by Jen Bervin
At first glance Jen Bervin's fourth project with Granary Books appears to be a collection of typewritten pattern poems. Though both conceptual artists and concrete poets have used the typewriter in this way, Draft Notation was inspired by the work of twentieth-century modernist, textile designer, weaver, writer, and printmaker, Anni Albers. Albers used the typewriter as a way to create new patterns for woven design; the studies were published in her book On Weaving, where she writes: "These varied experiments in articulation are to be understood not as an end in themselves but merely as a help to us in gaining new terms in the vocabulary of tactile language."
The title, Draft Notation, refers to the pre-weaving design diagrams a weaver creates or consults -- a kind of written score for a woven textile. The art of weaving dates back to 7000 BC and is one of the earliest grid forms. Bervin learned how to weave in order to find "new terms in the vocabulary of tactile language" on a typewriter. She made the typed studies in this edition following intensive time spent weaving advanced cloth structures on the loom and researching in the archives of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and the Ratti Textile Archive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Each copy comprises: 1) four pale green books with a total of fifty-seven typed studies reproduced in letterpress; 2) a numbered, unique typing on red board; 3) facsimiles of nine studies made on different typewriters; 4) a typed process note; and 5) a colophon all contained in a sailcloth-covered clamshell box.
Seventy-five copies signed and numbered by the artist.