Raising the Supine Dome, printed and bound by Amy Borezo In Orange, MA and Hanover, NH using hand set metal type, photopolymer plates and laser cutting on Holyoke Fine Paper. Accordion panel binding with tyvek hinges. Cover is Cave paper in graphite over boards. Text is set in 14pt Caslon, title in Futura. Edition of 20.
The artist’s book Raising the Supine Dome depicts the visionary architect Buckminster Fuller’s first attempt to construct a geodesic dome with a class of students at the experimental school, Black Mountain College, in 1948. The actual construction was a failure because the dome did not rise, but Fuller saw each failure as a way of getting closer to true understanding. The book presents the event as a stripped down, schematic tableau of figures on a white field amidst sinuous red strips of construction material, emphasizing the beauty and poetry of the failed event. The red lines become drawings in space, sprawling and expressive, unwilling to coalesce into the tidy geometry of Fuller’s built universe. The figures attempting to erect the dome are physically cut out of the paper, revealing a triangular grid beneath, representing the point at which individuals lose their unique characteristics when working together as a group toward a specific goal. The text contained within the book is a found poem, taken from a variety of primary sources and edited, altered and combined to give the reader a sense of time and place as well as a basic narrative of the event. The writings of Buckminster Fuller and excerpts from the poem about Fuller ‘The Praises’ by Charles Olson combine with anecdotes from Fuller’s class at Black Mountain by Elaine de Kooning. The text is placed along the bottom edge of the book in a subtle and sloping downward arc, echoing the shape of the supine dome that refuses to arc upward. The accordion book’s stiff leaves can be paged through as a codex or can stand upright and extend out fully and be viewed from both sides as the play of light and shadow interacts with the cut figures.