Tag Archives: Charles Darwin

One Second of Time – A New Artists’ Book by Ginger Burrell

I am obsessed with earthquakes, or at least if you hear my husband tell it you would think so. I prefer to think of it as a healthy caution concerning a seemingly random natural event. Some of my earliest memories are of earthquakes – which makes sense since I’ve lived in California most of my life and, through some twist of fate, I’ve often been close to the epicenter.

When I am in a big warehouse store – Costco, Lowes, Home Depot – you know the kind with the miles of stock stacked above your head? – I think about earthquakes. When I walk across a parking structure – the kind that pancaked during the Northridge quake – I think about earthquakes. When I am on vacation – away from California – I think about earthquakes. Okay, perhaps I am a bit obsessed.

This book began as an expression of my hyperawareness. I created monoprints with jagged edges and a sense of motion and then combined them in Photoshop with found, public domain, images of earthquake damage. I then wrote poems to express my thoughts about earthquakes. 

One Second of Time, an accordion book, is irregularly folded so that from above it alludes to the seismogram. The poetry is also written and presented in seismograph form. The book is printed on Rives BFK with archival inkjet printing. The font is Chiller. The cover paper, meant to evoke layers of sedimentary earth, is Pirouette Marbled Paper in black, gold and silver. One Second of Time is an edition of 10.

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The title, One Second of Time, comes from a quote by Charles Darwin in 1839. “A bad earthquake at once destroys the oldest associations: the world, the very emblem of all that is solid, has moved beneath our feet like a crust over a fluid; one second of time has conveyed to the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would never have created.”

If you would like to look at larger versions of the photographs in the slideshow, you can click on these images, here:

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