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, this book translates two separate projects into related texts that both document and expand the original pieces. Adapted from the transcript of a video piece, Ad Infinitum presents the Beckettian dialogue between an optimist and a skeptic as they make their way across a desert landscape. Each tries to convince the other of their position. The second half of the book, Desert Maps, stems from a series of word drawings and comprises subjectively edited lists of historic sitenames located throughout North America's deserts. The names are culled from USGS maps of national monuments, parks, and recreation areas throughout the American West. With linguistic tenors ranging inspirational to the sinister, the location names reflect travelers' emotional responses to the magnificence and intimidation of natural environments.