This book arts piece is an edition of three and is entitled "The Episodes." It is a homage to James Joyce's Ulysses and utilizes both text and image to illustrate each chapter of the book. Its construction, which is not evident in these photographs, is meant to disrupt the readers expectations and take them in new directions. To me, this elusive path through the book is so similar to the treacherous path of reading Ulysses. The images are scans of knots printed using the cyanotype process and then toned with tea. The text is Joyce's schemata for the novel laser cut into the cotton rag paper.
For this project, I was very interested in representing the world of Ulysses topographically, so I started with a map of the city of Dublin from the 1920s. All the forms covered in text are not buildings but street blocks. The curving line which divides the city is its river and the small collections of white buildings are the Trinity College campus and the Dublin Castle.
The topography of the piece does not correspond to the way the city exists in real life, but actually to the action in the novel. I found a website from an academic in Dublin who directed a project to map out how the action in the novel progresses across the city. Using his map of activity I determined the areas of most importance and made those blocks the tallest.
The blocks are not solid but hollow. The were made by covering a cardstock perimeter with strips of the pages from the book. While making the city I felt like I was working through the book again; here and there I read phrases or sentences which I remembered and so I put the most striking ones on top so they can be read by the viewers. I hope that people do spend time reading the piece, it is meant to stand up to the most detailed inspection. When I photograph the piece I find myself getting lost in reading the phrases as the bend and turn the corners of the city. My hope is that the viewer will feel the same.
Paper Dublin is part of the Swarthmore College English Department's permanent collection.