One thousand cigarettes
This book has the remnants from fifty packages of cigarettes laminated into pages. All the foil, cellophane, match books, matches, tax stamps, butts or fag ends, and ashes are the text of this book. One thousand cigarettes is about addiction, and so is a story of psychology, genetics, and chemistry. The illustrations are not only figurative but also allusive, iconic representations from a wide spectrum of sources. The cigarette packs are from Italy, Germany, China, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, the USA, and France. The obsessive ordering of this compulsive activity's detritus is simultaneously fascinating and repellent. The investigation itself and the summery evidence are presented for the reader to make of what they will. The reader is confronted with the extremely intimate objects of addictive consumption (The stains of tannin and lipstick, the soft cotton padding that tongues tasted sweet hot smoke through) but in an intimate setting that is safe and protected- the book's sturdy Plexi-glass and binders cloth-hinged laminate signatures. The desired object has been consumed; and now all that remains are the fragile paper bones and feathers. "Chicken today, feathers tomorrow" indeed.
Thanks to Mark Wagner, Amy Mees and Jon Lill for smoking away to beat the band and saving their butts. Also see FILTER (2001)for more investigations into smoking.