Mapping: Who Knows Where?

Some years ago, I was in the Denver Public Library and I came across a stack of scrap paper that ostensibly was for making notes of Dewey Decimal call numbers to locate a book on the shelf. These precisely cut map fragments were deliciously mysterious because I had no idea of the locations or the relationship of one to another. Surreptitiously, I wrapped a pile in a plain piece of paper and took them with me. They sat on my studio table for several years, waiting to be used. During COVID, all kinds of things have presented themselves as possible artistic experiments. I started to arrange them by color, by nature of the map and when possible by sequence. It felt like a game.

And then it occurred to me, I could make an accordion book, a sculpture and a puzzle all at once. The Jacob’s Ladder book form is just that and is derived from a children’s folk toy. To play with it, the structure is held vertically at one end and with the alternating flick of the wrist, the remaining blocks flip over in succession.

Each of the three one-of-a-kind books is composed of 6 double-sided book-board cards, covered with map fragments. These are joined by silk ribbon which allows each to cascade as they flip over in succession.

Closed: 2.75″h x 4.375″w x .675″ d Open: 2.75″ h x 26.26″ w