Casey Gardner and Nance O’Banion, “HereSay”

Book open, with ear/volvelle magnetically attached; and front, back, spine view


Detail with vertical truth-lie spectrum


Detail of the “who” volvelle.


Detail of the “why” volvelle.


Detail of the “what & when” volvelle.


Artist: Casey Gardner & Nance O’Banion (Berkeley, Canada)

Title: HereSay (2012)

Medium/technique(s): Letterpress, inkjet printing, color xerography

Edition size: 40

Dimensions, open: 13 x 27 x .5

Dimensions, closed: 13 x 9


Artist Statement:

This is a book for lovers of language and meaning and those who enjoy playing with words in space. A letterpress printed book featuring the diverse, interrelated readings of axiomatic volvelles, biaxial cartography & randomography*. This flexible notion of a book with its movable devices, graphical calculations, and swirling windows of chance offers self-propelled encounters with the variables of communication through language and interpretation. HereSay is about how we speak, how we hear, and how we locate ourselves along the dimensions of truth and lie.


The book opens to a Map. Where do we stand? How do we determine our perspective and how can our point of view influence our perception of truth or lie? The map is bordered with a biaxial spectrum of the oppositional points of truth and lie. The vertical (longitude) axis progresses incrementally through words moving from truth to half truth; the horizontal axis (latitude) spans terms ranging from half truth to lie. A reader can find meaning created where two words intersect on the map/graph, and how this illuminates subjectivity of truth, relative to one’s position and point of view. We rely on truth the guide us, but how do we locate where we stand?

Located at intersections of words, on the map, are a diverse selection of characteristics or personas that we may find ourselves assuming in our lives, such as: wanderer, evader or conjurer. These personas, located at points of confluence, illustrate how our protean sense of self can alter how we hear and speak along the spectrum of truth.
For instance, iconoclast is placed at the meeting point of inspire & pose, and is proximate to create & simulate.

The ear structure with the volvelles can be lifted off the map and taken in hand. Each disk is assigned content to reveal the changing aspects affecting how we hear and what we say. Turning the disks reveals relationships between the variables of who, what, how and why content, making the reader an instigator in the creation of meaning.
WHAT: The large disk at the bottom is the WHAT VOLVELLE; 360° of veracity: the window displays axioms, “truisms,” that can be wondered at in terms of their veracity. To the right is an observation of time and frequency, WHEN.
WHO: At the top, is the WHO VOLVELLE, exposing a series of images with various expressions interacting and reacting.
HOW: On the left is the HOW VOLVELLE, how do we feel and react? It addresses the vagaries of how we hear or construct our response: we are lost, we challenge, we guess.
WHY: In the middle is the WHY VOLVELLE; this offers an assortment of deeper, more visceral causes, or purposes that affect our interpretation of what we hear, such as duty, hope & fear.

Turning the volvelles offers the reader an opportunity to become a part of interpretive process of meaning by playing with eternal/circular changeability. The mutability of each element on the discs creates a new relationship of the variables. The reader, by revolving through the disks creates varying “pages” to be read.