I N F I N I T E A R C H I V E S
Artifacts of volatile imponderables of mostly unsettled nature.
INFINITE ARCHIVES & MULTIVERSE BAEDEKERS
Written, drawn, printed and bound by Casey Gardner.
Infinite Archives consists of a portfolio and two interior folios, two maps and ... a ticket for travel to the universe of one's choosing.
The first folio, a Citation of Provenance, holds the second folio, a Multiverse Baedeker, which opens to a map of La Ville Lumière, (an alternate universe Paris.)
Material and Process: Letterpress printed with Linoleum blocks and Polymer plates on Somerset Book, Zerkall Book Wove, Stonehenge, & Lettra. Edition of 39, $400.
What is a Multiverse?
Perhaps ours is not the only universe— perhaps they are innumerable. This concept attracts some cosmologists because it makes infinite compositional permutations possible, thus accounting for the miraculously fine tuned forces of our universe. Countless universes provide enough probability that an optimal one, such as ours, would materialize.
The forces that aligned to make the emergence of life possible in our universe are so exquisitely calibrated that some, myself included, have found themselves wonderstruck, awed and even reverential.
Such unaccountable propitiousness conjures notions of a sentient creator, which tends to make empiricists skittish, hence the existence of countless universes, thereby explaining how the cosmos we happen to find ourselves in, is so perfectly suited for matter to coalesce, stars to form, galaxies to reel, earth to orbit and life to happen.
What is a Baedeker?
Baedekers are travel guides published since the 19th century. I first heard of a Baedeker’s when Lucy Honeychurch used one for seeing the sights of Florence in E.M. Forster’s book, Room With a View. Later, I came across Mina Loy’s book of poetry entitled, The Lost Lunar Baedeker. Though I had never seen one of these guidebooks, in my imagination, they represented an era of decorous adventure and literary enchantment.
Years later, while wandering the the stacks of UC Berkeley’s Doe Library, a row of short red spines caught my eye. I’d stumbled on a lost treasure! I slid a Baedekers from the shelf and spent hours sitting on the floor leafing through pages charmed with precise logistics of a vanished time and unfolding exquisite maps of bygone spaces.
Provenance: The idea for a Multiverse Baedekers first shows up in my book, Matter, Antimatter, and So Forth. In the Time folio, the two characters are hunting through “ancient libraries suspended in intergalactic eddies of time.” There, among books “lost between imagination and page,” they find a Multiverse Baedekers; and I leave this story for another time. And so here it is-—well part of it.