait, trapped between the bridges. I’d better get a move on if anyone is going to be rescued from the Moorish Darwish. If you’re curious about Pehernefer, read this: but again realize, the archaeologists only got half a story - after all, the Bhubezi Women weren’t always there to correct them.

3.0 # 18 (Beginnings and Endings) (Perhernefer). Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Book 532) 3.0 # 19 (Nature) Limited edition of 8 handmade accordion books. Mixed media including acrylic painting, asemic writing, collage, stamping, printing, spray paint. Spine - The Authentic massacre of the Innocent Image painting # 105. Books are strange creatures - you have to keep at them, otherwise they seem to pout and ideas lie dormant until you give them your full attention. We started this collaboration in May with eight artists and images have been pasted on . The poem is posted on Nature: from the Latin word natura - the essential quality of a thing, their intrinsic characteristics. My version also contains a chapbook of the same poem, a copy of which I owe to David Stone.

3.0 # 19 (Nature). Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Book 547) 18

3.0 # 20 (?) Limited edition of 6 handmade accordion books. Mixed media including acrylic painting, asemic writing, collage, stamping, printing, spray paint. Spine - The Authentic massacre of the Innocent Image paintings # 107/108. Covers - Painting # 106 which was done for David Stones’ publication Blackbird. (This is a very worthwhile book to contribute to. Please contact me if you are interested and I will pass your name on. Each participant receives a copy). My art journey has been all over the show - hills and valleys, dales and mountain peaks. I have begun painting (very excitedly) on very large works - see This was after a LONG hiatus in no mans’ land. I did NOT enjoy that AT ALL! I just couldn’t make any work. The rewards of a year of thinking and occasionally making that thinking flesh, did however culminate in the very successful creation of 6 Modules in course titled: Give Me Back My Mo-Jo - Accessing instinctual Creativity. See: This method of teaching is ultimately the story of my own ‘unblocking’ to make way for an intense ability to create work. I am very grateful! ANYWAY! Back to the book! I found this small format quite difficult again, as I have found a way to express private stuff in public places in large ways again. In fact, these panels are actually books. But they’re single pages, portraying the history of my life. This book brought me back to a form I love, but, like most other creative act,s has been terribly neglected - until now. And the process… that just keeps growing. Once again - Bye paintings, hello books!!

3.0 # 20 (Nature). Cheryl Penn. 2018. (Book 563) 3.0 # 21(Asemics) I have been trying to get down to finishing this article on asemic writing for over a year - not that the article is difficult, just that one needs to be in a ‘writing space’. This means QUIET and not too much on the go and the visual side of the brain to be a little silent. Obviously, no such luck on my part. Come to think of it, I also have to correct and publish this part of An Encyclopedia of Everything - its supposed to be at every 50 books and this is now 570 - if I’ve even got the numbering correct. When I joined the Mail Art network, I had been working in this genre for years - without even knowing it was actually a writing/artform. As usual I thought I may have invented something - alas J - as Solomon said, “there is no new thing under the sun”! This book forms part 1 of the article, without it being revised or edited. There are spelling mistakes (Terrible I know…), but they’re pointed out (if this makes them at all any better!). An extract, from correspondence with David Baptiste Chirot (USA): He (David) used words like: “the entropy of legibility”/disappearance/”excavation”/”subterranean sub-text” and most interestingly, he called asemic writing a “taphonomic moment”. Taphonomy is the study of processes, which affect organic matter, which remains after it becomes fossilized. Burial/decay/preservation are all part of this study and each of these words feed into David’s idea of asemic writing as being an excavation of a poetic writing process. David wrote that “the original, intended message becomes unintended” as it is freed from a forced life in a “visible, legible assemblage of signs”. 19

3.0 # 21 (Asemics). Cheryl Penn. 2019. (Book 570) 3.0 # 22 (Architecture)

We began the collaboration around 9th August last year (2019), and here I sit in July the following year, still looking the books. In fact, this is the last book catalogued for this article. That must be a record! But lockdown and a general collapse prior to this led to these books not leaving South African shores to their new homes. The idea of creating a ‘town’ from the books had to do with one of my very original concepts, and the name of my zine, now in its 19th edition: “The World is a Town” based on words from an east Slavic, hyper-palimpsest found in 2000 in Novgorod, one of the oldest and most historically important cities in Russia. This ‘book’ (the Novgorod Codex) is made from three bound wooden tablet which were once filled with wax and used almost as a chalk board. Each text was ‘wiped off’ and the wax was replaced and re-written on. This has left scratches in the wood. It’s a really interesting artifact in which the author understood globalization way before subsequent generations thought they invented it. Each participating artist received a block from a street on The World Town.

3.0 # 22 (Architecture). Cheryl Penn. 2019. (Book 580) 20

Aleatory Poetry Edition of 10 Artists’ Books (only 5 bound) with 7 vade mecum/books of poetry inserted into an envelope book, commercially bound. This work was intended as “Poems in a Box”, but the garrulous realm books inhabit would not allow. I should have known when I thought I would do an edition of 50 that anything and everything within my studio would rebel – I have never worked like that, so why begin now?! The books said: “You make limited editions! Max 10 and even then you’re stretching us!”, so 10 it is, of which only 5 are bound. This book contains 8 pockets, into which are inserted: A chapbook on the nature of aleatory poetry, Screen Mediated, Roughly Human (August 2014), Nature (Parts 1 and 2), It’s just not Wonderland, Dorothy Orange, Evidence for Trees (version 1), and The Unfinished Book, with the Afrikaans version translated by Wouter Geldenhuis. The Unfinished Book was a poetry performance in two languages presented by Esther Stein and myself at the opening of the exhibition Letters to Spring.

Aleatory Poetry. Cheryl Penn. 2019. (Book 575) Evidence for Trees Edition of 2 books, one for David Stone who continues to send me all his thought-provoking poetry, thus keeping me on my word-toes. Images taken from the Climbing Trees series. Life looks better from above, through the branches, above the clouds, beyond the door of reality. Anyone ever read The Magic Far Away Tree series by Enid Blyton? These two books also contain graphic pencil frottage’s of the enormous wild figs which grow in the park, their skin akin to rhino hide. This book, minus the extras will perhaps become my next contribution to TICTAC’s Zine in a Box.

Evidence for Trees. Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Book 552). 21

Mail Art (Starting Backwards) Vol 3. (Odd pieces, mainly relating to The Ghost Writer) Creativity is truly a strange animal. It ebbs and flows with mood, interests, current influences - anything which one assimilates with a receptive attitude. The ideas may fascinate for a while, sparking unexpected offshoots, before dwindling and dying. But ideas never die I don’t think. As I relook at some of the creative outworking’s in this book, some of which are over 4 years old, I am urged to rework them, to see how my current mode of thinking will expand (or not) their execution. The original idea came after watching The Ghost Writer - a movie starring Ewan McGregor. He may have finished the memoirs of a Prime Minister, but the Ghostwriter of this book chases the idea of a woman through time, his dreaming intermittently disrupted along the way. He never finds her of course - life is not Hollywood after all.

Mail Art (Starting Backwards) Vol 3. Cheryl Penn. 2015. (Book 501). Mail Art (Starting Backwards) Vol 4. The Authentic Massacre of the Innocent Image Series, cut-up paintings #’s 72 - 84. During this series of paintings I was preoccupied with the Bhubezi Mythology as it includes the съдина Vessel, Cuilans Vessel (where the fading occurs), Zhangsun’s Vessel (the Empress’s funery urn), Sergius’s Architectural Plans (for Between), Hatshepsut, Hatshepsut’s Needle, and Mona Lisa IS a Bhubezi Woman. Cynisca is also included here as she was incorrectly numbered 77, so she has a new number 100 - which is way out of sequence. I was also busy during this time with the painting for David Stones poetry book Memory Straits and covers for the assembly book Mail Art Makes the World a Town. These 13 paintings were cut up and distributed from November 2014 to April 2015. Paintings are only numbered once they are cut up so there is often discrepancy between the numbers and the dates. I had better get a more effective system in place if documentation such as this is to be of any use. And now its 2017 - I don’t know where the years are flying - perhaps they’re also trapped ‘between’. 22

Mail Art (Starting Backwards) Vol 4. Cheryl Penn. 2015. (Book 501). Narrative Therapy I attended a workshop in November with the amazing Elize Morkel in Cape Town in November. I was the only artist/non-therapist there, but I have realized how many intersections my work and Narrative Therapy cross. The theoretical backdrop is the same, even down to the use of a very specific language, embedded in post structuralism (Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida) where we understand that language itself holds certain labels, language as instrument of power, everything in terms of symbols, texts and words is bound up in its context (the baggage things bring in post modern cultural theory) and the notions of binary oppositions. As a bookmaker, narrative is intrinsic to my work; this workshop has extended my knowledge towards an ultimate goal in art therapy. Book 2 is in the making as information flowed, and my pre-made vade mecum proved to be too small. We are very much looking forward (God Willing), to welcoming Elize for an advanced workshop in June next year. How exciting that this branch of psychology has entered An Encyclopedia of Everything.

Narrative Therapy. Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Book 560). 23

Non-linear Yesterdays - Today (Part 2) Book of aleatory poetry - edition of 10 chapbooks, 1 book. Book made inter-alia for An Encyclopedia of Everything, before embarking on a journey where I could sew its pages together - after the Chinese guy had copied it. His wife sat, the sweetest smile and his kids chewed on salted crackers. It was a Wednesday afternoon yesterday, windy and rainy in November. The turtle didn’t mind - it was all water to him:

I thank you for your pains such as they are and he opened the gate to let in her future


Non-linear Yesterdays - Today (Part 2). Cheryl Penn. 2016. (Book 530). 24

Non-linear Yesterdays - Today (Tilting into tomorrow - Sometimes)(Part 3) Book of aleatory poetry - edition of 19 chapbooks, 1 artists’ book. Grubby antique drawings - politely called vintage, but they knew the way

they knew the stuff for snapping between. He was lonely on the other side of yesterday, not cut out for isolation, but that’s the way life goes today, [sometimes]. From inside the tower the pollution producers far outweighed their heinous capability, engines rolling on, so much invested in finding out about tomorrow - can’t they wait? It’s just a day away. Always too busy so he enters the red door alone (again). I NEED time to write, semiotic structures swirling the air, clogging sentences -

why deconstruction only happens down here I have no idea. Need I say more?

Non-linear Yesterdays - Today (Tilting into tomorrow - Sometimes)(Part 3). Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Book 545). 25

So, how was YOUR day? Book of aleatory poetry - edition of 9 chapbooks, 1 book.

standing there, it came to me the order we woke up in.

(Previously) its always with hindsight isn’t it. (marvelous subatomic stuff)

Shaking the realization of


she’d done.

don’t be too hard that was another time

another leader

trying to save

everything that happened

too late. For full version of poem see:

So, how was YOUR day? Cheryl Penn. 2015. (Book 503). 26

Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 1) Unique notebook. Finished October 2017. I am a note-taker and I think it’s a good habit. Taking notes reinforces learning, and creates a record of words. It shows appreciation and attention to the speaker and subject matter and creates a book of remembering. Memories are leaky vessels and thoughts and words exist because they are recorded, otherwise they float into the air as gusts of wraithlike air. Standards of the Bible - Are they out of date? That was an interesting one. One realizes the problem with the heart, is the heart. According to Genesis 6 mans heart was/is only evil continually versus the heart of God, which was grieved. The reality is, the standards of the world are very much out of date with those of God. Is the Bible fiction or fact? It can’t be both - a very interesting study involving statistics on how people view the Bible, and if there is really a need for it at all. With all the hopelessness in the world today, the opacity of peoples visions of themselves for their future and families, perplexity a daily companion with no where to turn, I am very grateful to have full access to God’s Word. Otherwise, to be honest, I can’t see much point. Taking heed, according to His Word anchors those who have chosen not to run heedlessly.

Taking Heed According to Thy Word. Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Book 550). Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 2) We live in a world of uncertainties and multitudinous interpretations on belief systems based on everything and anything - its all relative, isn’t it: “you believe what you want, and I’ll believe what I want; and more, what right have you to question what I think and how I live my life - its my life after all”. And even within the Christian body there are differences of interpretation, emphasis, doctrine - you name it, if it’s mentioned it’s up for grabs. It’s a sad state of affairs really, in a life where ALL, like it or not, succumb to death, the cessation of being alive, the dissolution to dust where a personality, no matter how large ceases to be. Death is tyrannical, a constant reminder that we’re not all we think we’re cut out to be. There is hope of course, a hope of resurrection at the second coming of Christ; something like the sun setting and the birth of a new day. Perhaps if you haven’t explored this possibility in any depth, its time. 27

Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 3) What exactly do you think mercy to be? Compassion and pity? Benevolence and forgiveness? Taking Heed According to Thy Word (Issue 3 Volume 5-7) (Repeat): We live in a world of uncertainties and multitudinous interpretations on belief systems based on everything and anything - its all relative, isn’t it: “you believe what you want, and I’ll believe what I want; and more, what right have you to question what I think and how I live my life - its my life after all”. And even within the Christian body there are differences of interpretation, emphasis, doctrine - you name it, if it’s mentioned its up for grabs. It’s a sad state of affairs really, in a life where ALL, like it or not, succumb to death, the cessation of being alive, the dissolution to dust where a personality, no matter how large ceases to be. Death is tyrannical, a constant reminder that we’re not all we think we’re cut out to be. There is hope of course, a hope of resurrection at the second coming of Christ; something like the sun setting and the birth of a new day. Perhaps if you haven’t explored this possibility in any depth, it’s time. I wrote these words for Volume 2, and my thoughts have not changed, except to say that life is even MORE uncertain and foundations have shifted further. An anchor of the soul and a peace which passes all understanding are searches worth undertaking for anyone who would see life and length of peaceful days.

Taking Heed According to Thy Word. Cheryl Penn. 2018. (Edition 3, Volumes 5 ,6, 7)(Books 566, 567, 568). The Right of Writing (Part 1) This is a very special book to me - it is a record of the beginning of a new ‘career’ on which three very special women embarked with me as creatives. I have begun to teach creative thinking using the tools of art and writing. The Right of Writing speaks to the ability of writing (glyphs, logograms, text and asemic writing) to act as a medium of record, nudgement (ok I know there’s no such word, but it works) and visual language, which can help unlock innate creativity. I lost the first book in the scuffle to get to Kruger Park, but in a way, redoing this book sent me on another journey - a better one, I think. I learnt a few things: I pack too much in, too much information and work and talk too fast! To assimilate is a slow and meditative process, with many meanderings along the way - I must learn to allow time for this. This became apparent in the participator’s reaction - we need another class. Definitely situated in the language realm of Foucault, this is the beginning of what I hope is an incredible voyage. The liminal space and the 12 stages of journeying will become the central focus. 28

The Right of Writing (Part 1). Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Book 554). The Right of Writing (Part 2) Notebooks are becoming of greater and greater value to me - the place where I collect thoughts and ideas, a place where memories are recorded - (even the skeleton of a crab spider I found - amazing flat spiders with huge {relative to their size} crab claws), a place to take risks and a dwelling of process. Looking back on An Encyclopedia of Everything, vade mecum notebooks are quite a significant portion of my own contribution. There are the Where I’m at Series, the Taking Heed According to Thy Word series, the Process series, Do my To-Do lists Define Me series; in fact quite a few of the books are just about testing an idea. It may, or may never become something bigger than a small book, but at least I made flesh an idea. This second book, which was a result of time spent with Jackie, Janina and Annemarie records the journey this workshop took us all on. It will be very useful in the future in formulating ways forward when assisted with Narrative Therapy. Thoughts on a found and kept feather: Fall where I might, When will I fly?

The Right of Writing (Part 2). Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Book 557). 29

World Town is in Pieces The World is a Town is a unique artists book I made in 2009. It was based on the Novgorod Codex which dates back somewhere close to 10th / 11th century. I think its official name is a bridge book? I decided to cut up this work and post into the wide world, asking people to respond to the piece they received. I would then collate/bind the work I received into another book - Volume 2. That was WAY back in 2010 - September 23 to be precise. The book fulfilled its role finally - I am collating and binding, 8 years later. I’m on a clean-up mission. I remember Marie Wintzer and I used to laugh at my bi-annual statements regarding this. Paintings/books/drawings are trembling, but they need not fear, somehow everything comes back in another form. The pieces I can, I will insert into An Encyclopedia of Everything. Its wonderful looking through all this work again - it has not lost its glow. The first piece I received was from Bifidus Jones (USA). I called it The Backbone of the World. This delicate postcard survived the ride from America without even a mark - amazing. I received it on September 27th 2010. He had posted before receiving his piece. Included in this book as well are laminated cards from Stephanie Blake (USA), Jeanette Gilks, (SA), Rob Grant (Australia), Vaida Sirusaite (Lithuania) and Heather Miller (SA). There are many interpretations of this title, and these are in no particular order of receipt.

The World Town is in Pieces # 1. Cheryl Penn. 2019. (Book 559). Where I’m At (Once and Again) Unique Book, Where I’m At series, accordion bound, spine from Jans Bottom Drawer Series. Looking back over this subject (I think this is Book 9 in the series), I see some things change, but many do not. Recap - these are autobiographical books, but not in the traditional sense I’m not particularly keen on autobiographies - they’re more records of creative process. There has not been much time for scribbling as has been my custom, on large paper sheets, so I cut up one of the prints from Jans Bottom Drawer series to form the spine of the book. I get the feeling that An Encyclopedia of Everything may be drawing to a close as a project - and 500 books seems a good number to end on. But, by its very nature I don’t think it will ever END, but its slowed down considerably. One of the reasons is my penchant for change, perhaps. Working for 3 years in volumes this size has at least rekindled my interest in working on large surfaces once more. The book contains this process as well as reflections on where I find myself right now, sometimes awash in the vicissitudes of life, nevertheless standing firm in faith.

Where I’m At (1). Cheryl Penn. 2015 (Book 502)

Where I’m At (Once and Again) It’s been a tough time all round - not just for me, for most people I know. That’s all part of things coming to a head in the world - perplexity will abound and men’s hearts will fail for fear of those things that are coming on the earth. There is always light though - make no mistake, it’s a good and blessed life, it’s just as complex and loaded on the other side of the scale. I’ve been trying to have a HUGE tidy up in my studio, clearing old STUFF which I think is pulling me back into a creative past and therefore hindering my way forward. It’s taken MONTHS - and it’s still not finished! Of course, within two days of beginning the great throw-away I needed ditched work. I resigned, collected a turtle from the mootie-market, and just did LIFE.

Where I’m At (2). Cheryl Penn. 2016 (Book 516) Where I’m At (August/September 2017) I’m not sure what number in this series this book is, and I know there are a few of the “Where I’m At” vade mecums which went on exhibition and I have not blogged them, but they’re in the denizens somewhere and I don’t have the energy to find them. BUT I took time to make this spine the other day while making the next cut-up painting in the Authentic Massacre of the Innocent Image Series so here I diarize again. I think it’s with relief I know this book is in my own private collection - so you’ll just have to wonder what I wrote. Suffice it to say 2016/2017 have been rough. But it’s not just me, its everyone.

Where I’m At (August/September 2017). Cheryl Penn. 2017 (Book 549) 31

Peral, Marcela, (Argentina) 3.0 # 16 (Letters and Alphabets) In the fragrance of one intake of breath Marcela took me straight back to wax crayons, wooden desks, sweaty boys and playgrounds. I remembered Mrs Washington and the ruler she rapped on knuckles, which wrote her precious cursive outside her beloved blue lines we all hated. The olfactory regions are instant reminders of childhood. Its intriguing that we all learn to write in the same way, and yet by the time we leave school each handwriting is unique - except Mrs Washington’s I think.

3.0 # 16 (Letters and Alphabets). Marcela Peral. 2016. (Book 512)

Pogarsky, Mikhail (Russia) Book of Fire Mikhail sent this signed catalogue after an international exhibition of miniature artists books under the title Book Fire. The brief was to make a book inside a match box. There are ingenious interpretations of this theme inside the catalogue. I remember well this exercise - working small is not on my yard stick, but We’re post-literate and going up in flames was not too bad an effort!

Book of Fire. Mikael Pogarsky. 2016. (Book 518). 32

Paripar Its been many months since I blogged. There are quite a number of books I have received this year. No excuses, but my time is being invested in other areas. I was about to whine about the lack of it, but that’s the situation with everyone. It’s going faster and is voraciously swallowed quicker by many more people. I remember reading somewhere - it you don’t use your time wisely someone else will! A good maxim to take note of. It is a pleasure again to page through these small volumes and see the care and love artists who make books spend on this art form. I can feel this ‘wee beastie’ stirring again. A note from Mikhail reads: Hi Cheryl, This is the short description of my book: Mikhail Pogarsky. Poems Digital print, collage, author’s and antic stamps, painting. Single copy. 2016. Artist’s book combining 2 collections of poems by Mikhail Pogarsky: “12 dedications” in Russian and “Parypar” in Italian (translated by Evelina Schatz). This diptych is covered by different collage fragments, stamps and paint. The general idea – visual art is international language of poetry. Best wishes to you”.

Paripar. Mikael Pogarsky. 2016. (Book 519) 33

Rastello, Martine (France)



3.0 # 16 (Dot the ’s… and cross the ’s) Colophon: An imaginary alphabet created by Martine Rastello on a crazy rainy day. Etching on Fabriano paper. Edition of 10, 2016. No. 3/10. The note accompanying Martine’s beautifully made book informs the reader that this is “No 2 of a series called The Adventures of a Little Red Ball. No 1 was Follow me. The series started with no intention at all but was inspired by Charles Perrault’s tale Le Petit Poucet (Hop-o’-MyThumb). So whenever I’ll come across a new possible adventure for my Little Red Ball, I’ll make a book!” Imaginary alphabets are somehow intrinsic for artists book makers - a visual feast of text shaped visual images. Martine is no stranger to asemic writing and this qualifies exactly I think - the almost deconstructed unit tends to read as a letter rather than a sentence or paragraph, but non-literary sequences are begging to be made.



3.0 # 16 ((Dot the ’s… and cross the ’s) Martine Rastello. 2016. (Book 509) 3.0 # 17 (CoLours/FolDing/ReCycling) Edition of 9 unique, accordion bound books made from recycled papers, folded and inked. Made with Martine’s usual eye for detail, this book with its black spine/background showcases the interesting pieces of sometimes layered recycled papers.

3.0 # 17 (Colour/Folding/Recycling). Martine Rastello. 2016. (Book 543). 34

3.0 # 19 (Nature) Limited edition handmade book, painted, handwritten text, prints and drawings which holds beautiful words: My first book from our 19th collaboration: “In a Breton garden, there are times when the garden will be totally silent, but mostly it’s a medley of rustlings and murmurings hearing no messages yet signifying more than any music”. It reminds me of something I recently wrote to a friend: “Even when a garden is silent the sound of roots pushing through soil is loud”.

3.0 # 19 (Nature.) Martine Rastello. 2017. (Book 553) The Valley of Birches “Artist’s book by Martine Rastello with a text by Kenneth White in Atlanta. Woodprints, Edition of 2”. Note accompanying book; this is at last my book for the one I owed you. I like birches and I like Kenneth White very much too. I had these woodprints - I tried to mix with photos and there we are! Hope you like it - next will be my #17”. This book surfaced about 2 weeks ago but I can’t honestly say it was all the post offices’ fault. A few of us are suffering from LIFE, as joyous as it sometimes is. Many thanks Martine.

The Valley of Birches. Martine Rastello. 2016. (Book 544) 35

Shaw-Williams, Ruth (UK) 3.0 # 16 (Just my Type) Colophon: Hand printed letterpress on Zerkall Ingres 95gsm paper. Hand-drawn lettering, sewn section with digital print, acrylic ink, linen thread and recycled cardboard. No. 1/9. With phrases like “every little cell in my body is happy” interspersed with expressions of a sadder kind - “…that wound has been infected for years. It will never heal but its not infected anymore”… Ruth again captures the essence of woman, which I expected from her work after receiving her marvelous work in our 12th collaboration - see I have a very strong mental image of Ruth - I wonder how far from the truth I would be??! Her work speaks volumes. Type choice too tells a story - just saying - I'm curious.

3.0 # 16 (Just my Type). Ruth Shaw-Williams. 2015 (Book 508)

Southorn, Jo (Australia) 3.0 # 16 (A letter from Vera) (Number 7 of 11, accordion bound book with pamphlet stitch, dated 15/11/2015). A poignant book in which letters by ‘Vera’ are inserted into a pastel print. This technique/style of book somehow introduces us to the narrative of Vera, which is girlish and so hopeful. I hope she survived the war.

3.0 # 16 (A letter from Vera). Jo Southorn. 2016 (Book 523) 36

3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling) No. 5 of i0 (no that’s not a numbering mistake), handmade accordion book, printed and tea stained. The note from Jo asked if we had had rain yet. As I write the wind is picking up and rain may be in the clouds later. All I know is her book reminds me so much of the colours of Australia - the painted desert is one of my favorite places there. The richness of one colour, just enhancing its saturation or shade or tone is alluring.

3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling). Jo Southorn. 2016 (Book 528)

Stone, David (USA) Citadel Book made for An Encyclopedia of Everything - the Expanded Version, 20th March 2017 in order to collate one of David’s sets of poems prior to speaking at the first Bookness Colloquium in Johannesburg on Thursday/Friday - its now Tuesday morning! The reason being that David is a writer I have collaborated with more than any other artist, this task has been on my to-do-list for MONTHS and I felt it only fair, if I was going to show the last 10 books as examples of work in An Encyclopedia of Everything, that one of his works is discussed. Text is taken from email correspondence we exchanged during the writing of this series. The book is made from envelopes in which the poetry arrived. The action of unfolding each work from its nest is akin to trying to extract meaning from David’s words. One of the most exciting aspects is that Citadel 18 is where David began to send me hand written notes on how he was thinking as each poem nudged his consciousness. I have always been more interested in the artists intention than my own view of any particular work. I know myself and my viewpoints, I don’t know theirs and now I could access ideas, thinking and feelings which were not my own. I’m not buying ‘my/the readers interpretation of any text’ any more. I wonder if David remembers sending me the note on his niece Sharon’s wedding? So many of our human experiences are shared, but our viewpoint is unique - I’m grateful to become acquainted with his. 37

From Citadel 18 Reading the Financial Times on board Spirit Airlines above the fields of Illinois, pastures, airfoils, folders of debt paid in cash. A recluse in a bar, trombone music, navigating space in a special boat.

Citadel. David Stone. 2017 (Book 536) 38

TICTAC, Ptrzia (Germany) 3.0 # 16 (School of Fish) Limited edition of handmade accordion bound books, No. 1/12. TICTAC and I have corresponded since my earliest days of Mail Art practice. She has participated in all the editions of Mail Art Makes the World a Town, and I have managed to squeeze into all her editions of Zine in a box. We maintain an erratic but continued correspondence and I value her work highly. She has also participated in the 3.0 book swops and her work maintains an extremely high standard. As she and I have often discussed, when one swops work, one unknowingly gives insight into oneself to a discerning recipient. School of Fish is evidence of her unusual, original concept and quirky interpretation of this strange world we live in. Whoever would have thought letters swim together, yet this play on ‘school’ and ‘fish’ nudges us in the direction of thinking which bears on the aggregation of letters to form localized structures of language which enable us as humans to interact on many levels. ‘School of Fish’?! “Although shoaling fish can relate to each other in a loose way, with each fish swimming and foraging somewhat independently, they are nonetheless aware of the other members of the group as shown by the way they adjust behavior such as swimming, so as to remain close to the other fish in the group. Shoaling groups can include fish of disparate sizes and can including mixed-species subgroups” ) - sounds a lot like books and words to me.

3.0 # 16 (School of Fish). TICTAC. 2015 (Book 504) 3.0 # 16 (etc) Colophon: Rubber stamps, ink, conceptual poetry, pencil, fine art paper, craft paper etc. Copy no. 2 of 12 original, hand stitched by the author at the end of 2015 that looked more like a 2016. The formalities of the abbreviation - et cetera is a Latin term that means "and other things", or "and so forth". It is taken directly from the Latin expression, which literally means "and the rest" and is a calque (a word for word translation from another language) of the Greek "καιὶτα τέρα" - even Tsar Nicholas used to use it to shorten his ever so long title with it. 39

As usual, the style, precision and concept of Ptrzia’s book leaves one knowing about all the unsaid other things, all the STUFF attached to a book (and a life) which is so gargantuan one cannot comprehend, or speak of it or write of it except to say etc. It’s a weighty word for sure.

3.0 # 16 (etc). TICTAC. 2016 (Book 504) 3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling) (Smoothie) (Accordion book signed Ptrzia (tictac), number 7 of 8). I still cannot for the life of me work out how TICTAC manages to make such elegant books with pristine cuts and folds and no finger marks - not ever! Lime and Orange smoothies I think - soothing to say the least.

3.0 # 17 (smoothie). TICTAC. 2016 (Book 522) 40

3.0 # 18 (Endings and Beginnings) As always, a beautifully styled visual poem in book form made with skill of which I am envious. A touch of red to something to be read. Ends of letters, termination of alphabets, but always the hope of starting something new, circles with new beginnings waiting on the edges of our consciousness, allowing freedom to express in cut-out forms and traces the inexpressible.

3.0 # 18 (Endings and Beginnings). TICTAC. 2017 (Book 538) 3.0 # 19 (Nature)(Beetroot) No. 2 of an edition of 12 hand altered books, accompanied by the note: “hi Cheryl, hope you like…Beetroots J. I finally made it! I really thought it wasn’t going to”! And let me tell you, Ptrzia was not the only one… Another beautifully crafted book, thought provoking, with her words taking me to places I recognize: searched my pockets and found a key, a ghost of a former reality, in the shadows, past and present. Beetroots grow underground, in the dark, but my, their colour shines brightly when brought to the surface. In fact, they colour beautiful everything they come in contact with.

3.0 # 19 (Nature)(Beetroot). TICTAC. 2017 (Book 561) 41

3.0 # 20 (?? Ariadne) Number 3 of an edition of 10 handmade artists books, accordion bound. TICTAC makes meticulous, beautiful books - in fact, this group we belong to has contributed so many wonderful books to An Encyclopedia of Everything, in most instances, like TICTAC at least 20 books. Ptrzia always deals with delicate matters - REAL matters - matters that matter. That's where the heart of good art - in any format, lies. There are always deep roots to her work, labyrinths which the maker and reader can get trapped in if they’re not careful. Ariadne was a Cretan princess, daughter of King Minos who saved Theseus from the labyrinth. He rejected her later and she was left to escape her own labyrinths. Don’t we all… This story is set against a backdrop of a “facsimile city” and looping writing, representing structures we sometimes just cannot escape. On the bright side, the winding round brings new days with new opportunities, if we can just find our way out The Maze of Right Now. I am going to use this example of Ptrizia's writing in an article on Asemic Writing - her 'text' has not changed, and neither as mine. We each have a signature asemic writing - and that's very interesting.

3.0 # 20 (??). TICTAC. 2018 (Book 565) 3.0 # 21 (Asemic Writing) How wonderful to receive one of TICTAC’s books again - a beauty titled Cresent Moon. The structure of the visual poem is that of a haiku, traditionally a Japanese poem consisting of three short lines which do not rhyme. The origins of haiku poems can be traced back as far as the 9th century. - that's nearly as old as the moon… A haiku is not just a poetic structure, it's a way of looking at the physical world and the order ingrained in the cosmos comes across as beautifully balanced in this book.

3.0 # 21 (Asemic Writing). TICTAC. 2019 (Book 574)

Vertical Thoughts An extract from the Book of Conjectures Colophon: various papers made this inkject digital copy of Vertical Thoughts from the Book of Conjectures series. Hand bound by the author during the Fall of 2018 when her car key got stuck in the ignition lock. the original book was created with rubber stamps, pigment liners and collage elements. This one is a unique copy nr. 11 of 150 different versions. I am fortunate enough to have one of TICTAC’s original copies of the Book of Conjectures. Conjecture always sounds like conjuring to me and that's eXaCtLy what she does with her particular version of visual poetry. The suggestion is of linearity, but from the Great, funnelled to an exquisite drop. We’re so used to a left-toright reading of thoughts through the written word, that linearity in a vertical sense can only nudge us in thinking of mapping the unconscious in ever increasing gyres. It’s almost as if she knows we try so hard to retain a circle of thought, but as thoughts are want to do, they just slip through our mental cracks into an abstract reservoir we know nothing about.

3.0 # 21 (vertical thoughts). An extract from the Book of Conjectures. TICTAC. 2018 (Book 570). 43


Rubber stamp and screen printed book by Stephanie Turnbull No.1/8 Stephanie has managed to conceptually link visual poetry with the sound and feel of New York city. Everything is in a state of jitter, even the molecules. Life is so fast it’s a blur. The present becomes history in a second. A beautifully made, hard cover, pamphlet stitch book which explores the visual use of text in order to create mood and message. One is also made aware of the palimpsest nature of information until even ‘the short version’ is just an elusive impression.

3.0 # 16 (NEW YORK NEW YORK). Stephanie Turnbull. 2015 (Book 505) 3.0 # 16 (Yr Wyddor Gymraeg) Colophon: Letters and Alphabets, Lithographic concertina book based on the Welsh Alphabet. No 1/12. So I learned something AGAIN - thanks Stephanie. I had a look at the Welsh alphabet and learned that the Welsh language is called Cymraeg and is a language with regular and phonetic spelling. Its closely related to Cornish and Breton and the language spoken today is directly descended from the language of the sixth century. 44

The Welsh alphabet is a version of the Latin alphabet and traditionally consists of 28 letters - a,b,c,ch,d,dd,e,f,ff,g,ng,h,I,l,ll,m,n,o,p,ph,r,rh,s,t,th,u,w,y. J is now often included in the alphabet. Certainly makes sense to me.

3.0 # 16 (Yr Wyddor Gymraeg). Stephanie Turnbull. 2015 (Book 506) 3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling) (Unnumbered, unsigned, accordion bound book, with pamphlet stitch inserts). A chunky, gem of a book, which must recall the long evolution of Stephanie’s printing career. There are twists of humor, books in books, overlays, cut-outs, complex folds and pop-ups - a solid investigation of the title the group tackled.

3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling). Stephanie Turnbull. 2016 (Book 521) 45

3.0 # 18 (Endings and Beginnings) No. 2 of edition of 10, lithographically printed. The introduction to Stephanie’s book reads; “the first thing that came to mind when presented with the title Endings and Beginnings was books, stories, as they have a clear beginning and an end. They enable us to travel outside of our own reality without physically ever leaving it. However, there are some books that leave their mark on us, filtering back into our reality. I have selected the opening and closing lines of three books that have emotionally impacted, inspired or captured me in some way”. The three books are The Well of Loneliness (Radclyffe Hall), The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon) and The Death Artist (Jonathan Santlofer).

3.0 # 18 (Endings and Beginnings). Stephanie Turnbull. 2017 (Book 539) 3.0 # 19 (Nature) Edition 1/10: Pulp printing on handmade paper, edition of 10. A gorgeously solid book whose nature describes the density of that which is natural, and green, and ripe, and abundant. As I understand it, pulp printing is a hybrid. silkscreen/papermaking technique. Paper and image are pressed and dried together and bond fully. The beauty of this technique is that the image actually becomes part of the paper.

3.0 # 19 (Nature). Stephanie Turnbull. 2017 (Book 556) 46

Viljoen, Petru (South Africa) - 3.0 #18 (Endings and Beginnings) Accordion book, made and remade. This work is finally finding its way home to the people it was intended for. Some books stay a while in embryo form, some grow but never leave and then a few finally are sprung from the nest and find hew homes. This is the vicissitudes, which followed this work. “The beginning is loose end. The middle a disconnect�; the book could not have known that such would be its fate - the disconnected middle. Torn pages, palimpsest printed and washed finish, string wending its way - this book is of the earth - earthly.

3.0 # 18 (Endings and Beginnings). Petru Viljoen. 2017 (Book 551) 3.0 #19 (Nature) A handmade, multiple edition accordion book, stained photocopy with glued, pressed, organic matter. Twilight's enigma, all earth brought to a whisper tonight - the full moon mythical hour - making sense adjourned - nothing but being branches stripped of life glow orange, red, pink with green dawns brush fades to grey...

3.0 # 19 (Nature). Petru Viljoen. 2017 (Book 558) 47

WAHL, Svenja (Germany) 3.0 # 17 (Colours/Folding/Recycling) (Accordion book, unnumbered.) From very early days on IUOMA I remember Svenja folding/recycling and coloring the most interesting old paper/photographs, magazine images. This time, old patterns are stamped and stuck on black matt paper recalling barbed wire forms of separation.

3.0 # 17 (Folding/Recycling/Colors). Svenja Wahl. 2016 (Book 520) 3.0 # 19 (Nature) No.7/8 handmade editioned books for our collaboration on Nature - which did not prove to be as easy a topic as we thought! Made with Svenja’s usual attention to detail, stitching and collection of antique pages, Svenja’s book is a great addition to An Encyclopedia of Everything. Numbering 559, this amazing corpus of books continues to grow.

3.0 # 19 (Nature). Svenja Wahl. 2017 (Book 559) 48


Collaborative Books

Bealy, Allan (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) Collaboration I found a box of books I have not blogged - which was quite exciting, but also quite daunting. They had been on the exhibition, packed up immediately after and as post exhibition sorting is generally done under pressure, these works remained hidden. But, it was a pleasure to sort through and see them again. This book was made in July 2014 (forever ago!) and consists of a series of collage postcards Allan and I worked on over the course of 6 months. They were posted backwards and forwards between here an America. Many of the books I have received and shared have come about through this intimate process - intimate because an artist always reveals something of himself or herself through the way they work. Sad to say, I have not had much contact with Allan since then, but for more of his work see and

Collaboration. Allan Bealy and Cheryl Penn. 2014. (Book 542) 49

Bennett, John (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) BennPennett Alphabot I sent John a series of painted glyphs with the request to complete them to form an asemic alphabet. The term Alphabot was created by John and what a wonderful naming that turned out to be. There is one original artists book of original drawings/alterations/additions and an edition of 15 photocopied chapbooks. There are 32 glyphs, which I think may actually be logograms. Another painting was inspired by this collaboration, officially bringing to an end my creative slump. Thanks John - great to meet again in the world of semiotics without semio’s, alphabets without alphas and bots without boats. This book also inspired a large 2.2m X 1m painting.

BennPennett Alphabot. John Bennett and Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Book 547) 50

Chirot, David Baptiste (USA)/Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) Up and Running In early January, on my Google profile David contacted me out the blue and said he would like to collaborate again. That is always an exciting invite for me and I was relieved I had (quite by accident) seen his message. Of course I said yes and we exchanged images and words for a brief moment and then he was gone again. It’s always like this, but I have become used to it, and grateful for the intermittent albeit very intense encounters. I made twenty small books. One is more a private encounter as it includes our email correspondence during this transitory happenstance. The other is in an edition of 19 copies. Included are some images we exchanged. For a nearly full version see:

Up and Running. David Baptiste Chirot and Cheryl Penn. 2017. (Books 540/541)

Stone, David (USA)/ Penn, Cheryl (South Africa) Fallibility Collaborative Poetry. Edition of 19 chapbooks and 1 book. David began writing on October 15th 2016 and the poem ended, but is in no way finished, on 2 December 2016. The meandering topic of conversation in this collaboration is Blackbird by Paul Celan who is regarded as a poet of the word and of the image. David publishes an international anthology of poetry using this title. See for a full version of the poem.

the dark held no fear for her in strange rooms with (copper roof tiles) below the floor who knew where gloomy passages would lead

thick silence echoes is anyone there? a spectacular opportunity to seize the staircase it was gold lined and we lingered all day prying handles and springs until finally we seized a carton and escaped it was xms still as a frightened goat and I tried to explain all day it was nothing but to no avail we still had to sail 1,000 metres to get across the plain a complaint of solace substantial seeing shadows flee so solemny past as if it were not a holiday just another tiring workday

Fallibility. David Stone and Cheryl Penn. 2017 (Book 535) Its Just Not Wonderland (Book 577) – Added post event to the book which was made, but undocumented in June 2014. Edition of 2 books, 4 chapbooks. Note: I have not found this book included in the last two write-ups of An Encyclopedia of Everything – I will include it in the third catalogue as Book. I first used the first verse of a poem titled It’s just not Wonderland in the collaboration with Petru Viloen (South Africa) - What If, and this was followed with a collaboration using the same verse to begin with Wolfgang Guenther (Germany) and TICTAC (Germany). It’s very interesting to see the difference in tenor between the two poems, and to mark the diverse responses. As I said previously, each writer is influenced by the tone of the other collaborator. This creates a third entity (the poem), which develops as an integration of two different voices. The concept energy, which can be generated, is also important - isolation certainly brings a measure from deep within, but sharing words has its own benefits. Ideas flow from another source, nudging latent knowledge. For example, David draws on a wide variety of historical incidents - I don’t. This means I am moved in a direction which is external. 52

It’s Just Not Wonderland. David Stone and Cheryl Penn. 2014. (Book 577)

Migration Collaborative poetry. Edition of 7 chapbooks and 1 book. David began on September 21 2015 at 11.29pm and I ended on March 13th 2016 at 3.08pm. David - thanks for your patience.

beginning the human migration from Africa (about where you are now) walking thousands of miles one foot at a time,crossing the Mediterranean Sea. entering Grecian air space. encountering razor wires,sharks,hunger, love-somewhere-mother's- hanging on-handling life's pills-flesh-evolvinghaunting-tasks-meeting knights-arts and sciences-never more famous or brilliant than these tastes-

sometimes there’s inspiration,

in migration BUT lack of preparation can lose the challenge. its all off the same plate

this life, the audience - they’re cruel

and unforgiving,

clapping from curtained windows in commercial towers fast and furious meetings, no time for matchstick girls and Little Princes, just the inevitable Red Shoe Dance, dictated by political Blackbeards (and borders).

Migration. David Stone and Cheryl Penn. 2016 (Book 517) Mirrors of Mortality Edition of 20 chapbooks. This poetry collaboration began on March 18th 2016 and ended on August 26th 2018. The subject of “mirrors” was obviously not complete, as we have begun a new collaboration titled Through the Mirror of Me. I made a larger edition of this collaboration so that I could catch up the books I owe for the 3.0 # 15 collaboration on Sadly this platform is shutting down so this book begins the blogging on a new blog to which collaborative artist books makers can contribute. Please notify me if you wish to become a contributing author. See for a full version of the poem.

…Jasmine and Eric discussing

ideas to make this life

more palatable. then a turning thing caught in the wind of a passing train sullen soldiers choosing who lives or dies.

debate about chance. Eric- chance dictates all things. random principles. so many unknowns operate. conscious bridge operators. the draw bridge rises to allow a tiny sailboat to pass. motors. watching the fireworks above the skyline. losses. uncontrolled…

Mirrors of Mortality. David Stone and Cheryl Penn. 2016 (Book 526) The Mirror of Me Signed limited edition of 1 book and 13 Chapbooks. Poetry written from Friday 26th August 2016, 1.55pm (Durban time) until 31st October 2016, 8.21pm (Baltimore time). Somewhere for one of our collaborations, David wrote - “It is very interesting this windy path of dialogue”. That’s exactly what these words do. They take on their own life, straying down paths we may not have imagined as ideas are nudged from the subconscious by another poet. Strangely, although the verses hang together well, I think the uniqueness of each writer remains intact - we both catch the same language wave, but with our own pens. This poem continued the idea of mirrors and began as a result of a discussion on a modernist view of art. At the risk of being shot down in flames I told David I was bored with a one world view - the one world view of ME as applicable to every person on the planet who claims this ‘right’ to see things their way, even the art I/you make. What about what I was trying to say - if anything at all. Either way it ends up not mattering, or consequently (for me) interpretation is hugely flawed. For a full version of the poem see:


ME. The fundamentally correct personal view on all that’s important. At that moment I stifled a yawn, not wanting L to see.

I started out as a child no wait it was a priori to that integer. at once an alligator no wait it was a prioi to that. a martian of course by designation.

being- kind-of course-no wait. an ontological brief.

who gazed in the mirror and saw a strange configuration of cubes?

The Mirror of Me. David Stone and Cheryl Penn. 2016 (Book 529) 56

Unpacking Jasmine (Part 1) Signed limited edition of 1 artists’ book and 18 Chapbooks. Poetry written from 6th December 2016, until late July 2017. Alter ego’s are expansive creatures, which may be the repository of all our unfulfilled desires. They may go places we will never visit, experience lives we can only imagine - the deposits of all our frustrated ambitions. They visit with or without invitation, hovering on the outskirts of our rememberings, or they may plant themselves, very firmly for a time within our dreams and daily thought spaces. They can be “witnesses to the aftermath”, or the knowledge of “time from another clock”. David’s first book-length poem was Leopard Jasmine in which Jasmine was a traveler/composer, while in his play Magus Jasmine, Jasmine uses magic to visit Atlantis. See why they’re such vital creations? Thanks David, for granting temporary access to Jasmine. The story is of course incomplete - he still has far to travel.

Unpacking Jasmine. David Stone and Cheryl Penn. 2017 (Book 547) 57



Mail Art Makes the World a Town - Various Mail Art Makes the World a Town (Edition 15) At Edition I5 I chose to change the format of the Zine for a few reasons. Firstly, postage charges are outrageous - sending 24 large format zines overseas was becoming ridiculous. Plus, I think our post office system will soon be declaring itself bankrupt. The repercussions of this are enormous. Secondly I was keen to put the zine SOMEWHERE. With this new format, this assembly book now fits into An Encyclopedia of Everything. Participants: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Jürgen Olbrich - Germany Torill Elizabeth Larsen - Norway TICTAC - Germany Tiziana Baracchi - Italy Karen Alekyan - Armenia Miguel Jimenez - Spain Vittore Baroni - Italy Wolfgang Guenther - Germany Erich Sundermann - Austria Marie Wintzer - Japan Katerina Nikoltsou - Greece Angela Behrendt - Germany Svenja Wahl - Germany Rod Summers - Netherlands Reed Altemus - USA Ficus Strangulensis - USA Samuel Montalvetti - Argentina Thorsten Fuhrmann - Germany Peter Müller – Germany Cheryl Penn – South Africa

Mail Art Makes the World A Town. Edition 15. Various Artists. Assembly Book. (Book 512) 58

Mail Art Makes the World a Town (Edition 16) Its taken FOREVER for which I have to apologise - LIFE took precedence over Art last year - and well into this. This Zine/Assembly book will cease at Edition 20 and I have contributions for Edition 17, so please send 22 signed and numbered postcards to participate - copy to all participants. This publication well exceeded my expectations for which I grateful. One problem (not an excuse) in the delay has been the issue of the changed format. I had NO IDEA it would be SO difficult to collate small works. A5 was certainly far less of a challenge! Participants: Edition 16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Torill Elizabeth Larson - Norway Lesley Magwood Fraser - South Africa Tiziana Baracchi - Italy Jürgen Olbrich - Germany John Bennett - USA TICTAC - Germany Serse Luigetti - Italy Peter Müller - Germany Claudio Romeo - Italy Salvatore Starace - Italy Erich Sündermann - Austria Hans Hess - Germany Theo Nelson - Canada Angela Behrendt - Germany Katerina Nikoltsou - Greece David Stone - USA Vittore Barone - Italy Daniele David Stone (USA)/Cheryl Penn (South Africa) Cheryl Penn (South Africa)

Mail Art Makes the World A Town. Edition 16. Various Artists. Assembly Book. (Book 537) 59

Repeated Documentation - THE HOW/ WHAT/ WHY/ WHEN /AND if OF THIS COLLECTION Artist’s statement accompanied the first exhibition of these works at the KZNSA Gallery in 2014. An Encyclopedia of Everything (2014) There is a reason for making byte size books of the vade mecum sort. It’s the result of too many ideas in constant disarray, endlessly knocking and needing to be given form. Form? Ideas persuading the metaphysical dimension to open up and fold themselves into the pages of a book. Encyclopedias have been around for about 2000 years – still in existence is Naturalis Historia written about AD77 by Pliny the elder. Encyclopedias are tomes of articles and subjects on any and every topic of accumulated, verifiable knowledge. They differ to dictionaries in that a linguistic, alphabetical listing of words is limiting. This form of classification may leave the meaning-seeker lacking in contextualized understanding and association. But this encyclopedia is different. Here, when a volume discusses printing, one can run fingers down the impressions left by the printing press, and touch the unevenness of ink. Or, a book on artists’ stamps has samples of these intimate artworks, gathered from around the world. Therefore, the curious thing with this particular collection is the way information is presented, the change information has undergone in the hands of an artist. It presents in real time, an original artifact; how artists and writers interpret and intimately engage with facts – a demonstration of how artists think and decode subject matter in their own unique ways. And, this installation continually proves to be an area ripe for artistic collaboration - a body of work made possible through a world-wide collective adventure. There is renewed interest in the notebooks and drawn or written thoughts and jottings of remarkable men and women and this invigoration of written matter in an electronic age spurred on the making of these books. Moments in time, frozen thoughts – they’re all here, in paper format. Simple things, like shopping lists, and personal observations, writing down pertinent quotes and ‘things to do’, have helped those interested to pierce together the daily grind of lives lived so long ago. Imagine owning/knowing Aristotle’s shopping list - well, I’m curious.


An Encyclopedia of Everything and Other Matters EXHIBITION Handout 2014 WHAT is An Encyclopedia of Everything? An Encyclopedia of Everything is a collection of small books which form part of an exhibition installation shown in Durban (South Africa) at the KZNSA Gallery in October 2014. The initial goal of the project, begun late February 2013 was to collect and swop about 500 books. It’s about Everything because, lets face it – is there any topic, which has not been covered by a book artist?

The small volumes are A6 (postcard size) when closed (A5 when opened) and in most instances boast hard/strong covers. Most of the books are unique and in a few instances are limited printed editions, purposely made for this exhibition. HOW did An Encyclopedia of Everything come about? As many book artists know, we’re in the business of working alone. We plan and plot, draw and write, print and paint. We sew and bind, construct and invent. I mean – who GETS artists books better than Book Artists? Add to the mix the process of collaborating – the heady, resounding echoes of a choir instead of a piping solo = many artists creating meaning through text and image in one corpus. This is An Encyclopedia of Everything. As a very active Mail Artist, correspondence with international artists has already involved organizing collaborations, as well as exchanging and collecting artists books for The New Alexandrian Library. The books I have received vary in size and shape, and although each is unique in their own way, exhibiting them has proven difficult. The solution was to standardize collecting. Internet networks such as IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists – Ruud Janssen – Netherlands) and Artists Books 3.0 ning (Robert Heather - Australia) have proven invaluable in making contact with artists prepared to exchange work. As with most interactive activities, one forms closer relationships with artists with whom one has an aesthetic affinity and of course, those prepared to trade. CONTEMPLATING An Encyclopedia of Everything. As I write I gaze on over 350 hundred vade mecums. That’s a lot of work, volumes of fine-looking books. I use that term ‘vade mecum’ as the size – A6 when closed, answers the call of a comfortable pocket notebook. It embodies its Latin meaning, “carry with me”. Easy to bind and fill (although I have been sent some really intricate books), they’re perfect Idea Vehicles. There are 79 artists, both local and international who have contributed to this corpus, and I know there are still books on the way. COLLABORATION and An Encyclopedia of Everything. I mentioned collaboration before, and there has been, within the last year another sort of artistic partnership, which as come about as a direct result of the encyclopedic idea. We all know ideas evolve. They’re like rabbits - excellent at endless multiplication. This is the concept of collaborative text - ‘cooperative text’ as I call it. There is an unexpected synergy formed when one swops words with a stranger. The words are unedited and - if I may quote - “Images used to rise up before me, as I am sure they have arisen before nearly everyone who cares for poetry, of wild-eyed men who spoke harmoniously to murmuring wires, while audiences in many coloured robes listened, hushed and excited”**. That’s the feeling 61

I get from this type of collaboration where words cross the divide, sparking in “rhythmical animation, in idiom, in images, in words full of far off suggestion” (ibid): a form of communication, which expresses immediate response to the written words of another. I am making my 10th book of work within this framework, and have 3 other such collaborations being outworked via email. With no images in sight, this is strange work for a visual artist! Poets/writers with whom I have collaborated include Marie Wintzer (Japan), John Bennett (USA), David Stone (USA), DavidBaptiste Chirot (USA) (book in the making), Wolfgang Guenther (Germany), TICTAC (Germany), Joel Chace (USA) and Petru Viljoen (South Africa). In such instances I have made the books/chapbooks and sent a set for copying for the other author. There is no copyright on these works - in fact, each of these books are swopped through the medium of free exchange. That’s a lot of trust circumventing the planet. Other collaborations include the CirC! series where I began a book and another artist finished it. Artists involved here (so far!) include John Bennett (USA), Mehrl C Bennett (USA), Allan Bealy (USA), Martine Rastello (France), Alicia Starr (USA), Jürgen Olbrich (Germany), Lesley Magwood Fraser and Petru Viljoen (South Africa). All these works are listed in the general catalogue, together with images and text. For a Full list of participants please see Document 1 of the on-line Catalogue. **From - The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats Volume IV: Early Essays (2007).

Address Delivered by Tony Starkey at the opening of An Encyclopedia of Everything and Other Matters, Tuesday 7th October 2014 at KZNSA Durban. This exhibition, titled an Encyclopedia of Everything curated by Cheryl Penn, explores the richness and diversity of methods used by artists in communicating information and interpreting subject matter, through the use of the artist’s book. This address is intended to provide a brief contextualization for an understanding of this exploration. Artists' books are works of art realized in the form of a book. They are often published in small editions, though sometimes they are produced as one-of-a-kind objects referred to as ‘uniques’. Artists' books have employed a wide range of forms, including scrolls, fold-outs, concertinas or loose items contained in a box as well as bound printed sheet. Artists have been active in printing and book production for centuries, but the artist's book is primarily a late 20th-century form. In the early 1970s the artist's book began to be recognized as a distinct genre, and with this recognition came the beginnings of critical appreciation of, and debate on, the subject. In the 1980s this consolidation of the field intensified, with an increasing number of practitioners, greater commercialization, and also the appearance of a number of critical publications devoted to the form. In 1983 the London-based journal Art Monthly began a column devoted to artist’s books which continues today. The Library of Congress adopted the term artist’s books in 1980 in its list of established subjects. In the 1980s and 1990s, BA, MA and MFA programs in Book Art were founded. Cheryl Penn’s Masters in Fine Art was titled The use of the artist’s book as a versatile form of expression in the work of selected artists, with particular reference to the altered book in 2009. She researched the artists’ book as a hybrid art form, neither ‘just’ object nor ‘just’ image, but as an intermediary art form which occupies the space between two dimensional and three dimensional artworks. 62

Her focus was on Altered books, an art form in which existing books are reworked into works of art, with the found object (the book) becoming an intervention junction for new ideas. The value of her research lay in the situating of this growing art form within current art practice. Since completing her Masters, Penn has continued to explore the artist’s book in its different forms through a global collaboration with individual book artists and participating in book art exhibitions. In her artist’s statement for this exhibition titled An Encyclopedia of Everything, consisting of 350 bookworks, she argues that “there is a reason for making byte size books of the vade mecum sort. It’s the result of too many ideas in constant disarray, endlessly knocking and needing to be given form”. The origins of the term vade mecum lie in the Latin words vade (go walk) and mecum (with me), literally meaning “go walk with me”. It is a referential book such as a manual, handbook or here an encyclopedia, usually carried with a person to reference information. As Penn says “the curious thing with this particular collection is the way information is presented, the change information has undergone in the hands of an artist. It presents in real time, an original artifact; how artists and writers interpret and intimately engage with facts – a demonstration of how artists think and decode subject matter in their own unique ways. And, this installation continually proves to be an area ripe for artistic collaboration - a body of work made possible through world wide collective adventure”. As such this exhibition is located in a space where the viewer is challenged to evaluate the contemporary relationship between art, craft and the book form in the communication of information. This implies a method of presentation that allows the viewer to experience the richness of materials and textual content, through a handling of the book object. However, like a painting, an artist’s book cannot be handled. This leaves the book artist with a dilemma which is often partially resolved by presenting book objects open on plinths or shelves and exploiting the concertina format by hanging it opened up. However, neither of these methods provides intimate access necessary for the appreciation of the artist’s book. This is an issue that provides a challenge to the ingenuity of the book artist. More books are already in the making for An Encyclopedia of Everything - The Expanded Version. I applaud the energy and creativity so clearly evident in this body of work. Congratulations Cheryl; it gives me great pleasure to open this exhibition. PRESS RELEASE An Encyclopedia of Everything and Other Matters Artists Book Exhibition by Cheryl Penn Since concluding her Masters Degree in 2009 and the accompanying exhibition The Reading Room, Cheryl Penn has continued to investigate the artists’ book as an art medium. The schizoid nature of these works: textual/verbal, visual/pictorial and public/private has meant that this art medium can flaunt such a complex multiplicity of forms that “the book will never be done”. We live in Technology Times, where prognosticators continually predict the death of the book, but exhibitions such as this prove that “everything in the world exists in order to end up in a book” - Stephané Mallarmé (1876). The exhibition displays her current work in progress - the international collection, collaboration and display of over 385 small bookworks explicitly assembled for an installation titled An Encyclopedia of Everything. Other book collaborations and artists books will be on show. 63