Author/s: ORGANIK: K. Allerslev, L.J.Smith, M. Weber, C. K. Wilde
Binding: Coptic by C.K. Wilde
Dimensions: 12 X 10 inches
Media: aspiration, beet juice, drawing, graphite, hand cutting, inks, mono-printing, painting, pastel, pencils, tumeric, xylene ink transfer, etc.
With the first pages compiled in 1998, Vertebrae is a massive undertaking; a book that grew over the course of more than a decade, through many states, until its current incarnation as a deep ecology botanical book that passionately explores the phenomenon of plant and human co-evolution. Vertebrae is an intersection of human and plant form, structure, and function. Flowers are the sexual structures of plants, and here they are super-imposed, transposed, and interweaved with images of human sexuality. There are 250,000 species of flowering plant, and only one human species, and yet the variety inherent in each is endless and represented both by the actual plant materials (both natural and 'man'-ufactured) and the imagery layered in the pages of the book.
Different plant species are collaged together to create new parallel species, and juxtaposed on the page with amalgams of human organs. Inset on the inside back cover are a row of Datura stramonium seeds, often called Devil's trumpet because of the showy, trumpet-like white flowers and association with early American witchcraft. The seeds contain chemical constituents which are both poisonous and psychotropic, giving the user a sense of flying while teetering on the edge of toxicity and potential death.
This book can be read at Dartmouth.