19. “Textile Futures: fashion, design and technology” by Bradley Quinn

Textile Futures: fashion, design and technology by Bradley Quinn 

“’Textile Futures’ highlights recent works from key practitioners and examines the changing role of textiles. Recent developments present new technical possibilities that are beginning to redefine textiles as a uniquely multidisciplinary field of innovation and research. This book is an important tool for any textile practitioner, fashion designer, interior designer or student designer interested in following developments in the field of textiles, seeking sustainable sources, or just eager to find works that reveal the potency of textiles as an ultramaterial.” –from the publisher

18. “Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary” by the Museum of Arts and Design

Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary by the Museum of Arts and Design 

Using the recycled object as source material can imbue another layer of implication to an artist’s work. When materials are revisited and transformed the content can be enhanced with a more potent reading. Terese Agnew used 30,000 clothing tags to create an image of a textile worker in Bangladesh. The face of Buddha is carved into stacks of NYC phone books and catalogues by Ling-Bin Chen, in this incarnation Buddha may watch over the West. Hairnets and violin bow hair fill all the open space in York St. Mary’s Cathedral, a space Susie MacMurray created a site-specific installation. Sonya Clark used combs whose teeth had been carefully plucked to create positive and negative space from which she made a 10 x 7 ft. portrait of Madame C.J. Walker, the mother of Black hairdressing. These artists offer a refreshing means of recycling, preserving and invigorating what might have simply been garbage.

17. “DOING BUSINESS” edited by Stuart Horodner and Laurel Gitlen.

DOING BUSINESS edited by Stuart Horodner and Laurel Gitlen. 

With graduation right around the corner and with the current thesis shows opening each week (Wednesdays 4 – 6pm, Hoffman Gallery), it is an exciting time at OCAC, a time for celebration, for the sun to come out and stay out, and a time for reflection. DOING BUSINESS is more than collection of archival documents. It is a small window into the contemporary art world that shows what goes on behind-the-scenes and might help illuminate what working as a professional artist may be like for our students outside of school. Included are correspondences between artists, curators, publishers, dealers, critics, and collectors; emails; receipts from restaurants; hand-drawn diagrams; rescued crumpled notes on hotel stationary; and, strangely enough, a contract rider for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks that lists everything from the technical requirements for their musical performances as well as what mandatory food and beverages must be provided free of charge. DOING BUSINESS is a fun, short, and fascinating look into the profession of being an artist.

16. “Violent Legacies: three cantos” by Richard Misrach; fiction by Susan Sontag

Violent Legacies: three cantos by Richard Misrach; fiction by Susan Sontag 

Here is yet another haunting series of photographs to add to Misrach’s cantos. The book begins with project w-47 (the secret), a group of images documenting the remains of Wendover Air Base where the final stages developing of the atomic bomb were carried out in western Utah in 1945. The existence of this project is denied. The stark, brown landscape is specked with what’s left, a desolate expanse of forgotten past. The next canto is the pit, the site of an atomic fallout from 1953. The area is now meant to be barren and lifeless. The animals that to attempt to live here die in random and abominable numbers. The bodies are disposed of in “county-designated dead-animal pits.” The third and last canto of this book is the playboys, a collection of Playboy magazines found on the northwest corner of the Nuclear Test Site inNevada. Used for target practice, the cover models are filled with holes, but the internal damage is what Misrach highlights in this set of page turners.

15. “The Fabulous Destiny of the Quotidian” by Grand-Hornu books

The Fabulous Destiny of the Quotidian by Grand-Hornu books 

Begin with two chairs. Now tear them from their Victorian roots, yet offer a connection, obvious but slightly shocking. What you end up with is two chairs facing each other in an off kilter manner sharing the same back, which has been seemingly stretched, the image on the upholstery left with a distorted smear. This is the work of Sebastian Brajkovic, entitled Lathe chairs VIII, which I believe is a perfect summary of what The Fabulous Destiny of the Quotidian is talking about. This book was published to go along with an exhibition at Grand-Hornu in 2010. The only criterion was to refer to the “day-to-day.” The book is organized into the chapters: Fabulous, Destiny, and Quotidian (appropriately), each pieced together with discussion by ten authors from varying backgrounds. We shall never grow tired by constantly readdressed discussion of art vs. design or where it all converges.

14. “ELSE/WHERE: Mapping New Cartographies of Networks and Territories” edited by Janet Abrams + Peter Hall

ELSE/WHERE: Mapping New Cartographies of Networks and Territories edited by Janet Abrams + Peter Hall

To honor Spring Break, this week’s library pick celebrates the art of mapping, “mapping networks, mapping conversations, mapping territories, [and] mapping mapping.”* The images and arguments presented in this collection will dazzle the eyes of any Wandering Aengus or adventurous soul off piercing “the deep wood’s woven shade” to “dance upon the level shore”** or someone, say, of more modest ambition mired in the monotonous March drizzle (not “dribble“) or, more simply, the wifi-connected worker bee under an overabundance of overhead lighting (e.g., white rows of industrial-strength can lights or, depending on circumstance, the sun above the Baja peninsula—tennis anyone?). Setting imagery aside, this text will also appeal to all those not quite on break but on-duty or on-call in need of a brief encounter with edification, a desire that could be assuaged by pages of ELSE/WHERE! The collection redirecting the attention of readers everywhere to how “we” define space and the ways in which physical and virtual space define “us.”

*Quoted from ELSE/WHERE
**Shameless plugs for William Butler Yeats’ poems, “The Song of the Wandering Aengus” and “Who Goes with Fergus?”.