Card Catalogs and Electronic Books

Creative Work
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The Card Catalogs (1976-1981; first exhibited in 1978) are collections of text and images on 3x5 cards.  Each catalog is a tray of cards containing 50-200 cards structured  by dividers that key the cards using small pictures or word phrases.  Although they can be read sequentially, they were meant to be non-sequential works that combine words and pictures so that neither are the words descriptions of the pictures nor are the pictures illustrations of the words. For example, the Woodpile  consists of 165  nodes of photos drawings or text, keyed by small photos and drawings.  Each node stands by itself but also functions as a molecular unit that, when combined with  other cards, builds up a story. As opposed to a linear book where the reader focuses on the front cover and normally proceeds linearly from there, the reader approaching a card catalog like The Woodpile sees the top of the entire work and is encouraged to begin at any place.

The electromechanical books (begun in 1982) house narrative information in battery-operated "address books." They are read by pushing buttons on the front which causes a series of images and text mounted inside to revolve and to be displayed on a small screen. The buttons can be pushed either sequentially or at random. Some electronic books were created as scrolls where pushing a button advances the narrative.

The Card Catalogs and Electronic Books were exhibited Internationally including at  Artworks, Venice, CA; the Berkeley Art Center;  Franklin Furnace, NY;  the Houston Center for Photography;  the Cleveland Institute of Art;  U.C. Irvine Fine Arts Center;  Texas Women's University;  CameraWork, San Francisco; Selby Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design;  San Antonio Art Institute;  National Library of Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Eaton/Shoen Gallery, San Francisco;  University of Arizona Museum of Art; University of New Mexico Museum of Art; and the Walker Art Center,  among others.

The Card Catalogs and Electronic Books are documented in:
Judy Malloy, "Uncle Roger, an Online Narrabase" in Connectivity: Art and Interactive Telecommunications, edited by Roy Ascott and Carl E. Loeffler. Leonardo 24:2, 1991.  pp. 195-202

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Judy Malloy