Tuesday, 30 March 2010
ENSIXTEEN EDITIONS - THE BOOKS - 'bio auto graphic': 'I, in the sky' Issue 2005
This 1st volume - of what turned out to be three - put down thoughts about an outbound trip made to the United States by myself and Danish designer and book artist Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck.
I had long been fascinated with this extraordinary country - since as a small child watching 1950's horror movies like 'Them', to the avalanche of US sci-fi and cop shows like 'The Invaders' and ' The Streets of San Francisco' and my eventual immersion in the pages of Stan Lee's Marvel Comics.
I had visited before (Washington and New York), but not for 17 years. Mette had contacts in New Hampshire and I had an old friend in Massachusetts, but we planned to begin in New York.
The experience of the flight out there proved sufficiently thought-provoking to occupy the 1st volume all on its own.
It was produced to be read backwards - that is to say the spine is on your right as you access the pages and you read right page to left. Was I turning Japanese? Well, this was actually to mirror the travel across Atlantic from East to West - a detail that tickled my mild OCD. In the end, a slight dislocation in the reading suited the sentiment throughout that we were stepping through a cultural looking glass of sorts.
Drawn months after the bombings on the London Underground, the book references those events, their connection to World Policing of the period (post Twin Towers) and also the fragile, fractured state of the English national identity in the face of US 'cultural bleed' in lifestyle since my last visit in 1987.
The book ends as Mette and I arrive in NYC - Big Apple Numero Uno.