Enviro-Art Books as Micro Ecologies

Abigail Doan | Studio
2 min readSep 10, 2019
Walking Libraries 2019 | micro realms + Opening a Book 2009 | Abigail Doan

The following notes are from curator, Jeffrey A. Lee, for the 2009 exhibition, Opening a Book at The LAND/an art site gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

My open format environmental materials book, Seasonal Shades (2009), was included in this group exhibition along with the following artists:

David Abel, Kathy Bruce, Basia Irland, Mary Ellen Long, Alastair Noble, Maria Rooks, Marilyn Stablein, Beata Wehr, and Margaret Whiting.

detail of Season Shades (2009) | environmental materials as an open book | Abigail Doan


THE BOOK is, then, the container of provocation.[1]

Consider a book as a sequence (of texts, images, objects, ideas) bound or otherwise contained so that it’s kept together and in order. The binding or container also preserves its contents.

The book for me should be without limits, like the desert, thus an exploded book… a desert form whose only limits are the four horizons.[2]

Consider the sequence of seasons, of growth and perpetuation, of metamorphosis, or any other natural sequence. What binds it together or contains it? What preserves it? What interrupts or disturbs it, and what are the consequences?

Books, like ecologies, are local systems. Like an ecosystem, any part removed from a book compromises the whole. Unlike an ecosystem, anything put into a book can belong there.

THE SPACE we love is unwilling to remain permanently enclosed. It deploys and appears to move elsewhere without difficulty…[3]

I know from my experience that books ultimately convey their own unspeakable language to the solitary reader.[4]

A book is a sequence of spaces.[5]

[1] Dick Higgins
[2] Edmond Jabès
[3] Gaston Bachelard
[4] Harry Reese
[5] Ulises Carrión


Links to other environmental (art) book projects/investigations of mine:

The LAND/an art site, retrospective catalogue (2011)

Azimuth: Writing on Walls (2012)

Winter to Spring Nomad Archive (2013)

#CorrespondenceCourse with Brece Honeycutt Norte Maar (2016)

Walking Libraries (2016–2019) | online archive



Abigail Doan | Studio

projects exploring the intersections of site-specific landscape phenomena, art lab/design methodologies, nature-based solutions, and cloth/textiles as metaphor