Jan Estep, Ad Infinitum and Desert Maps, 2005, artist book, published by Art in General, New York, paperback, perfect bound, black-and-white, offset printed, 96 pages, 7.5" x 5.25."
 Conceived during an artist residency at Art in General, New York, NY, this artist book collects together two separate projects to both document and expand on the original pieces. Adapted from the transcript of a video, Ad Infinitum presents the Beckettian dialogue between an Optimist and a Skeptic as they make their way across a desert landscape. Each in turn uses logic to trap the other in contradictions, trying to convince the other of the correctness of their own position. The argument circles round and round, nobody winning, nobody capitulating.
The second half of the book, Desert Maps, stems from a series of subjectively edited lists of historic place names of geological features found within the four North American deserts. The Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts fall north to south from Nevada to Mexico and east to west from California to Colorado. The place names are culled from trail maps of national parks and other protected areas based on USGS topographical surveys. The texts record the naming of significant landmarks encountered by travelers to these desert regions, recording their awe and misgivings about these new territories; the lists are roughly arranged from the most positive and inspired to the most negative and terrified. The ten works in “Desert Maps” exist as hand-written drawings of black pen on gray Rives BFK paper and as site-specific cut-vinyl wall texts; they are also printed along with the script from Ad Infinitum as an artist book, Ad Infinitum and Desert Maps.
copyright 2005 Jan Estep