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17  |    T I D E
Bookwork, 1988
Offset (black on white/silver on black stock)
132 pages, 15 x 10 cm

Rainer Verlag, Berlin 1988

Public and private collections, including the Walker Art Center Library’s Rosemary Furtak Collection, Minneapolis.


The bookwork WALDEN is divided into seven parts with Roman numeral headings. TIDE, the second book I published with the Rainer Verlag, has thirty-one white leaves numbered with black Arabic figures; one of these white leaves precedes each of thirty-one leaves of black stock, which have been printed using silver ink. Of these black leaves, the rectos, or right-hand pages, present a complete lunar cycle from new moon (a completely black page) to new moon (another completely black page) in the course of the book; the versos, or left-hand pages, show the same cycle from full moon (a full, silver disc) to full moon.

Considered together, the recto and verso of each black leaf present an image of the entire moon, its near and far sides, respectively, during each of the phases portrayed—thus contriving a minimalist’s illuminated book of hours. I find myself envisioning a silver orb emerging from the pages, as I turn them over. 

TIDE, Rainer Verlag, Berlin 1988: cover and spreads [digitally redrawn and reset, 2018].

If one uses, or abuses, TIDE as a “flip book”* and quickly riffles through its pages, the moon can be seen to wax and wane, or wane and wax, with great conviction and dispatch. Small wonder that I have made an animated film, TIDE; or, The Bore, from the same material.



* Here, as so often, the German term Daumenkino, literally “thumb cinema,” seems more evocative than the English.