Return trip to Switzerland to collect 5 white book dummies
"It is time for a book"
Such read the subject line of the e-mail I sent off to Roelof, designer Rob van Hoesel and printer Arie Lenoir on 2 January 2013. And not just a book: one that would do justice to the universal beauty of the horizon, and the promise it holds for us.
A one-off print run. 2,012 copies. Bound in Switzerland in such a way that it opens flar on any single page, making every spread of the book a unique poster-size compisition. Budget required: € 100.000. Impossible, I was told by experts from the book trade. I still want it, used to be me reply, and: "I believe it is posisble, I just don't know how, but I will find out. Join the adventure.
The first orders for the book came in during May 2013, shortly before I travelled to Switzerland to collect 5 virgin-white dummies of the book. . The idea was to show people, but also to make them feel, the kind of book I had on my mind.
Thanks to among others, a large article in national newspaper NRC, we reached € 15,000 by the end of 2013. The next milestone would be to reach € 40,000: the minimum required in order to be able to guarantee a minimal print run - and delivery of every copy sold until and from there. A successful crowdfunding campaign brought in over € 25,000. which pushed the project to the next level. Now how to reach € 100,000?
From 15 naar € 40,000 via Voordekunst
On 4 december 2014, the day of the book presentation, all books had been manufactured, which was something very much worth celebrating. But on the downside, we only got to € 80,000, which meant a worrying € 20,000 remained left to earn. This led me to spending two months as part of my own exhibition at Panorama Mesdag museum, using all of my presence - and nothing else - to solve the remaning part of the puzzle. Which is how it got solved.
How it all turned out right feels nothing short of a miracle. All I know is that I fulfilled my part of the mission of bringing this invitation to Space and Tranquillity to life in tangible shape. Leaving a new challenge for the years ahead: to find NEW HORIZONS a home. Not for a temporary exhibition to entertain guests, but to permanently serve in the way they were intended: as an invitation to experience Space and Tranquillity, welcoming you in turn to the post-dualistic reality that leaves nothing to impossibility.
Exploring the horizon
Taking two full years to cover get the budget covered, also gave us plenty of time to elaborate on how we would want the book to look. What story we wanted it to tell and how to sensibly select a relatively small number of horizons at the expense of a whole lot.
Fortunately, it was well before I started NEW HORIZONS that I have come to know Lie van Schelven, a contemportary alchemist. She played an important role in exporing the essence, the promise and the potential of the horizon - from the very first step onwards. Aiming for the book publication, we took a deep dive in to the Big Why of this massive adventure.
One of the ways to do this was through the organisation of 24-hour horizon observations, the first one of which took place on 10 April 2013 . While staring at the horizon lengthily, we became aware of how much the horizon itself serves as an invitation to adventure. To see beyond what you have already seen. To see beyond contradictions, beyond duality even. Because the horizon shows how even heaven and earth reunite in the distance, how they don't single one another out but much rather enricht each other based on synchronicity and equivalency.
24-hour horizon observation nr 3, photo: Eric de Keizer
Adventure, not just as the orgination process of the book, but also as its conjunctive storyline. How does adventure come into existence, how does it unfold, and where does it take you? From home to home, with everything you experience on your way as the very reason for the journey.
I was happy to have some experience in living adventures, not in the least thanks to my European journey (2007-2008), which allowed me to interview 2,700 young Europeans in 27 countries, while travelling through all - then - 27 member states of the European Union. This journey became the subject of thourough investigations, with the intention to translate the personal experience into a universal one.
Together with Rob (photo) I unrevaled the various design considerations that would allow us to turn the storyline into book pages. Rob figured out a variable grid and made a first draft of the visual language that would make up the book. It looked like a music score, which very well matched my wish to make the book a rhythmic-melodic composition. After killing a heap of darlings, 300 horizons out of 8.785 made it into the book.
Rob working on the design of NEW HORIZONS
Printer Arie introduced me to Stefan Kirschner, the commercial director of IGEPA Nederland. Stefan pointed me in the direction of a new Swiss paper type, Z Offset Rough, that combined the perfect characteristics to make an ideal match between empathy and impact. Designed Rob then introduced me to Sebastiaan Hanekroot, one of the two people in The Netherlands who fulltime work on lithography: the art of conveying images onto paper. Sebastiaan checked in at the beginning of 2013, at the moment I was building a new website with Robert Cabri. Also around this time, I met project partner Wendy van Buul, who since then contributed lots to the promotion and sales of NEW HORIZONS.
Our crew was complete at the moment we started the crowdfunding campaign to reach € 40,000. If you like, you can get to know all members through the contact page of this website.
NEW HORIZONS was print at Lenoirschuring in Amstelveen (see video below), back in September 2014. One month later, with several crew members present to witness the process, the books were being bound into solid blocks at Swiss bindery Burkhardt . A few days before the presentation, and with the help of a wealth of volunteers, I numbered and inserted 700 copies into the specially designed cassettes. On the 4th of December, they were presented during the memorable book release party, held at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
Making the book happen : Read on