Shock and Awe, Special Edition
By Ethan Rafal
San Francisco: Ethan Rafal, 2015. Special edition of 100.
Box: 14.25 x 14.25”. Materials: 100-year-old redwood, Douglas fir, oak; glass; pigment transfer print; galvanized steel; UV non-absorbent paint; LED. Sliding top is glass with archival pigment transfer print. Contents: LP record; puzzle; book.
LP Record: recorded by Tiny Telephone, The Farm, San Francisco. Live performance: Shock and Awe. Manufactured: Long Beach, California. In wooden sleeve (produced with pine and paint). LP cover: screen printing by Chris McNally Drawing Services.
Puzzle: 1,000 pieces, 20 x 28” finished. Image: Freda Rafal, Queens, New York. In pouch of raw canvas and gros-grain with sewing and implementation by Dana Gleason. Screen printing by Chris McNally Drawing Services.
Book: Shock and Awe: Signed First Edition. San Francisco: IHA Editions, 2015. 10.25 x 10.25"; 152 pages with 123 illustrations. Half-bound in cloth over boards with strap closure and foil stamping.
Ethan Rafal: "It was my goal for this edition to be a house for memory – a means to engage history-making. Opening the box is a kinesthetic experience of the American Mythology.
"The glow of the West Virginia-crafted white glass is perfect — the unique, transfer prints feel something between a bus advertisement and an icon built from stained glass. Inside, we created a soft pouch for the puzzle, which also depicts Freda Rafal, Queens, New York. After years of experimentation, we perfected the design of the wooden record sleeve — housing an LP, a live-recording of the performance of Shock and Awe on the #shockandawebooktour. This recording literally and metaphorically keeps the Shock and Awe — First Edition and puzzle in safe keeping.
"Removing these contents reveals the edition’s true potential — illumination. The light switch and electronics are built into the wood itself, the box is secured by a steel baseplate. While rough on the outside, the inside is finished with UV-non-absorbent titanium paint — releasing the maximum volume of light in the most even manner possible.
"The total combination of materials, and the experience of using them, is a harmony of content and form."