Johanna Drucker's Artist Books
An online repository of facsimiles, metadata, and commentary

Damaged Nature / Salvage Culture


Project Statement

The overall project for which these books were editioned included a series of watercolors and other studies that were exhibited in Charlottesville, first at the Off-Grounds Gallery in December, 2005, and the second time at Les Yeux du Monde as part of the Compicit Codex! exhibit in August-September 2006. The books are meant to provide a catalogue of the smaller pieces from those exhibitions and also offer a text stating the premises that underlie the works. In many ways, these pieces and the publication continue a project that has been ongoing for several decades that addresses organic process and form through drawings and watercolors.

Production Narrative

The smaller watercolors from the series were put on the scanner. Files were produced in InDesign to add plate numbers and other texts. Prints were made on folded sheets, thus causing some mis-feed. Sheets were pulled into a single gathering and sewn into a Jacquonnette binding.

Critical Analysis

Design Features

typographic: Humanistic font (Caslon or Garamond) for the text. Clean and very straightforward in design

imagery: Watercolors from organic and inorganic matter.

graphical: Simple layout to create the sense of a nature album.

openings: Pages are printed on a single side only.

textual: Scientific in presentation and tone.

Critical Discussion

The book is an album, with an essay, "The Aesthetics of Decay" that outlines the principles that underlie the works. The book is about the ways in which deterioration and wear reveal structure and form, registering these as an aesthetic process.



Johanna Drucker

type: initiating


Publication Information

publisher: Druckwerk

production: 2005-00-00

publication history: Two editions of this were issued, one in summer 2005 and one in summer 2006, each to accompany exhibitions.

Aesthetic Profile

conceptual (AAT)

ecological Art (AAT)
artists' books (LCSH)

themes: The aesthetics of decay.

content form:
Exhibition catalogue

publication tradition:
catalogue (AAT)
artists' book (local)
album (local)
illustrated book (local)

inspiration: Natural objects and cultural decay.

related works: Experience of the Medium, Graphical Investigations, Events/Particles, and Subjective Meteorology

other influences: Nature drawings and the tradition of scientific illustration

Related Documents

manuscript type: texts

location: artist's archive

manuscript type: mockups

location: artist's archive

manuscript type: other

location: artist's archive

note: Paintings and drawings are in the artist's archive.


Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: Druckwerk

place: Charlottesville

production: 2005-00-00

edition size: 6 copies

note: This is the first of two editions, the second done in 2006 to accompany another exhibition.


horizontal: 9 inches closed

vertical: 12 3/4 inches closed

Production Information

production means:
digital inkjet (local) Epson RX 500

binding: case binding (AAT) Jacquonnette

bookBlock: paper Mohawk superfine

other materials: Silk


general description: The volume has the general look of a nature album, but without any hint of parody.

format: codex (AAT)

cover: Paste papers over boards, with a pattern that has the look of weathered suede, bound with black silk on the spine.

color: yes Inkjet


pagination: unpaginated 18

numbered?: numbered

signed?: signed


An edition of six copies (one archive, one artist's proof, three for sale, one for who) were produced for an exhibition at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in fall of 2005. The original watercoors were scanned and printed on an Epson Stylus RX 500. This project was produced at the hot end of summer in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Related Documents

manuscript type: texts

location: artist's archive


manuscript type: other

location: artist's archive watercolors

note: Framed, matted, and exhibited, some were sold or given away, but the drawings remain more or less in the archive.