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Critical Analysis

by E. Rettberg

Design Features

imagery: none

graphical: The format of text on the page resembles that of a book of poetry.

openings: When we see the annotations, we can see the "text itself" backwards through the translucent paper.

turnings: Each of the main "poems" has a supplementary page called either "Hidden text for" or "Annotations to." Because of the way the book is constructed, the reader often encounters "Annotations" or "Hidden Text" before the "actual" text, disrupting conventional expectations for the codex format.

conceptual: The annotations and hidden text are printed on opaque paper, making them seem more authoritative, more solidly imprinted, than the text itself. The book's constructions actualizes the reader's sense that information in annotations somehow "lies behind" the text itself.

intratextual: Despite the linkage between annotation/text implied by the construction, the reader is inclined to view them separately, as independent textual objects.



Critical Art Ensemble

type: initiating


location: Brooklyn, NY

Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: Critical Art Ensemble

place: Brooklyn, NY

production: 1990-04-00


horizontal: 6.25 inches closed

horizontal: 9.125 inches closed

Production Information

production means:
letterpress (local)

binding: hand sewn (local)

bookBlock: paper thick turquoise paper
bookBlock: paper thin, white translucent paper
endsheets: paper same thin, translucent paper as bookblock, with a greater allowance for frayed edges

ink (local)


general description: This slender, delicate paper volume features interactions between green and white paper and black and green ink throughout. The thin paper is imprinted with fine press printing.

format: codex (AAT)

cover: The fine green-and-white paper on the cover is imprinted with the title; the reader's fingers can sense the strong impression made by title.

color: yes text in green along with the black ink.


pagination: unpaginated

numbered?: numbered

signed?: unsigned


NovaText, second edition, was printed in April, 1990. Of 75 copies, this is number 16.