INTERFERENCE Philip Zimmermann (1982)


I had long been interested in Nikola Tesla, historic figure well-known today but rather obescure in the nineteen seventies and earlier. Around 1980 or 1981 I read two articles in the New Yorker magazine by Paul Brodeur on microwaves and their effect on living things, including humans. Tesla was one of the first people who recognized the existence of microwaves. The book describes some of the effects of microwaves in a narrative text that runs in one long line towards the bottom of all the pages. The images shown are of various objects and people caught in a field of microwave interference. I created the process-colored moirés by using interference (moiré) patterns constructed by layering lith negatives made from various zip-a-tone pattern sheets.


In late 1981, Michael Goodman, who had been a co-founder of Nexus Press in 1979 in Atlanta, asked me if I would be interested in publishing an artists' book with them. I had met Michael briefly in Chicago when I was there doing my graduate internship with Chicago Books. After graduating from SAIC, Michael and Gary Super formed Nexus Press. I went down to Atlanta in January 1982 with just an idea and some materials and put together the book (writing the text, shooting the lith film and halftones, stripping and platemaking, and then supervising the printing by Michael on the Nexus Press Hamada press) in only two weeks. I couldn't take more that two weeks because I was the main cameraman at Open Studio Press in Rhinebeck, and I needed to return to keep the workflow there moving.


This artists' book was printed by offset lithography at Nexus Press, Atlanta, GA in an unknown edition. The cover has a two-color foil stamp that I made on a Kwik-Print foil-stamper at Purchase College, SUNY. I have no copies left, but it might still be available from The Contemporary/Friends of Nexus Press in Atlanta, GA.