A masterpiece of literature in which the narrative appears to describe the images, but the images are not what the narrative describes. This disconnection between image and text astonished me, and validated all the disconnections and gaps my work has used to create an invitation to others to participate in the signification of a work.
I was a fan of Jan Tschichold’s Asymmetric Typography. In this book the section of letters from Max Bill caught my attention. The anger Bill displays appeared to me to be indicative of a not unfamiliar rigidity among those who dismiss changes in the way a creative person makes his or her work because of preferring the values and forms embodied by that person’s previous ideas and ways of making.
Given that my parents and grandparents worked, it was very helpful to me to have the history and the root causes of the inequality between the sexes explained, in all the ways reading Betty Friedan’s revelations of suburban boredom did not.
The description of class in America, and the circumscription of ordinary people—particularly designers—caught in the middle between their public and their clients made an indelible impression on me in my teens.
I read this book preparing for a project I did about Boston’s West End, and came to understand how the stories of greedy people in positions of power have been used to dismiss and devalue the homes and lifestyle of mutual help in immigrant and working-poor communities.