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Project Statement

by J. Drucker

Written as a protest, a statement of grim irony, in which the "line" of the then current administration (older Bush) was so evidently a hypocritical double speak that it seemed essential to make a piece that showed, not only stated, the contradictions of totality as simulation. I am not a "political" artist -- which is to say, I have little faith that works whose form or substance makes a direct address to the instrumental applications of power through extant administrative institutions will have any effect on changing these structures or the relations of persons of power in them. That said, I feel a distinct interest in chronicling, noting, apprehending, revealing the structures of rhetorical discourse through which these systems operate. Most effectively, they operate. And to see their operation in terms of the structures of symbolic order is an act of self-education and aesthetic challenge. I was working to understand the language of my times, as is often the case in my books, and this was one formulation of the ways in which a "line" can be produced as a reading/work.

The Current Line

Johanna Drucker


Johanna Drucker

type: initiating


born: United States
active: United States
citizenship: United States

birth: 1952-05-30

Woodland Pattern Book Center

type: other


location: 720 East Locust Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212

note: Woodland Pattern offered a small exhibition and reading, and this work was created for wall display. But they didn't have any role in the actual initiation of this project beyond providing that impulse. [J. Drucker]

Publication Information

publisher: Druckwerk

publication: 1996-00-00

Aesthetic Profile


artists' books (LCSH)

themes: The complete hypocrisy of public discourse, the "current line" of new speak. [J. Drucker]

content form:
prose (local)
experimental text (local)

publication tradition:
artists' book (local)
small press (local)

inspiration: News, the bible, and George Orwell. [J. Drucker]

related works: Deterring Discourse, and News. [J. Drucker]

Exhibition Information

exhibition history: Woodland Pattern, January and February 1996.

reception history: Matt Kirschenbaum took note of this book in his interview with me in the late 1990s, "Through Light and the Alphabet," which is reprinted in Figuring the Word.

Related Documents

manuscript type: correspondence

location: artist's archive

note: Someplace, some communication exchange with Woodland Pattern exists.

manuscript type: texts

location: artist's archive

note: Surely mockups, texts, and other dummy materials exist.

General Comments

As a work, this piece was conceived as a wall piece and a book. The large black letters fill each page and create a single text when seen all together. The little red letterpress "line" is just that, reduced to a visual linear element at a distance. Up close it reads with full irony. [J. Drucker]