Artist's book: stitching speechless

Artist's book: stitching speechless



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  • Handmade
  • Materials: Kozo, Asahi


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Dec 11-16

Dec 5

Order placed

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Dec 7-9

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BlueBluerBooks puts your order in the mail.

Dec 11-16


Estimated to arrive at your doorstep Dec 11-16!

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Ships from Pittsboro, NC
Josh Hockensmith

Josh Hockensmith

Owner of BlueBluerBooks

Message Josh

stitching speechless is a collaboration with Zen art scholar, poet, and artist Stephen Addiss, featuring a sequence of his haiku. We worked together to embody the poems in a book that would express the multiple traditions they draw from.

We used traditional Japanese materials and binding structure to evoke the origins of English-language haiku. The book’s spine is on the right edge so that it opens in the direction of traditional Japanese books. I hope that this disrupts the physical act of reading it, to emphasize the rich strangeness of this fragmentary form of poetry.

At the same time, Addiss was a student and colleague of John Cage, so stitching speechless also reflects the avant-garde path by which Zen arts have entered Western artistic practice. Cage’s influence is there in the chance methods Steve used to create the haiku. In addition, I use fire and smoke on the pages—one of Cage’s favored visual art techniques. Cage had a more direct influence as well: to determine what part of each page to burn, we used a sequence of randomized numbers that he and Steve had used for an earlier collaboration.

7” x 9”
48 pp.
tortoise-shell stab binding
rubber-stamp type, burn and smoke markings