by Emily McVarish
Quickstead is about temporary space-making in cities.
It notes the decline of planning and permanence in public space and commercial enterprise and celebrates the relative spontaneity and low impact of pop-up stores, parking space “parklets,” and twitter-swarmed food trucks.
The urban cyclist is the mascot of Quickstead’s sense of possibility.
(While the switch from brick and mortar establishment to pop-up opportunism may be seen as an evacuation of social value, and parklets may express a loss of confidence in the grand vision of experts, the shift from car to bike puts a positive spin on the notion of downgrade.)
Quickstead attends to the material consequences of market abstractions.
It looks at what grows back among the ravages of a boom and bust cycle: lightweight, adaptive, nomadic ventures that incorporate the very sort of precipitating networks that have fueled the play of financial markets and gutted the premises on which these ventures perch.
Quickstead’s texts adjoin the grammars of other graphic elements. Over-turned spacers score a street-swath that scrolls from spread to spread. These same units form a dark store-block that sits on the verso, losing its solidity bit by bit. Punctuation coalesces in shifty clouds, bursts from the gutter, and drifts across page-regions, marking events and trends, origins and diffusions. Two-tone cyclists begin as centerfolds, vary in color, grow in number, and claim the book’s last section as their own.
Written, designed, hand-set, and printed letterpress by Emily McVarish. Bound in cloth over boards by John DeMerritt. Signed. 10 hors commerce, 35 for sale.