Jes Lee



I have been working on this little book for quite some time….

And while I still have some work to do in the edition, this little book is making its way out into the world. Currently it is on display at Minnesota Center for Book Arts in the ‘Parts of a Whole’ exhibition, and will be included in the ‘Fine Wine Fine Books’ night coming up in October.

I just learned yesterday that one copy of this little book is heading to Chicago! It will be part of the ‘Words|Matter’ book arts library, where anyone can go and have a chance to see, and touch, and read a collection of artists books! I love this idea – this was a topic that comes up quite often among the book artists I know…many of us want our books to be touched, and looked at, and read. Books are made to be held. I’m so excited that this little book is traveling out of the city and will be included in this show!

And, because a few friends have asked nicely for more photos, here are a few that are a bit nicer than the cell phone photos I usually take when I am working on it…


Open – view of the front cover, back cover, and the spine. The front and back covers are instant film photos – created with Impossible Project film and their Instant Lab.



Inside page spread – this book is a collection of the photos I took of the Mississippi river during my time as an intern in the preservation department at the Hennepin County Library in downtown Minneapolis. Each image is paired with a hashtag, the date and time the photo was taken, the temperature and general weather of the day, and the exact latitude and longitude of where the photo was taken.


As the photos continue through the book, another hashtag is added to the ones from before. As I was taking these photos, I would post them on Instagram. The more hashtags you use on a photo in Instagram, the more ways it can be searched for and found by others. (You can also be very creative, or very obnoxious with hashtags, but that is a topic for a different post.)



Towards the end of the book, the pages fill with hashtags. Each tag was letterpress printed using photo polymer plates, and the Universal III Vandercook in the basement of Minnesota Center for Book Arts.


The pages with the images and hashtags open up to reveal part of the binding, and a map of where the photos were taken. All of the photos were taken from the Hennepin Avenue bridge, walking towards downtown. The binding was invented by Claire VanVliet for her book titled ‘Bone Songs’. It is a woven binding, meaning each page of the book is bound to one another with a strip of paper, woven through the page and itself.


Closed it measures 4 1/4″ tall, 3 1/2″ wide, and 2 3/4″ deep at the thickest part of the spine.


Because the binding is so flexible, it can be displayed completely open…something I really like a lot about this book.

It has definitely been a labor of love! And of course has taken me quite a bit longer than I originally anticipated, but I have learned so much, and I’m not sick of it yet!

There is still a bit of work to be done on the edition, but I am getting close. When everything is finished, it will be an edition of 25. This little book can be purchased for $75, should someone be interested (though #23 is already spoken for, and a couple other numbers from the beginning of the edition are currently out for show at MCBA, and one on its way to Chicago).

Thank you for all of the kind words on Facebook when I announced my books acceptance to the show in Chicago! It makes me so happy!