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  • By: AB Gorham
  • Price: $360
  • Contact AB Gorham for purchase

36 pages fold out to an 18″x18″ imaginary landscape. Letterpress printed on handmade cotton/abaca paper. Laid in a Japanese two-flap hard cover with title (once laser engraved, once incised) on two flaps.

Book dimensions: 6″x6.25″x.25″

Whipstock captures the dueling iconoclasts of the Landman and the Ecologist as they move in and out of wheat fields, oil patches, courthouses and other haunts of the oil and gas industry. The book’s 36-page structure consists of two interleaved-pamphlets that form 3-page spreads of text, and eventually fold out into a 18”x18” imaginary landscape of compromise. Each page is numbered according to the corresponding section of the township and range grid printed on the cover. This grid is used in the oil and gas industry to determine the well pattern on a particular tract of land. As the reader moves deeper into the book, the act of reading begins to mimic the movement of the whipstock (a tool used in hydraulic fracturing that transitions the drill bit from a vertical to a horizontal position) as it proceeds down another layer of pages, and then traverses through the shifting text that is as physically activated on the page as it is musical. To close the book, the reader need only layer the pages back onto one another in the original order, as if to egress a well hole.

Whipstock is the sum of excavating by man and machine, salt veins through the earth, and shiny metal containers leaking their dark iridescence as they slip down the highways. If this truth is difficult to find—it is, and the reader pages through the evidence.