THE MURDER OF CROWS
The Murder of Crows, the somber yet fascinating sound installation by the team of Canadian artists Janet Cardiff (*1957) and George Bures Miller (*1960), evokes semiconscious dream visions, ancient myths, and last but not least Goya’s etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, which shows birds swarming around the head of a sleeping man dreaming. Besides this work, the volume presents selected older projects by the two artists as well as an enlightening text by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, artistic director of dOCUMENTA(13). Rounding out this elaborately designed artist’s book are an extensive interview with the artists, detailed information about the recording and playback techniques they employ, a DVD and 3D reproductions, and astonishing ornithological and literary texts referring to the title work that illustrate humankind’s special relationship with crows.
I found the idea for the cover in a box full lovely target cards on the fleamarket in Brooklyn.
My inspiration for the design and the atmosphere of this book came from the artwork itself, and the song »The Carny« by Nick Cave, which also was very important for the artists.
The lyrics of Janet’s nightmares are printed in black on black transparent paper (Gmund Colors, 100g/qm).
Swarms of flying crows are shining through the thin paper.
I did a lot of research for the »scientific« crow and nightmare parts of the book and found amazing images, poems and stories.
There is a DVD with a documentary and the soundtrack of the installation within the book.
A great 3D part will bring the reader into the strange world of Kathmandu and into the inastallation at Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin.
For the typeface, I chose the medium and black wheights of my brand new FF Karbid Pro Slab. Its heavy serifs are reflecting the cowboy/western, but also circus and freak show world of The Carny.
My regards go Julika Zimmermann from the great team of the Hatje Cantz Berlin office, production and paper hero Christine Emter (Hatje Cantz Ostfildern), and to my dear friend Stepan Ueding who came up with so many great stories and historic resources about crows.
Hatje Cantz, 2011
112 pp., 86 ills., 59 in color, 24 ills. in 3 D
23.40 x 17.10 cm
hardcover, with DVD and 3 D glasses