It still remains unclear to me as to why this book caught my eye, but nonetheless, it did. “4 3 2 CRY” is an artist book which exposes the effects of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. “4 3 2 CRY” was written by Kathy T. Hettinga in 2014. Natural gas fracking is a plague upon the families, land, air and water of the United States. The book is a meditation on the personal loss experienced by Hettinga as well as an outpouring of sorrow for communities transformed by drilling operations. The book on a whole discusses environmental degradation within the United States.
My eyes were immediately drawn to this book on the Women’s Studio Workshop because of the colorufl placards on the thumbnail image. I live in a highly agricultural area and I am surrounded by farms. One day while driving home, I was at an intersection with an 18 wheeler and I wondered what the placards meant…fast forward me down the rabbit hole of Google and I discovered the 6 main components of the HAZMAT signage utilized by the DOT within the United States. All this is a very long winded way of me saying I believe my intrigue was peaked when I saw the “4 3 2 CRY” thumbnaik image. HAZMAT signs utilize various symbols to communicate the contents of trucks and to see this used on the cover a book….I just had to click to see what it was.
Individual to me, I understood what the placards meant! Even though I knew what the placards meant, what does that mean for what I would find in the book? What does “CRY” mean in relation to the placards? I just had to know…so I clicked on it and even proceeded to view the PDF available for the book.
In terms of written content, this book is almost a scrapbook or collage of information regarding the subject matter, and I think that is one of the best possible ways the artist could have presented this material. This is a subject many companies and agencies have tried to stifle and silence, so there is this entire untapped spring of facts just waiting to burst free-and this artist did that! This book makes very personal this world of fracking which is all too personal to the artist themselves.
Hettinga, Kathy T. “4 3 2 Cry.” Women’s Studio Workshop, 19 Jan. 2018, https://wsworkshop.org/collection/4-3-2-cry/.