This work consists of two parts. The book, ‘The Weapons Culture’ by physicist Ralph E Lapp published in 1968, utilised in this work traces the rise of weapons culture and its domination on American society. I employ the burnt book in my art practice in a transformation that exposes the materiality of the physical, organic form to engage in altered perceptions of the frame in which the book was set. The process of transformation involves pyrolysis which reduces the book to an almost pure carbon state which is ground as charcoal and stored in the reagent bottle. A portion of charcoal pigment from the book is crushed into a paste based ink to screenprint a summary of expenditure per capita that reveals the contrast between military expenditure and arts funding. This information was sourced via the internet from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and the American National Endowment for the Arts and is cited at the base of the print.
The work was submitted as part of a group show at the H D Skinner Annex, Otago Museum to support the Art + Design Symposium held at the Dunedin School of Art 16-17 October 2015
Showing alongside this work was a print collaboration, UGANDA, produced by Neil Emmerson and me.
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