excavating grid is a concept-based project that exists in two forms: an activity book and a projection. It is a collection of scanned images mined from the pages of existing art and architecture books gathered mostly from the library. Keeping the publication dates of these borrowed books in mind, the first page contains a scan of the most recently published book, and as the reader or viewer continues through, the publication dates go back in time. The white rectangular spaces that populate each page or projected image act to interrupt the reading of the scanned texts, a strategy that accentuates the structural qualities of both language and architecture. These pages/images form a layered and quotidian archaeology of architecture-based ephemera. The reader/viewer becomes a participant in the mental and perhaps physical excavation of the book/projection. Similar in concept with Italo Calvino’s collection of tales in “Invisible Cities” where imagined cities are described in metaphorical prose, excavating grid acts as both literary construction and constructed literature, and comments on the relational, participatory and historical aspects of the book format.
As an artist’s book, the participatory nature of excavating grid is outlined in the first pages of the book and is entirely up to the reader’s discretion. This requested participation, which is similar in concept to an activity or coloring book, is a pseudo-archaeological mechanism designed to explore the book as a site for historical, urban and archaeological excavation. As a projection or a series of projected images on a wall, excavating grid engages these same issues in a less tactile, even virtual exploration of the surrounding architectural space. As a conflation of two seemingly disparate media, excavating grid comment on the state of the book as a physical object and as a virtual image projected onto a wall or a computer screen.
Paul de Guzman, 2011