An author friend of mine Viccy Adams recently prevailed upon me to assist with a creative project at Hack the Barbican. The brief was to use (or ‘hack’) the Barbican’s spaces and facilities to create an installation, so our project book / jacket focused on ‘stealing’ overheard conversations and cctv-style snapshot images (both collected on site), which we then immediately printed out and sewed into little booklets. We hoped the books would be pocketed and slipped into coats and bags, and discovered again later, as a kind of voyeuristic record of a visit to the Barbican.
We wanted to make the booklets appealing and covetable, as well as maintaining an ad-hoc aesthetic in order to reflect their origins as collated material rather than created material. Using a Japanese-style stab sewn binding allowed us to produce these booklets quickly on-site with minimum equipment, whilst having creative input in choosing thread colours and different sewing patterns so each one could be unique. I think this made a really nice contrast between the impersonal ‘found’ images and text inside and the hand-sewn, crafted nature of the sewing. Viccy has written a post about the project too, which includes a very nice slideshow with all the images and text so I recommend having a look. We were also interviewed by Laura Davidson, who has explained in more detail Viccy’s inspiration and aims for the project.