A Serial Book Project @ CODEX 2024

Posted 21 March 2024 by Patrick
Categories: Design, Ephemera, Printing
Babel Cover
Handmade boxes for the 12 chapter booklets

This year at the CODEX 2024, we showed six of our eventual twelve episodes of a serial artists' book called Arise By Any Other Name, written by Samuel Mignot, bound by Servane Briand, and designed and printed by Swayspace. The project is part of a larger project spearheaded by Briand called Passages of Babel, related to language and translation.

We presented this work-in-progress at CODEX 2024, an art book fair. The CODEX foundation describes its mission as: 

  1. Preserving the rich history and craft traditions that make up the book arts
  2. Promoting and supporting contemporary artists, scholars, curators, librarians, and collectors
  3. Fostering the future of the book as a dynamic and vibrant field for art and research

Every 2 years the CODEX Foundation holds a book fair, and artists, publishers, binders, and manufacturers convene to show and sell their work.

Insider View
Excerpts from the risograph printed chapters

Briand explains: The twelve stories/parables were written by Samuel Mignot in 2021-2022 as part of the Passages of Babel collaboration. Varying in length, dark and funny, strange and super real, the stories keep giving as one reads them over and over. Of his stories, Mignot says “they are about what it means (and what it costs) to accept the rules we live by and what happens when we don’t. But they are also about the role language plays in shaping what we believe, and how we can use it to break itself: how poetry is the parasite of prose: looses its stitches into something beautiful and unimaginable.” He adds that “initially concretely about the Tower of Babel, the stories drifted away: this is what things placed next to The Tower of Babel necessarily do.”

Fire Sermon
Excerpts from Chapter 02 A Fire Sermon

The shape of the booklets echo the shape of Briand's original artist book by the same name, which is a tall, tapered tower. When all of the 12 chapters are assembled together, they too stand in the shape of a tapered tower. The text, set in Caslon, also grows with the tower, starting off at seven points on the top, most narrow part of the page, and growing with each line until practically doubling in size towards the bottom. The covers of each episode are letterpress printed on the outside, and the inside covers and interior pages are risograph printed. The designs and illustrations vary considerably throughout, and draw inspiration from Briand's original work, national archives photography, original illustrations, AI generated artwork, and Mignot's poetic prose.

Various excerpts
Excerpts from Arise By Any Other Name

Arise By Any Other Name is on track to be completed by the end of 2024, and is being documented online as it is produced. To see the works progress, or to inquire about purchasing a copy, please visit the site.