The Encyclopedia

1994, 72 x 72 in.
altered books

The Encyclopedia is a site-specific installation that was made during a semester as artist-in-residence at the University of Southern Maine. This six-foot square relief of a digitized hand was constructed through a methodical process of “reading” a 1960's 30 volume Encyclopedia Americana. The books were carved with hammer and chisel into a pattern of one inch squares to create a grid equivalent to the pixels in a scanned image of the artist's hand. Squares of text represent the white, or “off” pixels and picture squares represent the black, or “on” pixels. The carved books were mounted onto a framework and installed in the reference services and database searching department of the Portland Campus Library at USM.