Make: A Graphic Poetic Sequence (Excerpt)

Heeding the wisdom of poet Adrienne Rich’s comment “The notes for the poem are the only poem,” Make depicts the enigmatic, grinding, flighty, scary, fun, musical and atonal reality of “the page under the page” or a creative process at work. Its tools—secret motifs—whispers—shouts—crowds of influences—vexing repetitions and banalities. Here the means is the end.

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Notes on Ben Miller’s Method: The project commenced with the etching of a detailed visual plan prior to the typing of the text. It responded to simple yet deep questions: If the book were a clock, what would the inner workings be—the parts the audience usually never sees? And exactly how would intimate elements of process fit together under the face of a “finalized” expression to make it tick? The black ink images filled 35 pages of white 8 ½ by 11 paper. These pages were then enlarged by 129% to cover 11 by 17 sheets of heavy card stock, and populated with text. I think of the book as consisting of “spreads” not pages, and each “spread” is accompanied by a short set of notes located at the end of the work. The book is designed not only to be read, but also to be seen (and communicated with) from afar—the spreads resembling the altering surface of a river, as well as animal fur impacted by harsh weather.



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