by Jacob L. Snizik
For my critical response, I thought first to one of the zines I saw whenever we went to the museum. What I’ve written isn’t a zine, it’s more like a comic, but what I did take from the zine is to have non-human characters in my story.
When thinking of lines and points from Borsuk’s The Book, I found one by Stephane Mallarme. “Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book”
In the zine I looked at, which I can’t really remembered the content of, there were a pair of little birds, talking to each other about something. The lock screen on my computer features the mountain range that runs through Patagonia in the south Argentina, a range that ends in the Tierra del Fuego, or the Land of Fire to the extreme south. ending with the ocean.
Two animals that live in the area are the Wandering Albatross, and the Magellanic Penguin. I used them as my protagonists and they explain to each other the environments that live in as you can see at the top. They are separate, while still inhabiting the same Argentinian ecosystem.
Is my object a book, I say yes. it has a front, back and contexts in the middle, and the only reason it isn’t bound is because it’s too small to run a staple through. The material I used was white gold card stock, since I didn’t want to use normal paper but I did want something light enough to be able to write and draw on with ease. If I had an even further abstract connection, the material and its feel in a way connect to the rough and wild setting I’m writing about.
The book itself is plain, and the blankness of the pencil I used makes the reader focus, I would imagine, on the dialogue on the paper. As far as an audience, I’m not sure who would be interested in this. Despite the likely assumption, I don’t mean for this to be a comment on our impact on the environment. I imagine it being like the animals in The Jungle Book, people are foreign to them, the penguin and the albatross live without man, and because of that, the holder of the land is completely lost to them. The main characters being animals, they speak very simply and plainly to each other. Their conversation is a series of explanations ending with a speculation about their world.
Again to quote Borsuk, but this time directly, “Artists’ books have taken myriad shapes over the years, so what follows are a series of examples that draw our attention to the specific affordances of the book to worth noting.” My book is a physical book, with two characters in a setting with a discussion that begins and ends. What this exercise in creation shows us all, is that the term “book” can be as loose or rigid as the author, designer, and publisher intends it to be.