This is a unique copy of The Merle, an artist’s book prototype I made as part of a grant proposal I submitted earlier this year to a museum. If accepted, it would be produced in an edition of 125 copies.
On 1/1/11, two exuberant clouds of energy met in mid-air. Both the fireworks and the blackbirds fizzled to the ground. This book intends to memorialize the bygone merle (which is the collective noun for blackbirds), and to serve as a reminder that our actions have consequences.
The Merle consists of my drawing of a flock of red-winged blackbirds, which folds out into a 3-part screen that opens to 12″ x 27″. Accompanying the drawing is a reproduction of an AP news story describing the event. The marbled endpapers depict the story as well: fire or synaptic explosions on the left, smoky night sky on the right.
An aside: I have long wanted to make an artist’s book about collective nouns for animals, but after reading James Lipton’s An Exaltation of Larks, I felt the world had what it needed. Highly recommended reading for word-, animal-, and oddity-lovers.
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