Daniel Cockburn
Visible Vocals

2 volumes plus audio CD, each 160 pages, 216x280mm,
Covers: 270gsm laminated cover
Interiors: 115gsm matte white text
Digitally printed (POD), 1/1 body, 4/0 cover, no illustrations, perfectbound
2007, Toronto [Canada]
Open edition
ISBN 978-0-9697368-5-1 (volume 1)
ISBN 978-0-9697368-6-8 (volume 2)
ISBN 978-0-9697368-7-5 (audio CD)

From the artist:
When Alissa Firth-Eagland asked me to present a live performance in March 2005, I conceived and performed “Visible Vocals” as an exercise in divided attention (when you walk and chew gum at the same time, are you in your mouth or in your feet?): typing the first page of a two-page monologue in a rhythm unrelated to the words’ meter as speech, then typing the second page in an attempt to mesh rhythmically with audio playback of the first page.

Parasitic Ventures Press proposed to turn the performance into a two-volume bookwork. One volume per page, the original typed monologue is now spaced out three-dimensionally so that the progression from book’s front to back is an analogue of the time it took to type it (like a pop-up book that extrudes into time rather than space). Conceptually this seems perfect … but, to my mind, concepts are made to be shelved, not read. Even the phrase “bookwork” is new to me. I’m more interested in experiences, so we’re including an audio CD with which you may follow along. If the pages of Visible Vocals (a bookwork) were translucent, you could hold either volume up to the light and see a single page of type — but they’re not, they’re good-old-fashioned opaque paper, and you’ll have to turn them at a fair clip if you want to keep up with the recorded sound of their creation.

Maybe I hope this is more of a bookplay. But I really do hope you’ll try to follow along, and that will take some work. Hint: if you get lost, you will know it is time to skip to the next line when you hear the carriage-return bell ding, like this.

About the artist:
Daniel Cockburn is a videomaker and writer living in Toronto. He is currently working on a major video on translation.

His video work is distributed by V-tape. For more information on Daniel Cockburn’s projects and writings visit www.zeroFunction.com.

Download a preview of volume one here and volume two here.

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