Two distinct activities are involved – one is the composition of the text – writing – the other is the production of text on the pages – I am the author of both.
Initially I produced three prototypes before deciding on making the eight books – I wrote simple silly dialogues and used a children’s printing kit to put the text on paper – searching a kind of integration of the text and the visual image of the text – when I had a fairly solid confidence in what I was doing I decided to make eight (why eight? – I don’t know) dialogues on different subjects – silly? trivial? subjects – they presented themselves quite spontaneously – loose and not too specific – I was inspired by bits of dialogues overheard on trains and cafés – poor conversation logic and no determinate information.
Once a theme was decided (e.g. SPACE chat) I made a drawing on a A4 paper placing the key word in the center – from there I improvised – adding words, phrases and graphic marks – discovering new connections and associations – when I ran out of ideas I used the drawing as a loose script for the composition of a dialogue – starting in my iPhone using Pages application – making print-outs for further editing – from there I composed the final script for the production of the pages in MS Word where I could set up tables to help position the text in the correct page order.
Next step: getting the text printed – or rather stamped – onto the cut strips of handmade paper that make up the textblock – words and lines are being composed of individual rubber types – assembled and fitted into small holders – then pressed to an ink pad – and next onto the pages – really nerve racking work assembling and disassembling the rubber types – upside down and mirrored – straining my eyes – I thought I was going to be clever and stamp a word/phrase that occurred in several places in one go – this lead to confusion and mistakes – best strategy was to focus on one strip of paper at a time – carefully checking and rechecking every move – spelling, correct page according to the script and the corresponding guiding template – exhausting – time consuming – the technique is somehow out of control – letters are jumping up and down on the baseline – spacing is crazy – placing the stamped letters on the page is a bit haphazardly – but that is the charm! – very far from the control and perfection of digital printing…