Last year, one of my favourite artists, Daniel Eatock released a book, Earth Bound Sky Bound with the small Venice based publishing company Automatic Books. The publication is a selection of 52 landscape photographs with the horizon line hidden in the binding of the book.
Eatock says: “The photographs are not precious and special, they are just a set of snap shots that are unified by the horizontal line of the horizon. When I took the photographs I was happy and inspired in a cliche way, a took a snap shot of the view to mark the special moment. I did not take them as ‘beautiful photographs’ instead see them an amateur snap shots of ‘beautiful moments’. They have not been taken consciously in preparation for a project, unlike the other sets of photographs on my website. I only noticed them as a set by chance as I was sorting through my photo archive and wanted to unify them and work with them. Not highlighting any one picture or showing how beautiful they are but to deal with them in a semi rational way. Then I arrived at the idea of hiding the line of the horizon in the margins of a book. Hiding the point of interest.”
In some pages the obscured horizon line is imposed by the viewer, using the shadowed biding space as an assumed horizon line. In other pages, there is a noticeable jump of pictorial information between the two separate spaces of earth and sky within the image frame. We know that the horizon exists, but when this particular part of place is hidden in the folds of a glue binding, the infinitude of earth and sky becomes broken and separated. In such, the space is folded.
Eatock breaks one of the basic formatting rules of publishing by losing the page margins into the binding. But when the conventions of book formatting fall back in on themselves, an additional in-between space is created. The book then becomes a sculptural medium rather than simply an information receptacle. The physicality of the object is utilised as a constructed, collapsable space.