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for the trees


for the trees is a collaborative risograph book experiment based on a series of drawings by Sarah Davidson. The publication was developed with Erica Wilk, who uses her Risograph publishing studio Moniker Press as a platform for artistic collaboration. The book also includes a text by Brynn McNab, written in response to the art.

Using only four risograph colours and coloured paper, for the trees utilizes colour layering techniques to create continuity with the original work and essay throughout the book.

for the trees
Drawings—Sarah Davidson
Book Design—Erica Wilk

you can’t see the forest
Essay—Brynn McNab

Risograph printed & published by Moniker Press
Perfect bound with fabric book tape binding.
52 pages—Edition of 150
Vancouver, BC—2017

*Book includes pull out poster!

Product Description

Preservation is a word oft associated with environmental activism. However, its implementation is a distinctly “cultural” phenomenon, not a natural one. Namely, it is one of human beings, and their technologies. Preservation brings along with it a whole host of other activities. The verb implies an external process to occur in order to accomplish its goal. You have pickling, salting, fermenting, cataloguing, copying, categorizing, languaging, embalming. In reality, ruin itself is a much needed process in the activity of sustainment of diverse life. The transfer of heat from one system (biological, ecological, and, I would argue, visual, and ontological) is integral and the multiplicities of systems allows for a birth of organization in the transfer of this heat. Origin of Species by Darwin, and Kelvin’s laws of thermodynamics were published in the same decade. They both came on the tail end of the industrial revolution. Both theories were argued as paradoxical, and heretical, by the church. Both conceptually resist the possibility of a creative or intelligent design in the world. However, once you consider the closed system of thermodynamics as being one which encompasses you, the earth, the universe, this transfer of heat and its loss in the process – the movement of such energy – can still create a beautiful and complex diversity of ruin. —Brynn McNab



SARAH DAVIDSON’s practice investigates the appeal of the weak, delicate, and otherwise diminutive, by placing it in playful parallel to other ostensibly unrelated ideas. An ongoing interest in the fragment as symbol reflects an interest in medium as gendered and maps as they exist in lived time. Past fragmentary explorations have aligned historical craft—particularly the stitching of quilts—with depictions of landscape as background.

BRYNN MCNAB is a writer, facilitator, and curator who specializes in event-based and social practices, publishing, and co-authorship. Her most recent projects include Co-Writing Criticism (Vancouver, Montreal and Paris), a co-authorship workshop, and An Exact Vertigo (Vancouver), an iterative contemporary dance series. She managed Unit/Pitt Projects (Vancouver) from 2013-2015, and revived and became editor-in-chief of ISSUE Magazine (Vancouver) during that time. Her poetry, essays, and short stories have been published across Canada and internationally. She attended Nova Scotia College of Art and Design for filmmaking and photography, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University in Critical and Cultural Practices. Brynn McNab currently sits as Secretary of the Or Gallery (Vancouver) Board of Directors.