Cosmic Amens

New instalment in my ongoing TIME LIFE series. Produced for the ‘Where’s The Music?’ exhibition at TeToKa gallery in Kanda, Tokyo. Some background, some pictures detailing the construction of this piece & some lessons learned for the next one…


Earlier this year while in Tokyo I was invited to submit work for this show. I forgot about it, when I got reminded the deadline was a week away, so I declined the spot. I didn’t have the time to source the materials for what I had originally planned. Next day I found the book shown below at the flea market, and got word that the deadline had been extended by 3 weeks. New plan!


Pure coincidence that this book, ‘Kosmische Raadselen’ (Cosmic Riddles), happened to be part of the TIME LIFE series I’ve used for collages before, so that fit. Also I could get AMENS out of the title, which for certain genres really answers a large part of the question ‘Where’s the Music?’.


A 4×4 grid was decided on, that would form the background for the 4:4 drum pattern of the Amen break visualisation. First test was a uniformly styled background…


…it was too boring. Needed to add in more pattern & texture. Cut enough background tiles to make 3 of these posters…


Having chosen the background tiles, the planned top layer is laid out with quickly cut test tabs to make sure nothing crucial is being blocked out and/or needs to be moved before glueing it down.


The tabs for the top layer are cut from the liner pages of the book, which are made from a nice purple textured card-stock, overprinted with various space themed patterns & objects.


The type is cut from the Table of Contents pages, which are printed on a silver gradient backing. I can’t find a ‘C’ for the ‘Crash’ tab. Everything gets a bit Kray for a minute.


Made a ‘C’ from an ‘O’. It works, and we can ditch all the superfluous K’s. Now the drum-tab pattern is laid out for a last time with the type tabs all glued up.


It’s done!


And there’s the aftermath & tools used. Notes for the next collage project:

– I want to start using nice wood backing boards for these things. Foam board just looks kinda cheap.
– Never cutting background tiles to exact fitting size again. At least not without a machine. Next time I’ll be considering overlapping background tiles as part of the construction grid.
– Need to do some experiments with different glues, may have to work wetter.
– When working with glossy paper, especially black glossy backgrounds, WASH YOUR DOGGAMN HANDS.

Very happy with the scissors I picked up in Japan though. Can’t wait for a reason to do a more detailed piece. If you want to see it happening, it’ll happen first on the Instagrams.