Selected Durations by David Abel is simultaneously a poem and a score for performance that captures, analyzes, quantifies and archives time. The kinesthetic and material qualities of this artist’s book embed Abel’s text in multiple layers of meaning, requiring the reader to perform the experience of the passage of time, which ticks away with each turn of the page.
The publication of Selected Durations was prompted by the author’s performance of the piece in a BFA seminar in the Art Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, taught by Inge Bruggeman. Experiencing the pace and the compression of time in the reading led Bruggeman to propose that the text be editioned. Beginning with a prototype originally created by artist Katherine Kuehn, the Black Rock Press reimagined the work, bringing it to life in the hands of readers. Designed, printed and bound at the Black Rock Press, the book was published in the fall of 2017. Letterpress printed from photopolymer plates on Yupo Synthetic Paper and Neenah Touché.