Solace and Perpetuity, a life story

SOLACE AND PERPETUITY, A LIFE STORY, is a 2016 recipient of a New York State Foundation of the Arts Award.

It is  an algorithmically rendered partly fictionalized autobiography of an artist. As in a medieval Book of Hours, various genres of original writings are represented: diary entries, dreams, academic papers, fictive prose, poetry, plays, and video and installation scripts, and more.

The writings, as separate documents, were numbered and then fragmented into their indigenous paragraphs, which, in turn were sub-numbered. The paragraphs then were scrambled for each edition of one through an algorithm.

The algorithmic process provides a reader with a non-chronological life story where memories are being retrieved in an arbitrary order. Randomizing paragraphs for a kaleidoscopic reading removes linearity and chronology, as well as the ego of the “author.” Readings are created where character seeps through the text according to the particular “dis-order.” Themes are threads that weave in and out of each other at random. A sense of character is gleaned from elements exiled from their original contexts in order to render them as clusters of subtext.

Solace and Perpetuity, a life story was published in 2015 by Weil Press. There is a Collector’s Edition consisting of three copies of one edition:  The Hardcover book itself, and two “obscured” volumes, one is “mummified” and one with folded pages.  Ten versions in paperback and Kindle editions are available on Amazon as 10 different books entitled Solace and Perpetuity, a life story. Collecting all 10 constitutes a “set.”

Eight different editions of the Collectors Edition were exhibited at the Rutgers University Art Library though April 17, 2015.

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