A dog-eared page — a folded corner — is the simplest memory system: it marks a stopping point, a favorite passage, a place to remember. Along with marginalia, underlining, and other notational strategies, dog ears map a history of reading and remind us that reading is a physical act: an encounter with words, to be sure, but also a tactile experience with paper and individual pages of a book. A dog ear is legible as a readerly engagement with the material text. Someone read this; someone stopped here.

Erica Baum’s book Dog Ear  (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011) makes this point and takes it further. In Baum’s rendering, the dog ear presents an activist readerly engagement: by folding a page, the reader creates a new site of meaning, a square of text to be encountered not as placeholder but as a rich cluster of words, selected (appropriated, deformed) by the reader’s hand.

Here, Jacket2 presents eighteen photographs from Dog Ear, whose publication coincides with a solo exhibition, Shuffled Glances, at the Bureau gallery in New York (April 3–May 18, 2011). Click on any image below to enlarge it. Go here to read an essay by Kaegan Sparks about Baum’s work.

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