Inge Bruggeman’s work revolves around the idea of the book—the book as object, artifact, and cultural icon. She is interested in the act of creative publishing and the diverse materials and approaches this has taken across cultures and across time.
She is particularly focused on the evolution of the book; publication arts in a post-digital age. The book continues to be an inherently interdisciplinary, interactive, and mixed media environment to explore—one that holds a powerful history of free speech, creative expression, and the democratic multiple at its heart. Bruggeman makes artist books, fine press publications, prints, and other text-based art that investigates our personal and collective relationship to the shifting role of the book, print media, and text in our world today. Inge has an avid interest in the history of the French livre d’artiste and the contemporary artist book in France.
The work in this exhibition revolves around the idea of language and text being different sorts of verbal deposits that get embedded in our bodies, minds, and environments over time. These descriptions of the world around us become hardened and calcified instead of staying fluid, organic, and expansive. Deposits is the second in a series of works called The Active Reading Series, it is a book that is meant to be read while ascending/descending a short ladder. It includes a sound element and is participatory in nature. Many of the books in this show are like artifacts in themselves — not only simply a cultural artifact but the object leftover from a lived experience.
The Quickest Forever is a limited-edition artist book with a cut-away on the spine that reveals the layers of pages like geological strata. This imagery is present throughout the exhibition and is no doubt influenced by her move from Portland, Oregon to Reno, Nevada over 4 years ago. On moving, she read John McPhee’s Basin and Range and William Fox’s The Void, The Grid, and the Sign which were influential to the work. For this project, Inge also studied the online archives at Amherst College of Orra White Hitchcock, one of America’s earliest female botanical and scientific illustrators. The Quickest Forever was influenced by a series of drawings on linen that O.W. Hitchcock did to illustrate her husband’s geology courses in the early 1800’s.