the exchange

handing over:

  1. one rough draft A 5 size sketchbook
  2. one cut and paste book
  3. 2 A 6 centre pin stapled books with drawings and blank pages
  4. 1 dummy book a5 size ( printed on market photo copy machine
  5. loose sheets of paper with drawings printed A4 size

Received from participant:

1 scroll with print outs of the drawing pasted on them.

7 drawings shaped like a postcard with sweet smell of fevicol which a person could sniff all day all night long.

an artist book with a special cover done in photoshop and with a technique of over layering signifying that this book is about to be given to someone to overlay their pure thoughts into it. The book, unlike mine with one blank page in between in filled with drawing pages, drawing pages are where one can draw. we encounter four blank sheets at one go. They fill us with a rush of ideas, especially after sniffing fevicol from the postcards.

the book has some where printed, somewhere pasted drawings back to back, giving a feeling of putting hands in the river. As you do, you feel the river. we end with the last drawing of the pineapple and the vegan story associated with it. I dont know what to do, should i have a pineapple ?

the participant ends the sharing through loose sheets of the print outs which are on both sides of the paper, if folded. This means, a print out in landscape mode on the left and right side, giving complete freedom on both sides.

The questions written prior to the start of the meeting:

  1. The idea of the book, the artist book and the idea of the exchange. how messages were exchange on Instagram messages as to the problems we faced, the ideas we shared with each other and prepared our project, the books for the other to draw into or think of inserting drawing into, or to respond to those drawing, the idea of exchanging books.

When meeting started – 3 PM to 6 PM to single cup of coffee on 9th aug, 2021 written at 1 am with black tea and drowsiness after watching a violent Japanese samurai movie.

The Enriching moment:

  1. Upon seeing a cut out pasted in the book, I hear from the Participant, the Exchanger, the other – that do you see this as a line, an extension of the shape of the folder. My eyes start to fill up with fevicol tears. I am brimming with excitement and in the Bengali market cafe in Mandi house i throw my coffee cup in the air, rejoice and do the Cut out dance. The cut out can be folded, extended out breaking what i consider the boundary, contour of a book.

2. The scroll was a treat to see. it was the perfection of how the drawing print outs were pasted, that made me go banana crazy or any fruit crazy. the season is of the mango, so mango crazy. The participant mentioned the mastery over the craft of cutting and pasting material and that showed.

3. the conversation ranged from what technology meant to us, the printer and the endless nature of this exercise. It was not so much about what and how we will intervene into each others sketchbook but about how we reached to this form of the book. How the five selected drawings by the other were a struggle to put inside a book, and how both us tried to break free from this bonded thought.

I tried to share why i selected the five works. how each one spoke to me. The draftsman like quality in one work, to raising the question of what is an outline, to simply choosing a work which was a landscape in nature.

Also another crucial thing such interaction did for me, is to remind me what i wanted to do and for reasons I could not do. I wanted to take out a set of 5 artist books which had multiple blank pages and only 1 selected drawing in the book. This worked for me, as it allowed me to give the participant a book which can be filled, through 2 trigger points. one is the drawing and the other the book format. Placing the drawing in the book is / was key. This is pending from my end. Perhaps in the next meeting scheduled in two weeks time I might do.

Morning thoughts post the meeting on 10th august

the meeting of two artists / participants revolved around what the book meant to them. What and how they diverted from the typical idea of a book and how they tried to open up to the idea of sharing their book for the other person. It was not an easy task. This book needs to be given to the other person, who in the first place has selected the drawings which should be part of the book.

One thing which excited the participant was the freedom that they could do anything in the other persons artist book. ANY ALTERATION WAS ALLOWED. you could destroy, tear, join, glue, paste, change anything. Complete freedom.

by the time the three hours were ending, my back was almost gone. facing pain in lower back. my bladder was also filled. Luckily the CCD had a place to pee. I stood up after three hours to straighten my back which was dead by now. I could smell the fresh coffee through the gap of my teeth. I had drunk the coffee but the smell of it was still in my mouth. I looked back at our table and saw the scroll tucked between two tape rolls. This was safety mechanism. in CCD they did not kick us out over sitting for 3 hours with empty cups of coffee. This was a good sign.

The postcard like thick drawings were placed against the wall as they had leaped out of the sketchbook and even the artist book into deep space. they could be in the air. I started crying with coffee joy. Caffine came out of my aging eyes.

the participant was a model participant belonging to a town which is a model of all towns. CCD was mid way. 22 km for both of us. we were 43 km apart since birth since i was also born in model town. in the seventees there was flood and our house was flooded. in her case, she had not taken birth. Who knew both of them, residents of model town would meet to discuss the pros and cons of Drawing. Drawing as a medium which existed long before their births. Did Drawing ever had its birthday, i would not know.

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