Reading Room for Kids, 2006
All 39 books from the CIA’s 2006 Intelligence Book List for K-5th and 6-12th graders, wood and paper butterflies, metal pins, glue, wallpaper, furniture, shelf and carpet.
Butterflies and Leaf Wallpaper are created from illustrations in My Adventures as a Spy (1915), by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, and British spy. One of Lord Baden-Powell's spying disguises was that of a mad butterfly enthusiast or entomologist. Prior to his service in South Africa, he spied around military forts in Germany, French Tunisia, and Algeria. He would sketch plans and armaments of each fort, and the size, type, and location of its guns concealed within the delicately drawn veins of the butterfly’s wings and body. Veins on the ivy leaf show the outline of a fort, as seen looking west (point of the leaf indicates north). The butterfly contains the outline of a fortress, and marks on the lines of the wings note the caliber and position of guns.
Produced while in residence with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Thanks to the NYU Advanced Media Studio and SculptureCenter’s InPractice program.
Installation views of Library Science, (2011) curated by Rachel Gugelberger, at Artspace, New Haven, CT and Denial is a River (2006) curated by Sarina Basta at SculptureCenter, New York.