Flip Books (1997-1999)

Inkjet printing on acid-free paper, perfect bound flipbooks
1.8” x 4”; thicknesses vary between .5” and 1.5”

Between 1997 and 1999 I created a series of twelve flip books, each showing me performing a small everyday gesture: bath, bed, berry, coat, flash, glance, kiss, smoke, spit, stare, wink, and yawn. Each book in this series was created by videotaping myself, converting the video to book pages using the FlipBook software program, printing the images on my home inkjet printer, having the pages cut by a local bookbinder, and then sorting and perfect binding the books myself. The several hundred copies of the books that I made have been sold through Printed Matter, Inc.; bought by libraries, museums, and private collectors; and exhibited at various venues.

Some of the gestures are flirtatious while others are more mundane or challenging, but I tried to use each one to express some connection to the audience, and in each of the books I make eye contact with the audience for at least a moment. One of the ideas that led me to the work was the question of how to capture the audience’s attention and to sustain some meaningful contact despite the typically limited attention span of a viewer. As the series progressed, I became more interested in examining the tiniest moments of my everyday life when gestures revealed or secreted my self. I also became more interested in how the viewer’s control of the speed and direction of the flip books altered the nature of the gestures and suggested that the true locus of action in many works is in the response of the viewer.