Thursday, March 09, 2006

 
This blog is being set up for the discussion and documentation of the Round Robin Altered Book project being done by MysticSpiral, NoDuplicates, exboyfriend, redandgreenbutterfly, ElenaMary, and allyouneedislove for the Etsy CoProduction Contest.

The title of the blog and the url, were inspired by a quirk of the Etsy chat feature. In an effort to keep the tone of conversation in the chat rooms as family friendly as possible, the creators decided to code the chat room to substitute other words for common swear words. Unfortunately, the system substitutes "fantastic" for the letters "A" "S" "S" at the beginning of any word. This can be either humerous or annoying and was actually both during our chat discussion of how to produce a group collage assemblage.

So, here are the details of the project as I understood them from the conversation:
  1. The six people named above are working together to produce an altered book with the unifying theme of "Women."
  2. The book will be arranged in a more or less chronological fashion, like a timeline or a history of women.
  3. Each participant will produce a minimum of 2 spreads that are 2 pages each.
  4. If time permits, a participant may create up to 5 spreads. (Anything more is completely unrealistic in the time available.)
  5. All participants in the project will have access to this blog and be able to contribute and update. Photos or scans of the page spreads in progress, as well as images of the finished pages, will allow everyone involved in the project to see how it is developing.
  6. The finished book will be mailed to NoDuplicates who will list it for sale in her Etsy shop.
  7. The deadline to enter the competition is April 20th 2006. The book must reach NoDuplicates no later than April 15th to allow her to complete her page spreads and take photos for the listing.
  8. The URL for this blog will be included in the final Etsy Listing so that buyers can learn more about the processes used, the inspiration for the individual spreads, and the artists who created this unique work.
  9. The proceeds from the sale will be donated to the fundraising effort to rebuild the New Orleans Public Library system.
Open questions, which will need be resolved as soon as possible (either in the comments here or via conversations on Etsy):
I'm sure that there were other questions, I can either edit this or we can add them to the comments. I should finish the template changes and notify everyone of the Blog URL so that we can all start to participate.

Comments:
Hello all
I prefer to do an era but I am fine with either option
 
I can see advantages and disadvantages to both assigned eras and working throughout the book.

If we arrange the book chronologically and then assign eras, everyone's work will be in a distinct block.

If we don't assign eras, then a single artist might decide to do a spread on cleopatra, and one on 1950s housewives. The next artist might build on the Egyptian theme by doing an adjacent spread on Nefertiti or maybe on Egyptian goddesses. Yet another artist might do a Rosie the Riveter spread just before the 1950s housewife spread to contrast the two different roles.

It's probably more representative of my own biases but I really like the way that different artists work interact in that type of book. At the same time, I know that some people find it disjointed and prefer to see each artist's work as a unified presentation.
 
I think this is the right way to go. I think that working in more than one area might be confusing, but then again, we all may want input into a variety of eras. It might be hard to keep the content cohesive, but not sure. Please comment on this, everyone.
 
I like your idea Andi, but wonder if I might end up having to add a whole lot of pages to fill any gaps that might occur if each person randomly enters work in various spots throughout the book. Elena has asked me how many pages she can use, and if she can glue some together for more support for images attached, etc. I told her there are over 500 pages, so that yes, many can be glued together, and it will not affect the rest of the artists. I just did a little math, and each of the six of us will have 84 pages that we may "play" with. So if you want to glue 50 together to make a cutout window, there would be plenty more to work with...just an example.
 
Howdy! Just seein' if I can get in here...
Diana
 
If this project is going to be in chronological order (timeline) then would certain people have to do certain things? I live on the east coast, so I assume I would be near the end-meaning I would have to do something recent. I like to get into what I'm creating, and I just couldnt get into Rosie or Ellen, its just not my style. Is there some way we can move things around or something, so it could still go chronologically yet each person could do something that really interests them? (If this has already been resolved, let me know-its early!)

oh, and this is my blog name-I just signed up two seconds ago!
 
AYNIL's concerns about not being able to really connect with a specific era is part of the reason that I'm not really inclined toward assigned eras. I'm an issues kinda girl, and I can probably find issues in any era that I can work with, but sometimes it's harder to find inspiration than others.

The last round robin that I did, each artist worked on several pages which were randomly scattered through the book. There is actually no reason why we have to completely obscure every page of the original book. Some pages can be torn out. Others can be painted over with faux finishes without actually designing a complete page spread. Still others can be left with the original text to put the alterations into a context.

When you alter a book in this way, you get a book that gradually reveals itself as the viewer turns the pages. One artist's work contrasts with another. The end result is more collaborative and interactive rather than episodic or an anthology of alterations.

Well, I'm on the road. I wish the timing of all of this were a bit better. I'd love to be in a position to divide myself in half and leave half at home to prepare for my upcoming shows and keep up with email, etc. Right now, however, I think my husband and I need this time away from home and the baby will really enjoy her time on the beach.
 
Testing to see if I get in before I type another message...
 
I love the idea of interacting with different artists in the book and exploring different aspects and views of the eras. One issue with this though is that the earlier participants would be at a disadvantage because they'd have less to react to than the later participants. A way around that could be allowing people to do tip-ins as the book progresses if they are inspired to add another page to an era as a results of seeing the pages posted at the site. I think it would be really exciting to watch and also it would add more pages to the book without pressing people for time. We'd all do our 2 spreads while we have the book and then could feel free to add more later as it evolves in its travels across the country.
 
Just thought I would try this again before I gave up entirely.
 
I'll be durned, it worked. I'd been using the wrong name and password...heh, heh. Ok, now that I know where I went wrong, I won't have to rely on email...TTL...this time I'll write down the correct one. I'll be on today after noon sometime. We can think about the specific areas we want to do the majority of our creating in, and the ones we might add to through the journey.
 
Good Morning, all!!! This is really getting to be an exciting project! I'm thinking that sometime soon we should start discussing how and when and what we want to do with the cover. That way if we decide to have everyone work on it, Mary Elena will be able to add her part since she is getting it in a few days. Also, we don't want to leave any extra loose ends for Judith to have to deal with at the end.
 
Everyone...check your Convos on Etsy...left some size and cover info there for you. Still missing a couple of addresses, et al...As you can see, I can access this, so leave feedback here or there..whichever is easier for you.
 
The book arrived from Elena today! I've already started working in it - a 50s page drying right now. I was going to use photocopies of pictures from 50s women's magazines, but I couldn't wait to get started. So I ended up just cutting them out of the magazines and using the original (if you can call them that) magazine pages. I'll show you all what I've done if someone tells me how to upload pictures here or points me in the direction of some instructions.
BTW, Elena, your pages are AWESOME! I thought I'd best leave it up to you to say more about them to the group.
Now let's see if I remember my password so I can post this...
 
So glad you received the book. Can't wait to see what you've created. I'm afraid I had to forward Elena's pics to Andi, so she could upload them. I don't have a clue how to do it either :> So maybe you can go that route also. I hate to put it all on her shoulders, but I'm not all that familiar with this site either.
 
Thanks, Judith. That's what I finally decided I'd do. I'm finally figuring out that she may be the only one who can post messages and upload pictures here since she is the one who started this blog. I guess this thread here will be where we post the comings and goings of the book? I've completed 3 spreads and I'm thinking of putting the finishing touches on them tomarrow and mailing tomarrow or Thursday. I may do some tipins later, but I like keeping the book ahead of schedule. I found a stand which made do if we don't find anything better. You'll get a look at it when I take my pictures. The problem with it is that it's kind of snug when holding the book when it's open at the front or near the back where one side is almost the whole thickness of the book and you have to be very careful not to let the prong scratch the page. maybe we could figure out a good way to pad it though.
 
Glad to hear you're coming right along. I may get it sooner than I thought..oooohhh got to do some plannin'.. Do you have Andis' address? If not, I do, just email me and I'll send it on to you. I haven't really looked yet for a stand, so when I go to Walmarts tomorrow I'll give a look. There's also a Linen's and Things in the same plaza, so maybe they would have something. Have no idea what it would cost, altho I did see some online for less than $10, and they looked pretty good in the pics. I know I bookmarked them, so if I find them I'll forward the link to everyone.
 
Thanks, Judith. Yes, I have Andi's address. I'll work on my stand, too. I just thought of trying to pull the prongs out a little with pliers - don't know why I didn't think of that before! Too simple, I guess. I'll try to get some pics to you later so you can see what I'm talking about. Looking forward to seeing what you find, too,
Diana
 
I certainly don't mind posting stuff for everyone. There may be a slight delay because the baby has been really high needs and I haven't gotten much computer time recently. Since you're both able to comment under your own accounts, rather than anonymously, it should be possible for you both to post new entries. Try going to Blogger.com and entering your account information just like you would to comment. That should take you to your "Blogger Dashboard" and you should see a listing for FantasticEmblage with a plus sign and a gear next to it. The gear is for changing settings, you probably don't need to worry about that. The plus sign is for a new entry. It's a lot like using webmail (yahoo, gmail, etc). I recommend using the compose mode.
 
Thanks, Andi, I just tried that. The link takes me directly to the dashboard but I don't see a listing for FantasticEmblage there. It looks like the only things available there (to me) are a button to start my own blog and links to edit my profile. It already has me signed in under my user id.
 
Diana...go back to the dashboard, and click the edit profile. If you scroll down a bit it tells you how to post a pic or pics to a blog. looks like it's pretty easy. good luck.
 
Thanks, Judith! ....now if I could just find the post edit toolbar...
 
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