Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Mesmer : secrets of the human frame

  • Object:

    Artist's book

  • Place of origin:

    New York (City) (published)

  • Date:

    1993 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dove, Toni (artist)
    Granary Books (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    "The book was designed by Toni Dove. Tom Zummer was design consultant for type which was set on a Macintosh computer in Avenir, New Baskerville, Bembo, Peignot Demi, and Trajan with J.J. Gifford ... The printing was done by Lori Spencer at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, on a Heidelberg Press. The paper is Warren's Lustro Dull and U.V. ultra. The binding was designed and engineered by Daniel Kelm and produced by the staff at The Wide Awake Garage." - Colophon.

  • Museum number:

    38041994106094

  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library

This book is based on an electronic media installation by Toni Dove which investigated the human form within an historical and psychoanalytical context. Inspired by the work of hypnotist Anton Mesmer along with a range of texts including those by Sigmund Freud and French symbolist Villiers de L'Isle Adam, Dove explores the way the spiritual and the technical were drawn together during the nineteenth century as progressions were made in science, psychology and technology. Dove uses imagery that evokes X-rays, cinema and the gothic novel to create figures which are part human, part mechanical, part mystical. The book is bound between boards of punched metal with jewel-like iridescent paper glittering through the holes creating the effect of something that's both machine-like and precious at the same time. Inside, text and images are printed in different shades of metallic ink with layers of transparent and opaque papers creating a densely visual effect, mirroring the multitude of interweaving ideas that the book explores.

"Mesmer ... is a 'philosophical toy' which makes reference to those machines which were the precursors of cinema and to the gothic novel, a genre which helped give this piece its form ... Our relationship to the machine and to ourselves is inscribed in the images we create of automatons, androids, robots and cyborgs. I have come to think of this project itself as an android or robot" -- Artist's statement p. [4].

"... first mounted as a computerized slide and sound installation in the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage in 1990 ... It was presented as a radio piece in the 1991 New American radio series and as an essay in the summer of 1992 edition of the N.Y.U. drama journal."-- Colophon.

Texts by Freud, Villiers de l'Isle-Adam and others.

Physical description

Artist's book printed in different shades of metallic ink, using both transparent and opaque papers, creating a multi-layered and dense visual effect. It has a three dimensional centrefold pop-up.

Bound between perforated metal boards with hinged spine . The pattern of holes punched in the metal reveals a screen mesh and the iridiscent plastic fly leaf below ; issued in a silver painted slipcase covered with silver leaf.

Limited edition of 60 copies, 10 hors commerce, 50 for sale. Library's copy is no. 25 and is signed by the artist.

64 pages.

Place of Origin

New York (City) (published)

Date

1993 (published)

Artist/maker

Dove, Toni (artist)
Granary Books (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

"The book was designed by Toni Dove. Tom Zummer was design consultant for type which was set on a Macintosh computer in Avenir, New Baskerville, Bembo, Peignot Demi, and Trajan with J.J. Gifford ... The printing was done by Lori Spencer at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, on a Heidelberg Press. The paper is Warren's Lustro Dull and U.V. ultra. The binding was designed and engineered by Daniel Kelm and produced by the staff at The Wide Awake Garage." - Colophon.

Dimensions

Height: 28 cm, Width: 20 cm

Descriptive line

Artist's book, 'Mesmer: secrets of the human frame', by Toni Dove, New York, 1993

Categories

Books; Artists' Books; National Art Library

Collection

National Art Library

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.