by Timothy C. Ely
"Begun on Halloween 2008 and completed in February 2009, Tabulation was generated while observing the electoral process during the Obama–McCain presidential race. Rarely am I moved by political pressures, but on this occasion I volunteered to observe the ballot tabulation process. I always carry a sketchbook and, as I was observing, I noted how many mathematical terms and statistical methods were used to tabulate the election results.
Tabulation showed up as a delicious concept for the management of idea and inspiration, and did not seem to be a flaw in the occidental paradigm. I approached the static grid with a notion toward variance of meaning—asking, again, what could this visual code mean to someone outside of the culture?
My mood that day was buoyant but the visual impulse was toward a black data submerged in an inky darkness. I wanted to place a strata of information and diagram below a surface, such that a reveal could be achieved through a removal and application of paint, hinting at an intellectual palimpsest.
With images dissected from a previous series of prints, I created this palimpsest. Strictly defined, this meant working over or into a prepared leaf of vellum, usually scraped to remove all trace of the original manuscript. Once clear of all, a new re-visioning takes place. Historically, an out-of-favor text was scraped away and replaced with something more in keeping with current taste.
I isolated the original images with a barrier of transparent paint and began to layer black ink and paste over the images. There was some removal of the previous images, not for reasons of censorship but so as to allow for the creation and extension of a new equation. Over this refined inspiration and discovery was drawn the new Tabulation.
The binding is a novel and exciting variant on the drum leaf structure. I have not seen its like before. The folios were made up in the usual way after scanning for other digressions. These were then drummed into pairs and each pair was given a spine wrap of leather. When gathered and fully drummed the result was beautiful and inspiring, giving rise to other directions with regard to bookbinding."
Timothy C. Ely