Autonomy and Abstraction in Print, Finally

Speaking of delays: in an age of social media and hot takes, the printed book is a deliriously slow medium. I don’t think I’ve ever been involved with publishing projects so seemingly endless as the forthcoming (no, really!) Art and Autonomy reader and Objections, the first volume of my Forms of Abstraction project. They are currently being printed; in fact, Art and Autonomy has already been printed and bound by now, even though it’s not listed on the Afterall site and I haven’t seen a copy yet.

It was thanks to the tireless editorial efforts of Louis Hartnoll at Afterall and Zoë Harris at Sternberg we got there in the end. Both Louis and Zoë have the kind of patient precision that are indispensable in these kinds of project, and they go many an extra mile while knowing that their names won’t be on the cover—even though they deserve to be, as far as I’m concerned! For Objections, I was lucky enough to have Rogier Delfos take care of the design, and it looks as though I will finally be content with the visual and material realization of one of my books.

Given that the manuscript of Art and Autonomy was submitted in 2014, and the concept for Objections (drawing in part on older work) began to congeal not long after, I’m rather curious if and how these books will register in our ever-new normal. This may be an anachronistic quality of this medium: too slow to be up to date, the book can potentially become a theoretical intervention in the prison of the present.