Dorothy A. Yule, “Memories of Science”


View of the open accordion (extends to about 65 inches long)


Detail view of Astronomy pop-up


Detail view of Magnets & the Electric Motor pop-up


Detail view of Chemistry rotating wheel pop-up


View of book in its box with mini-CD


Artist: Dorothy A. Yule (Oakland, CA)

Title: Memories of Science (2012)

Medium/technique(s): Letterpress on Mohawk Superfine, silk thread, brass charms, embroidery on felt; pop-ups

Edition size: 50

Number of pages: 46

Dimensions, open: 2.75″ x 6.75″ x .75″ (can extend to 65″)

Dimensions, closed: 2.75″ x 2.8″ x 1.625″ (in box: 4.05 x 4.05 x 3″)


Artist statement:

Science fascinated me when I was young — I wanted to understand how the universe worked, what made things tick, where everything came from. I also enjoyed making things, especially books and small toys. In science I lost the academic thread somewhere between physics and calculus, but I sublimated my scientific desires into the making of artists books.

This book, which I originally wrote in 1996, recalls in verse my experiences as a young scientist: the early lure of bugs, the shining world of astronomy, experiments in magnetism and the electric motor, the explosive potential of chemistry, and biology with its seductive taxonomy. The text alternates in folds of the accordion structure with pop-ups which illustrate my memories.

I find a strong relationship between the structure of rhyming verse and the architecture of pop-ups, each supporting the ideas of the narrative in a system of formal expression and engineering. The verse inspired a secondary audio text in the form of song: the text of the book set to music by Doug Yule and included as an MP3 file on a mini-CD.

The small scale of this book necessitates a close encounter — holding the book in the hand, turning the pages and watching the motion of the pop-ups as they rise from the page — and hopefully creates a personal theatrical experience.