Earlier this year with the help of Artlink I devised a performance at the National Library of Scotland for visually impaired and sighted visitors. ‘Some Bat-squeak Echo of Other Time’ took its title from a phrase in Audrey Niffenegger’s novel The Time Traveller’s Wife, and the performance connected various spaces within the library building on George IV Bridge with extracts from fiction – so the grand staircase became the setting for a scene from James Joyce’s Dubliners story ‘The Dead’, while the reading rooms hosted the “stout, middled-aged man with enormous owl-eyed spectacles” (described as being “somewhat drunk”) from The Great Gatsby. I read the extracts along with Jenny Hulse and Lorna Irvine, and we were accompanied by Laure Paterson on fiddle and Sally Thomas on flute – before a four-strong choir closed proceedings with a wonderful rendition of ‘Let’s Do It’ on the staircase.
ink will be launched at 7pm on Tuesday 22 November at The Fruitmarket Gallery, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DF. The book will be for sale at the special price of £18.00. Dr. Anette Hagan from the National Library of Scotland will speak about book inscriptions, and Pfaelzer Wein (red and white wine from the Palatinate region of Germany) will be served. ink is a beautiful new artist book, featuring full-colour images of the prize-winning sculptural work ink by ~in the fields, and specially written texts by myself – poems, circle poems, ‘Reflections on the writing of marginalia’, and a hidden alphabet poem offering twenty-six imaginary shades of blue. In addition, the contributors present their ‘blueographies’. ~ in the fields are artists Nicole Heidtke and Stefan Baumberger. In 2010 they won the Berlin University of the Arts Award for Interdisciplinary Art and Science for their sculptural work ink. Their visual art practice draws on archival material, environmental topics and ephemeral artefacts, such as lost forms of cinema. ink was developed from inscriptions found in five printed books from five centuries – a Bible, a copy of the Arabian Nights, a songbook, and books about natural history and botany. ink consists of five colourless clear glass bulbs – each partly filled with blue ink. When the visitor approaches, the bulbs begin to rotate, causing a layer of ink to coat the inside surface. Through the ink, illuminated handwritten inscriptions become visible on a spinning armature, thanks to the phenomenon of persistence of vision. The inscriptions are given to the visitor individually. The visitor’s presence initiates the offering of the inscription once again.
Details 208 x 198 mm Hard covers 52 pages Full colour French folds Edition: 500 Publisher: Abertay University Press, July 2011 ISBN 978 1 899796 25 0 Recommended Retail Price: £24.95 If you would like to receive more information about the book, please write to me, or to email@example.com