Three Oaks, MI: Sally Alatalo, 2018.
First printing. 27 pp., 7.75 x 11.75 inches. Sewn into printed wrappers. Illustrated in color throughout. Digitally printed in a small but unspecified edition. New. Item #4585
This prospectus examines plastic containers of the early twenty-first century that are commonly found in domestic environments of the North American Midwest—primarily those employed in the distribution of food, foodstuffs, beverages, personal care products and household cleaning products—to model various methods of collection, classification and organization.
Modeled on the concepts and techniques of nineteenth-century herbaria (and their modern extensions), Plasticarium Prospectus is both an artist’s book and a genuine proposal for a far-reaching project — if any adventurous trade publishers happen to be reading this, please take note — just as it is simultaneously dead serious and tongue-in-cheek.
Chapters are devoted to Classification, the Herbarium Specimen as Model, Digital Images as Specimens, and the Linguistic Topology of Intrinsic Labels, followed by Further Considerations and Notes, and a Selected Bibliography.
Copiously and meticulously illustrated in color throughout, the prospectus is sufficient in itself to serve as the guide to the development of a plasticarium, while encouraging further research and study.
Sally Alatalo is a writer, artist, and bookmaker who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For many years she published artist’s books by herself and others under the imprint of Sara Ranchhouse Publishing.
From the Introduction:
The material ubiquity of synthetic polymers, including their molecular integration into the earth’s bio-stream, can neither be halted nor denied. In an effort to more responsibly comprehend and live with plastics, Plasticarium Prospectus imagines repositories modeled on collection, classification and research strategies represented in museums, herbaria, libraries, online databases and other archives—a collection of specimens carefully preserved, photographed, labeled, and organized for study and reference. . .