by Norma Cole
Collective Memory originated in the context of the installation work by that name, created by Norma Cole at the California Historical Society in San Francisco. The text comprises several sections: "Prelude" is followed by "Speech Production: Themes and Variations" which is illustrated throughout with full-color photographs by Cole, presented here in the form of one inch sections resembling 35 mm contact sheet strips. This section is followed by "Collective Memory: History" which is illustrated with Cole's line drawings and provides insight into the poet's process of developing the installation.
Another section of text (9 x 1 3/4 inches), "House of Hope—in Memoriam, Montien Boonma 1953-2000" is separately bound into the covers at the bottom of the book in such a way that it runs parallel to the above noted text. "House of Hope" is composed 416 quotations—"notebook phrases"—from a wide range of artists, poets, filmmakers, philosophers, and other writers. It references and re-produces Cole's hanging sculpture of the same name, transformed into a new presentation for this book. Collective Memory is co-published by Granary Books, New York and the Poetry Center, San Francisco State University.
The book is designed by Emily McVarish and bound in buckram over boards by Coriander Reisbord. The letterpress portion is set in Bulmer and printed on Somerset Book by Philip Gallo at the Hermetic Press. Offset portions are set in Universe and printed on Mohawk Superfine and French Paper Company Construction. The edition comprises 48 copies, of which 12 are hors commerce and 36 are for sale.