Obviously nobody expects to discover anything

Books and installations made for the FACTION Exhibition Obviously nobody expects to discover anything at Foyles Gallery, London July 2001.
The three founder members of FACTION respond to The Library of Babel, a chapter in the book Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges.

Mere Formalist Games: a proportional analysis of The Library of Babel (2001) First edition of 25.
Wire-bound codex. Letterpress, relief printing and blind embossing on Zercall paper.
A sequence of typographical puzzles generated by counting and sorting the words and letters in an English translation of The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges.
Exhibited: Foyle’s Gallery London 2001, Arnolfini Bristol 2006.
Collections: The National Art Library at V&A, Tate Britain, The British Library.

Mere Formalist Games
Mere Formalist Games

Mere Formalist Games (2012) Second edition of 50.
The second edition combines letterpress and digital printing and has a new explanatory key.
Collections: Stanford University Green Library, University of Utah Fine Arts Library.
Mere Formalist Games second edition
Mere Formalist Games second edition

Text Machine (2001) Edition of 5.
Book-like device with rotating discs and blank pages for recording generated sentences.
One copy includes hand-written sentences generated at Foyle’s Gallery 2001.
A combinatorial analysis of the first words in the text The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges.
Exhibited: Foyle’s Gallery London 2001, UWE 2006, Arnolfini Bristol 2006.

Text Machine
Text Machine

Smear Test (2001) Installation and Edition of 15 paper cromatographs.
Borges speaks of ‘organic letters’.
The letters have been scratched from a page of The Library of Babel and the ink subjected to chromatographic analysis in an absurd pursuit of meaning.
Smear Test
Smear Test

Breakdown: a demonstration of the fallacy of the true catalogue. One off paper model.
Exhibited: Foyle’s Gallery London 2001,
Collections: Neil Crawford Collection

Demonstration of the Fallacy of the True Library
Demonstration of the Fallacy of the True Library