Jan Estep, Issue: Seen/Unseen, Volume Four, December 2014, collaborative artist book, paperback, saddle stitched, four-color, offset printed, 80 pages, 9" x 6.5", included “Touching the (Un)Seen” and "Thinking Portraits."
The relation between what we see and what we know
is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set.
We know that the earth is turning away from it.
Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite
fits the sight. —John Berger, Ways of Seeing
 ARTS 5490 Issue: Image and Text is a studio arts course that I designed and teach at the University of Minnesota (UMN), Twin Cities. In the course, artists from different disciplines come together to create and publish a collaboratively themed artist book. In Fall 2014, eleven artists—Treeya Brooks, Jan Estep, Alicia McCann, Christina Murphy, Jennifer Peterson, Kris Rome, Jordan Rosenow, Joe Schur, Xavier Tavera, and Kali Voigt—contributed artwork in a variety of mediums all inspired by the theme Seen/Unseen.
As I write in my short essay "Touching the (Un)seen," included in the book, "...The French poet and philosopher Paul Valéry wrote, “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” That space between seeing and knowing, or sensing and consciously realizing, is abundant with possibility, yet this abundance escapes complete conceptual comprehension. We feel, we intuit, we label, we claim to understand—each way of knowing captures only a part of the whole. Whether or not this elicits a problem rests with the individual. Yet there is a bright side. Contained within this endlessly open space of attempted discernment exists the space of creativity."
Issue: Seen/Unseen is the fourth volume in the “Issue” series. Each collaboratively produced offset-printed book explores a chosen theme from a variety of artistic perspectives. The first volume, Issue: Below Ground was created with students through the UMN course taught in Fall 2007, published in Winter 2008. Volume three, Issue: Erasure was created through the UMN course in Spring 2012. Volume two, Issue: Land (Fall 2010) includes an international mix of artists and was produced outside the formal course framework.
See gallery of pages from the publication
copyright 2014 Jan Estep and contributing artists