Monday, June 4, 2012
Shannon Ebner | The Sun as Error
The Sun as Error
Los Angeles, USA: Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography, LACMA, 2009
64 pp., 14.6 x 11 x 0.4 inches, hardcover
The Sun as Error presents the artists photographs, "Sculptures involuntaires", a range of instructional, technical diagrams, modular cinder-block letters, and a series of explanatory texts, all exploring the interplay between language and photography. The title is made in close collaboration with the design duo of David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey, known together as Dexter Sinister, who the artist worked with again the following year to create a reading room for the 2010 Frieze Art Fair (below). The layout employed the mathematical typesetting system TeX, designed and released in 1978. The twelve-armed asterisk on the cover is also borrowed from mid-seventies design. It was created by Muriel Cooper, the first design director of the MIT Press as a poster for the Visible Language Workshop, which she co-founded. The symbol is a recurring motif throughout the book. Ebner told Artforum in March of 2009 "I have become obsessed with this graphic symbol, not only because of the beauty of its form but also because it is the symbol for elsewhere."
(Cooper tribute poster by graphic designer Kate Johnston)