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An answer is expected 3
An answer is expected 2
An answer is expected 1

Category Commended

2018

An answer is expected

STUDIO / DESIGNER

Peter Maybury

Peter Maybury

www.petermaybury.com

CATEGORY

Printed Book Design

Visual Communications

Design Challenge and Design Ideas

‘An answer is expected’ is a body of sculpture and video work by Susan MacWilliam that considers the historic and groundbreaking experimental ESP (extrasensory perception) work of parapsychologist Dr JB Rhine (1895-1980).
The task of the book was to make a translation of film in book format reproducing the complete transcript.
Rather than simply a print ‘version’ of the film, the book was understood as an extension of the film which through the unique possibilities of the book could offer a material experience that related both the temporal nature of the film and the depth of the research surrounding it.

How the brief was fulfilled

The book was made in close collaboration with the artist. Central to many experiments carried out in the Rhine laboratory at Duke University were hand movements and concealment. Cards are turned, apparatus is operated, screens mask things from view. Two archival images of hands – one face up, the other face down were used as a strutural element on alternating spreads throughout the book. Over these a white central galley area (which also resembles a paper document) both masks the image beneath and provides the stage for the text transcript and inset and overlaid images. Video stills from the film are combined with research documents and photographs, all of which spill in and out of the grid in accordance with the need for scale (legibility) of each specific image.The text includes not just the dialogue and spoken narrative from the film but textual information describing incidental sounds. This is given expression in clusters and overlays of type which break free of the single column of type on each page. On each side of the galley, notes indicate the date of each original audio recording and other relevant information. Although the imagery included in the book differs considerably from that in the book the page sequence precisely mirrors the films structure, pauses, with passages of repetition, flashing colours, or silence finding parallels in print. Following the transcript is a compendium of installation images of the sculptural works.

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