The Bunny Book


The Rabbit Book (The Bunny Book)

PDF flipbook made from open source images made available from the web. 
Book length is 37 pages (including front cover)


Vaughn Whitney Garland

View Flipbook


Do all things need to be documented in order to have a place in the world? Or, more specifically, must a visual object be documented visually, whether through physical means or digital? Since I do not consider this project as an object, how can I justify its need for documentation?  If fact, what I think is the essential documentation is the discourse that might be created by people encountering the object, not the object itself.  Like Tino Shegal’s recent Guggenheim NY exhibition where there is no tangible object nor document, what is left is the conversation, the experience.  I am increasingly interested in this idea, the relationship between an object and the documentation of that object.  How may one discuss what is not there?  What is left is the abstract thought.  What we do not have is the object that plays the role of vessel.  Does that make the project invalid? 

Given the history of books as printed objects, my project also references concepts of reproduction and originality. This digital book was created entirely using “fair use” or open source images. Conducting Google searches and “appropriating” information from online sources is common, so questions of origin and author are still viable subjects of inquiry.  Is my project solely mine, or does it belong to every person who contributed open source images that I appropriated?  These are questions still left to be explored.

Over the past several months, in order to develop a conversation, I started a project that would focus interpretation of an art object on a discussion about that object, as opposed to a critique of the object itself.  My hope was to engage students in a Media, Art, and Text Lab course by starting a debate about how to classify a visual work of art that would only be documented as an aural discussion.  I chose to assemble images and text into a book format only visible on the computer.  Even though the book looks lifelike on the screen,  it will not exist in material/physical space.  The book will only be viewed through a computer program: as a PDF flipbook

The purpose of creating a book is two-fold.  First, my project calls attention to the significance the MATX program has placed on the concept of the book, and how the introduction of digital texts has redefined the book.  Secondly, the work comments on the reliance of the visual “look” or “feel” of a book:  even though this format is digital the book is not.  So, why is it that when we look at this grouping of images that mimics a book’s format, do we expect that it exists (or will eventually exist) as a physical object?

(Below is a letter sent to studio peers describing the second critique project.  I also included the Bunny Book PDF.)

View Flipbook

“Howdy,  this project (the pdf file attached below) is specifically intended to evoke questions related to contemporary uses of multimedia artwork.  With the project, I want to address multi-media platforms, their definitions and uses, and how they can be employed to make art.  Furthermore, I wish to start a dialogue about image “sourcing,’ a subject that has interested me over the past several years. I would also like to address the possibilities of image linking through the creative art process.
That said, I hope this critique will be less about the outcome of this specific project and more about the issues that it raises, including: clarifying the definitions of current multimedia movements and artforms; developing a dialogue about the myriad and eve-expanding options of presentation; and using image sources and platforms to explore various types of multimedia artforms. 

About my piece:
I have made a book!

Actually it is a digital image collection.
Over the past several weeks I have worked nonstop on collecting information and images from open source databanks online.  Most of the images you will see during this work are taken directly from Wikipedia, or other open source databanks.  I have also used a small collection of my own images, and a percentage of images from online sources that encourage image use and have given the rights of each image.  Every image is constructed or manipulated in some way-- even down to the paper grain in some cases.   I am very interested in the way our brains collect information online and how the mode of collection depends upon hyper-textural stimuli.  The information sources that you see in the images are paths my own mind took while creating the image. I collected these images solely through Google searches and online databank searches.  In the exercise of collecting data the search for one image would then lead to another search, and then another, etc, until a page of the book was finished, according to my own aesthetic appraisal.  Each page maps my own image/information searches in a visual way. 
Furthermore, the uses of text is purely visual and stand as parts of the image and nothing more; text is part of the visual rebus that links one image to the next.  The most important aspect of this book is that it is purely ephemeral and not intended to by tangible; I do not want to print this book nor put it online to exist into perpetuity.  This is a work of art that I present to this class only and is NOT meant to be placed back onto the web. It serves as a catalyst for consideration and discussion. The format you see is exactly what I want for this project, nothing more.

Since I do not want this represented online after it is created I would like to know what you think I should do in order to document my project or even if a document is needed.  Would a document exist only to serve as evidence that this book existed? How would we define the documentation? Are there instances when I would need to put a document of this project online and what that document will look like?  Hopefully we can come to a conclusion of what this project is and how it might be handled but I ask that we do so by using the language already defined by the list of terms below.  If you would like to add more information to the list please feel free.  Hopefully we can all attribute to this discussion.

Vaughn Garland”

View Flipbook

The Remaining Conversation
The class conversation, held on the evening of April 22 2010, was documented through an audio recorder. After finding out that the conversation was recorded and meant to be uploaded to the internet, one student chose to decline participation and asked that the recording not be made open to the listening public.  To respect the wishes of the one participant, I made the decision to erase the audio record of the lab discussion.  Furthermore, due to the MATX lab conversation held on 4/29/2010 by the course instructor, who felt uncomfortable with the project's audio capture, I have now erased all students' written comments logged on the Course blackboard environment.  What is left of this project is this present document.

View Flipbook  

Back to Home

Back to Archives