Item Details

Earth [Artist Book/Altered Book].

San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1982/2023. Third Edition/Limited Edition. Hardcover. Drawings by Delano Savage (made with carbon powder) and Corinna Press, reproduced as archival inkjet prints. Book alteration and text by Sara Press.

"Originally a geology textbook co-authored in the 1970’s by President Carter’s science advisor Frank Press, this altered book edition situates climate change and mass extinction in both short- and long-term context. The fore-edge, sculpted and painted as sedimentary rock layers, opens in six places to reveal a history of biodiversity’s waning and waxing on Earth, as recorded by the fossil record.
The altered book’s introduction begins with a memo (letterpress printed for this edition using carbon paper from Frank Press’ desk), in which Press alerts Carter to the possibility that CO2 in the atmosphere might become a problem for humanity. We then look at this moment (12,000 years into the Holocene Epoch) in context. On the human scale, it was an important missed opportunity to slow climate change; but from a geological perspective, how significant was it? Can we affect the length of a geological era or the nature of its usually cataclysmic end? Does human life matter anyway? These questions and other existential dilemmas are addressed in the introduction with the bland confidence of a science textbook.
The reader then parts the layers of “rock” to learn about the present-day Holocene mass extinction and other major mass extinctions memorialized in the strata beneath us, what caused them, and what evolved afterwards. The deepest layer is a bittersweet epilogue: creatures from the ancient Cambrian radiation remind us that re-diversification is cyclical and inevitable: life in its many varieties will spring up in even from the most inhospitable conditions."

At once global and unusually personal, it is an elegant bit of work. Near Fine. Added leaves, textblock torn and colored, illustrations tipped in, endpages altered, else tight, bright, and unmarred. Tan cloth boards; with custom charcoal buckram clamshell box. No dj, as issued. 4to. 613 pp. including index. Numbered, limited edition of 23pp, signed by the artist. Item #11348

Price: $3,200.00