ECHO/PLASM Book Launch
Ectoplasm refers to a body outside the body. In a spiritualist sense, it refers to the physical manifestation of a spirit body through the body of a medium. Breath is replaced by a spirit manifestation, the act of respiration exchanged for the production of ectoplasm, and it is through the shifts in breathing that the performance finds its script. The ectoplasm stands in for speech and also stands in the way of speech. It is a kind of smothering, a kind of breathlessness.
Echo/plasm is a small booklet split into two sections ‘Ecto’ and ‘Echo’, and modelled after educational pamphlets from the late Victorian period. Like those pamphlets, it has a small selection of photographs, dense and serifed text and a simple design. The booklet was printed by Hato Press, using a Risograph machine, which, although a contemporary technology, best replicates the quality of the low-cost presses used to produce pamphlets at that time. It has a white card cover with black text and is hand-bound, saddle stitched. It has black paper endnotes that act as stage drapes and echo the curtains referred to in the descriptions of ectoplasm performances from the late Victorian period. They enclose the book, giving it a beginning and an end.
Jessica Worden is a Dutch/American artist living and working in London, UK. She is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at Brunel University where she is looking at different ways that breathlessness can be performed on the page. Her practice is influenced by photography, but based in performance writing. She produces artist books, installations and performance pieces. Her aim is to explore writing-as-performance and the interplay between the visual and the textual.