Sibley House projects

This is not client work; or, rather, here the client is our own curiosity. These projects – some complete, some still in progress – exist to tell stories that might otherwise not get told, or to explore methods of storytelling that wouldn’t be appropriate on someone else’s dime. This is stuff made for the joy of making, and the simple pleasure of finding things out.

Gradus ad parnassum, etc.

This is not client work; or, rather, here the client is our own curiosity. These projects – some complete, some still in progress – exist to tell stories that might otherwise not get told, or to explore methods of storytelling that wouldn’t be appropriate on someone else’s dime. This is stuff made for the joy of making, and the simple pleasure of finding things out.

Admonitions useful to a spiritual life

An investigation into the nature of religious art

The first part of formal experiment. We were interested in how the best religious art seems to be set in the artist’s world – Caravaggio, for example, seems to have cast his Supper at Emmaus from denizens of his local tavern. It is only in later, didactic religious painting that the worlds of flesh and spirit are separated by glowing light and ambiguous ethnic origin.

So we wondered what might happen if we posited a religious text – in this case, excerpts from Thomas á Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ, a fifteenth-century self-help book for monks – against images drawn from the Cold War, the psychological landscape of our youth. Below is the result. Inconclusive, but perhaps interesting.

Five Admonitions are planned; two have been printed so far: The means to get peace, and of desire to profit in virtues; and Of bearing other men’s faults.

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Artist’s books

Early experiments in the shape of narrative

What can a book do? What makes reading different from other æsthetic experience?

Textbooks – fiction, nonfiction, poetry – are intellectual: the mind supplies the images. Visual books – art monographs, histories, etc. – are didactic: the images serve to illustrate the text. Artist’s books are primarily sensual, concerned with manipulating the form of the book – paper, binding – and how images can play out in serial form; or as unorthodox settings for text.

The books below were part of an ongoing effort to meld those three agendas – intellectual, didactic, sensual – into objects whose words and images lived in a careful symbiosis: not existing to serve the other, but to work together to make something different than either.

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