I recently completed a small edition artist book, In Pursuit of Magic.
I’ve made a number of small, handmade or self-published artist books over the years, but this is the first time I’ve used an online printer, Artifact Uprising.
There are 30 photographs in the book (44 pages), but it is really all one thing. I think of it as a little poem of sorts, told with pictures and one song on a CD packaged in the back of the book.
The book begins and ends in the same way, with three photographs of the sun and the sky I made through the windshield of my car (at 70 miles an hour, on route to give a lecture in Cleveland). In the first of these three pictures, you can see a subtle reflection of my camera lens on the windshield. This is important, I think, as much of what this piece is about is making art, about wanting to see.
The title comes from a stenciled graffiti tag found around the art district in Chelsea, New York, In Pursuit of Magic.
The magic, at least as I’ve attempt to evoke in the book, is art, and also love. Or even more specifically, the overlapping of the two.
At the end of the book, after the last three pictures of the sky, I’ve mounted an audio CD.
For the most part, the pictures were made in a few days, while I was visiting Cleveland to give a lecture on my work before The Friends of Photography, a social group developed by the Cleveland Museum of Art.
It’s a small book, just 6X9 inches. Mounted on the inside of the back cover is the audio CD, with just one Lou Reed song from the third Velvet Underground record – the song Some Kinda Love. This gives a nice little punctuation to the theme of the book – the pursuit of magic, the pursuit of art and love, the two places we most find the kind of freedom we all want.