Spaceheater Editions ~ Arizona
(Phil Zimmermann)


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Phil Zimmermann: “I have been making artists’ books and multiples under this imprint since early 1979. I produce open-edition and limited-edition works that use photography, printmaking and design. Although I have been making photographs, books, prints, drawings, animations, and video since 1971, the main focus of Spaceheater Editions is the editioned narrative artists’ book. Under Spaceheater Editions (and several other press imprints) I publish my own books and posters as well as those of a number of exceptional artists. My own work deals with political, cultural and social issues in my life. The book form is an extraordinarily rich vehicle for investigating these concerns.”
Work of other artists published by Phil Zimmermann  

Paradise Lost
an allegory

By Philip Zimmermann
Tucson, Arizona: Spaceheater Editions, 2013. Edition of 11.

7.5 x 5.5 x 5" closed, 7.5 x 5.5 x 96” extended; 48 pages. Accordion structure. Digital printing with electrostatic toner on two kinds of French Paper Co. paper. Tyvek hinges dyed by the artist. Housed in cloth covered slipcase. Colophon on spine of slipcase. Signed and numbered by Zimmermann.

Philip Zimmermann: "The title and subject of this book is inspired by John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. It is the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Paradise Lost is interesting to me because it makes real human characters (with strong personalities) of Adam and Eve as well as God and Satan. All are very human, with strengths and foibles. As an atheist, the story as a whole seems laughable to me. But it also seems to serve as a strong metaphor for the human condition and the weaknesses and greed that we all as humans share. Although to some it might seem a peculiar stretch, it is not hard to my mind to make the connections that explain our blindness to the causes changing the climate of our precious planetary home, Earth. This list of factors include greed, complacency, jealousy: the list goes on and on.

"The editors of the
Norton Anthology of English Literature write, ‘Milton’s Paradise Lost is ultimately about the human condition, the Fall that caused "all our woe, " and the promise and means of restoration. It is also about knowing and choosing, about free will.’ The original is in a form of antiquated English, which I changed to a more contemporary English, using both the original and various ‘plain English’ translations as well as my own rewriting of a number of lines.

"My book was created under the guidelines for a show proposed by Barb Tetenbaum and Julie Chen using an aleatoric system of Barb Tetenbaum’s devising. They (Chen and Tetenbaum) asked a number of artists to each create a book for a show in February 2013 at the Seager-Gray Gallery in Mill Valley CA, called Ideation by Chance. The premise for the show proposed that each artist would have a series of cards drawn for them from a deck that Tetenbaum had devised. The cards showed categories of content and structure in bookart, and each artist had to create their book for the show using the results of the cards drawn for them.

"I use the fall from grace (caused by a failure of free will) as an allegory for the environmental rape and destruction of Earth. In my book there are three sections, much reduced from Milton’s twelve. In the first section, Adam’s voice is heard in dialog with Eve in the garden. In the second section the Snake convinces Adam and Eve to use their free will and partake of the forbidden fruit. The quest for ‘knowledge’ mentioned in that section can be taken a number of ways. In the final and third section God speaks: there are consequences for the human fall from grace and resulting destruction of the Garden. At the end there is a final cautionary coda which predicts an unhappy ending for mankind but restoration for Eden. While in Hawaii during December 2012, I could not help but notice some of the unhappy results that ever-increasing human populations were making on the ecosystems of Oahu. While there, hurricane Sandy struck the northeastern seaboard creating the largest amount of property damage ever made by a storm on the North American continent. Both of these events were in my thoughts while working on ideas for the book.

"I wanted to have the book feel a little like a brightly colored fruit, tempting and chromatically luscious on the outside, with a beige meaty inside, with slightly ‘off ’ colors. The drawings inset into the foliage are, on the one side, a sequence signifying evolution and refuting the Adam and Eve narrative, and on the other lush tropical side, a compendium of destructive devices to the environment.

“My given cards were:

Imagery: traced, re-drawn, lifted from outside source. [White chiaroscuro pencil drawing on inner pages.]
Structure: accordion [Yes.]
Text: self-generated [I rewrote a plain text abridged version of the poetics of John Milton’s Paradise Lost.]
Layout: based on an historic example [As all contemporary accordion books are.]
Color: monochromatic [The inside is faux monochromatic.]
Describe: serious, sober, scientific. [Refers to serious sober reality of global warning and our resistance to do anything about it.]
Technical: hand drawn, painted, collaged, etc. [Hand-drawn white pencil on inside pages/photographs.]
Paper: pre-printed or recycled. [The inner paper is recycled French Paper Co. paper.]
Adjectives: traditional, mysterious, spiritual, mosaic, obvious. [All of the above except ‘mosaic’.]

“The tropical plant images used throughout were taken on Oahu, Hawai’i during the month of December 2012.”
$850 (Last Copy)

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Cruising Altitude
By Phil Zimmermann
Tucson, Arizona: Spaceheater Editions, 2011.
Edition of 50 plus 12 lettered AP copies.

8.5 x 5.25"; 108 pages. Dos-a-dos binding with each side having 54 pages. Double-sided book interiors were printed on an HP Indigo press. Gold and silver metallic foil titles on both covers. Bound by hand with archival book board and Kensington premium bonded red leather. Laid in an archival gray phase box.

Phil Zimmermann: "The 'above' landscape images are from handcolored glass instructional slides from the New York State Education Department's Visual Instruction Division, 1900-1930; and from old postcards of places the artist has been. The 'below' images were taken between 2000 and 2011 by the artist. The text are all terms for outsider or 'the other'. ... Designed to look and feel a little like the old Baedeker travel guides that were extremely popular in Europe in the late 1880s through the 1930s.

"A book about wanderlust, travel, and the quest for the exotic (on one side), and on the other, the subject is the darker side of being a stranger or foreigner in another country or culture. The section titled 'Above' explores the desire to travel away from one's normal and humdrum world, to see and experience the different and the exotic. Part of what drives wanderlust is an impatience with the everyday and the desire to expand or even destroy one's comfortable status quo. However, 'Below' (the other, mirror, section) is about the flip side of wanderlust. In this book the traveler or foreigner encounters a virulent and often jingoistic resistance from the inhabitants of the new locations that one enters as a visitor. Terms for 'the other,' usually derogatory or demeaning, appear over photographic views looking down from airplane windows. Living in Southern Arizona, on the border with Mexico, I am very aware of this viewpoint in some of the local population. In addition to the feelings that I have about this subject from my current living location, I was the child of an American diplomat, and although I grew up loving the many different places we lived, I never fit in to any of them, nor felt that any one of the places we lived was my home, always feeling like 'the other'."

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Sanctus Sonorensis
By Phil Zimmermann
Tucson, Arizona: Spaceheater Editions, 2009. Edition 1000.

8.25 x 10.75 x 1.5"; 90 pages. Four-color offset lithography. Gilded edges. Self-covering.

Philip Zimmermann: "Four-color offset lithography printed book was created as a series of two page board book spreads that minimize the visual distraction of a 'gutter' on the panoramic view of each skyscape. The edges of the book are rounded and gilded in the fashion of religious breviaries or missals.

"This is a book of border beatitudes. This work comments on the complicated attitudes of Americans on illegal immigration from Mexico. The cover shows a photograph of the area of Southern Arizona which is the most active in terms of migration across the Sonoran desert, and where thousands have lost their lives in the deadly desert heat. The interior pages show the progression of a typical high desert day from dawn to sunset with a single line of text on each two page spread."

Zimmermann (Blog), March 8, 2010: "In December of 2002, I was driving back into the United States from Mexico through the Lukeville border road entrance. As I was traveling through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument just inside Arizona, I was stopped for a couple of hours by several groups of men each consisting of large number of heavily armed Border Patrol agents on some sort of special operations. They eventually lead out of the desert scrub a large number of illegal immigrants that had been hiding in the mesquite and cactus as they attempted to head north through the park. They clearly weren't drug smugglers. They looked too poor and were unarmed. They made for a rather moving and pathetic sight, and looked disheveled and dejected. I had never seen an operation like this up close and it was rather upsetting, and got me thinking about the life these folks were trying to make for themselves and the efforts that we in the United States make to prevent them from coming here. Sanctus Sonorensis was a work that came out of this experience."

CJ Mace, review, JAB 27: "With gold-edged pages and title referring directly to a hymn of the Christian liturgy, Phil Zimmermann's book 'Sanctus Sonorensis,' is clear about its associations with the messages within gilded bibles. The main contrast between the structure of these books and Zimmermann's is the weight of the individual pages; while the pages of missals often rattle and are tissue paper-thin, the board-book structure of 'Sanctus Sonorensis' allows for the page and binding to merge into a seamless unit, and the pages turn silently. This silence suggests reverence and the apparent starkness of the Sonoran desert that forms the background photography, a landscape where light becomes sound in a sort of synesthetic radiance. ..."

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By Phil Zimmermann
Tucson, Arizona: Spaceheater Editions, 2009. Edition of 50.

11.25 x 8.5"; 52 pages. HP Indigo printed on Mohawk Superfine paper. Photographic images on boards with sewn binding. Variation of the floating hinge format creates a book within a book.

Phil Zimmermann: "Shelter came out of an exploration of losing faith and questioning on of its opposites: the process of finding religion. This text came out of watching my dying father, who was never religious when I was growing up, become increasingly interested in faith and salvation as he became sicker from heart disease and cancer. I saw the desert with it's unfriendly flora and harsh environment as a metaphor for the difficult world towards the end of many people's lives. The desert is also used in many religious tracts as a place for contemplation and mortification. In this work roadside shelters and gospel ministries were used as signifiers of ways and places where people look (vainly?) to relive prospects of their approaching death

A wondrously complex book aptly suited for the knotty subject of dying (very much different than death and its aftermath). Turn the pages and cloud-laden skies, always with a gray cast, provide framework for an alternating chain of Southwest borderland secular shelters (Wayside Stops or Rest Areas in some parts of the US) and churches clad in the look of evangelism. Text at the bottom of most pages contains the tortured musings of a man with "the inevitable irritability that comes with a body surrendering to age," a man who would like "shelter and comfort: peace" both physical and spiritual. The book structure suggests that the comfort may be difficult or impossible because the beauty of blooming cacti is present but almost impossible to see. The final page contains the last lines from William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatopsis," a wish perhaps from Zimmermann to his father – no promise of an undiscovered country, but solace as a kind of shelter in the last moments on this side of the border.

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Nature Abhors
By Phil Zimmermann
Rhinebeck, NY: 2003. Edition of 150.

5.25 x 5.25"; 30 pages in corrugated-paper fold-out box. Construction based on a model developed by Claire van Vliet from a form originally created by Hedi Kyle. Photograph on page six by Elizabeth Alderman. To be read through on one side, then on the reverse. Accordion-folded, each sheet affixed to the next with paper tabs illustrated with segments of spinal vertebrae. Housed in illustrated sleeve numbered by the artist. The whole housed in illustrated cardboard box also numbered by the artist. Signed by the artist.

Phil Zimmermann: "In addition to being a great vehicle for communicating directly to an audience, artists' books have the wonderful advantage of being time-based like video and film. Static pictures on a wall seem and impoverished way of making an artistic statement after one works with sequence, rhythm, movement, translucency, narrative arc; the list goes on and on. I know I am biased: I have been in love with books ever since I was a small child, but the medium is so rich with possibilities that it is hard to go back to working any other way....

"My book entitled Nature Abhors is about loss, the inevitable by-product and, (perhaps pessimistically) the final result of love. In the past four years I have had a great deal of loss in my life. This book is a rumination on what loss has meant for me personally and also what I have found has been a more universal feeling of loss since 9.11. It is determinedly not about that disaster but more about the zeitgeist since that world-changing event ......."

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High Tension: Montage '93
By Phil Zimmerman
Rochester, New York: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1993. Edition 1000 (only 700 printed).

5.5 x 7.9"; 96 pages. Pentagon with 4" spine and each of the other sides 4.25". Unmatched irregularly cut pages. Offset printed. Produced and printed for Montage '93, International Festival of the Image, Rochester, NY, 1993.

Johanna Drucker, The Next Word: "The pages of [High Tension] are cut at the edge in that triangular shape. It's about anxiety, and it pricks your fingers as you turn the pages."

Renee Riese Hubert & Judd D. Hubert, The Cutting Edge of Reading: Artists' Books: "[High Tension] overwhelms us with a surprisingly varied profusion of images. Each of the many double pages introduces at least one radically new picture having more often than not merely a marginal relationship with those that had preceded. We must process these words somewhat gingerly in terms of our own past experiences when immediate recognition fails. It would therefore appear that unpredictability characterizes the selection and succession of the graphics. Each new image has its own motif and its own color scheme. Dealing in its own way with representation, it imposes its own focus and its own scale to which the reader must adapt. Thus, each turning of a page practically guarantees a further disruption and reduces any hope that we may have entertained of discovering either a formal or a thematic continuity. Instead, it calls forth unsuspected resources within us. Surprise follows surprise without affording a moment of relaxation. Each page relentlessly renews the shock of novelty, but in so titillating a manner that we must dwell on each image without any desire to skip. The artist has of course abandoned or deliberately misapplied expected formats. The pages may overlap, but they never coincide with one another. Deviation happens on two levels: each page slants diagonally and, when turned, symmetrically prolongs across the gutter the preceding one. Thus, two successive pages point in opposite directions while jointly providing a partially coherent and integrated image — partially, because fragments of images from other double pages show a propensity to migrate or, if we may use a medical term in describing a pictorial and psychological venture, metastasize. As we move along, we can hardly avoid twisting and turning the book around for successive viewings of the double paged pictures. Obviously, we can no longer rely on the measured progress so characteristic of reading. Moreover, the angularity of the pages greatly increases the nervous energy of their graphic and verbal content. ..."
$150 (Last 5 copies)


Phil Zimmermann, blog: "During the summer of 2012, Spaceheater Editions published three books not by me, plus another book that I produced with the collaboration of Mexican writer and media artist Leon de la Rosa."
Bodies 'n' Type
written & illustrated by Jeff Lowry
Tucson, Arizona: Spaceheater Editions, 2012. Edition of 150.

8.25 x 10.25"; 32 pages. Exquisite corpse structure, each page cut in thirds. Printed on archival paper by HP Indigo digital printing. Spiral bound. In chipboard protective sleeve. Signed and numbered.

Phil Zimmermann, publicity card: "A wonderful quirky update on the classic flap-book, also know as an exquisite corpse book. Both sides of the pages are used to great effect."

Phil Zimmermann, blog: "
Bodies 'n' Type by Jeff Lowry is a flap book, also called an exquisite corpse book, after the Victorian parlour game. It is two- sided: on the left is type that combines to make different sentences that relate to the images on the right side of each spread. The wonderful quirky characters that Jeff has created for the right side are often humorous and sometimes touching and make wonderful combinations."

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Insult Toolbox
By Abbey Withey
Tucson, Arizona: Spaceheater Editions, 2012. Edition of 100.

3.25 x 7"; 100 pages. Pages each split down the center. Double spiral bound at right and left edges. Spiral bound into paper folder wrap with slip and slot closure. Hand-bound. Numbered.

Publicity card: "A practical and funny book about what to say when confronting a situation that requires strong and immediate verbal response."

Phil Zimmermann, blog: "Insult Toolbox by Abbey Withey is a book that allows you quick reference to an endless combination of insults that you can hurl at the appropriate person in any situation that requires it. ... Warning: has explicit language."

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The Redacted Mother Goose
By Robert E. Wilson II
Tucson, Arizona: Spaceheater Editions, 2012. Edition of 150.

5.25 x 7.25"; 32 pages. Printed on an HP Indigo digital press. Gold-foil stamped title on front cover. Codex bound with cloth spine and illustrated paper-covered boards. Signed and numbered by Wilson.

Colophon: "This book is a small collection of stories taken from the 1916 The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright. Having been in print for almost 100 years - the most recent printing taking place in 1992 - The Real Mother Goose has influenced the lives of children over many generations. This book explores the evolution of language and image under contemporary connotations by obstructing and omitting portions of the original stories. The end goal of this remixed and redacted edition is to create a slightly different narrative calling on the linguistic differences created in the 100 year time span."

Phil Zimmermann, blog: "The Redacted Mother Goose by Rob Wilson. This is a special redacted version of the venerable anthology of Mother Goose rhymes with illustrations by Blanch Fisher Wright, created in 1916, and in the public domain. Rob's redactions and blurred areas of the images completely change the innocent meaning of the original rhymes and pictures. His dedication reads: for changing times and changing meaning."

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Sure As Death
By Willyum Rowe
Rhinebeck, New York: Spaceheater Editions, 1986. Edition of 500 planned but about 150 actually printed.

4.75 x 7.25"; 72 pages. Printed offset lithography. Smythe sewn. Bound in printed boards and printed end pages. Cloth spine with titles foil stamped. Signed by the author. Numbered.

Phil Zimmermann: "The book is about the onset of the AIDS epidemic. Willyum Rowe cut up an old Victorian book and rearranged the type and pictures to make a poetic and tragic story about the decimation caused by HIV in the gay community in the early nineteen eighties. With different subject matter, Tom Phillips did similar things with his book Humument, but unlike Phillips' book, which was originally a screen-printed unique copy, later reproduced to make a book, this volume was always designed to be an offset artists' book.

"Printed by offset lithography by Kevin Begos Printing in Rhinebeck, NY. Cased-in by hand by Phil Zimmermann in an edition of 500, though only about 150 were actually bound because of production problems. Because of press issues most of the beige second color was misregistered. The book was smythe-sewn by Fort Orange Bindery in Albany NY. (I added foil-stamped spine material and then cased in the books.) At the time that I made this book, no one I knew had ever seen this type of binding with the boards set back away from the separate spine material. I had seen a copy of a book like this at the Newberry Library in Chicago that had been bound in Germany in the 1930s. By now this type of binding has almost become a cliché but at the time it seemed quite radical."

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Book of Doom
By Clifton Meador
Rhinebeck, New York: Spaceheater Editions, 1984. Stated edition of 50 (35 actual).

10.5" x 14" closed, 18" x 25" when fully opened. Hand-cut stencils. Pin-registered spray enamel paint on Rives BFK paper. Bound by Philip Zimmermann with an accordion spine strip. Housed in a custom spray-painted clamshell box.

Phil Zimmermann: "Spaceheater Editions published Clifton Meador's BOOK OF DOOM during the summer of 1984, in Rhinebeck, NY, USA. Clif used multiple pin-registered hand-cut stencils to spray enamel paint onto Rives BFK paper. The edition was to have been 50 but only 35 were made. Clif did all of the spraying. [I] made most of the boxes and did all of the bindery work.

"Clif's text and images tell a tale of an end-of-millennial apocalyptic journey into the depths of hell. When the pages are flipped over at the end of the book, it forms a downward spiral that is very reminiscent of the circles of Dante's Inferno.

"Clifton Meador writes:
'The initial impetus for this book was to complicate the experience of reading a book through an intricate sculptural experience. Like many other artists, I was interested in thinking about a book as a kind of performative sculpture, a complex structure that the reader has to manipulate in order to read it. I wanted to start with a simple story, so I could make the form as complicated as possible while maintaining a narrative thread. It was 1984, so I imagined the end of the world might be an interesting story to complicate.

"The governing visual idea was that when the reader had finished unfolding all the pages and the book was completely open, the book structure would resolve into a mandala, with all the pages contributing to a final image. Since the book was about the end of the universe, an apocalypse of plastic and radios, I found medieval manuscripts were an important visual source for this work, and a Spanish-Mozarabic Apocalypse of the tenth century was a particularly rich source of color, pattern, and a flattened sense of space.

"At the time I made this book, I had no access to printing equipment, so I produced the edition with pin-registered stencils that I sprayed with four colors of spray paint. When I started this project, I hoped I might be making positive plates from the spray paint separations, but the richness of the spray paint alone convinced me to produce the edition that way. Phil Zimmermann was very supportive of this project, and published it under his Space Heater Editions imprint. The clever spine structure that holds the page units together was an invention of Keith Smith, who took one look at it and saw the right way to put it together.”

$3,000 (Five copies remaining)

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Page last update: 01.21.15


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