Bas Sgraffito


A prevailing anxiety of the spiritually-inclined is that [our] earnest, carefully articulated rituals and supplications may fall on deaf—or altogether absent—ears. This series contemplates an obverse of this: that our tone-deaf and haphazard gestures, our spiritually vacant routines, call up a spirit we are unaware of, rupturing a seam we would have assumed our tire tracks had sewn shut.

The photographs and drawings combine to form a taxonomy of these new ritualistic inscriptions. It is a vulgar proto-alphabet for modern divinations.

Inspired by the writings of novelist Joris Karl Huysmans and the music of Blanck Mass (Benjamin John Powers), this book may be understood as a paratext elaborating on some of the themes and motifs that prevail throughout my more strictly documentary projects.

Description and Process

The photos originate as gelatin-silver prints from 35mm negatives. These prints are flatbed scanned and then output digitally on archival matte paper.

The images reiterate throughout the book, and each successive iteration has different or more extensive parts obscured by a gold leaf appliqué.

The translucent interleaves are india ink drawings on rice paper. After the drawings are made, the paper is sealed in liquified bees wax.

The binding consists of 6 signatures smythe-sewn with butchers' thread and then bound into a handmade case binding wrapped in linen book cloth.


1" x 5.5" x 7"
inkjet photo prints, gold leaf, india ink, rice paper, bees wax, linen, thread, binding materials