Forward covers
FORWARD front and back book covers



By Marshall Weber and Dana F. Smith
2012, San Francisco, California, edition of 20

FORWARD is an artwork in Marshall Weber’s life-long series of investigations of the relationship of the audience to cultural objects and authority. In the past few years Weber and  Dana Smith have collaborated on various books, prints and installations that focus this investigation on the contemporary inversion of authority from the performer to the audience which often marks digital culture. In April of 2012 Weber photographed the people photographing the Emperor’s throne in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. These photographs were collaged together in a cinematic flow depicting the crowds, armed with their cameras, surging wave-like towards the throne.

The subjects are hand-cut out of the backgrounds and the two resulting accordion folds are bound together. The top (the background, with photographic clues as to the location) is inverted vertically and bound behind the bottom (the people), so that there is both a mirroring effect of the negative space, and an abstract pictorial reference to Chinese landscape painting. The series of panels create an implied double helix codex which functions like a book when it is in its zippered cover, and like a great wall of paper sculpture (with multiple possible arrangements) when the case is unzipped and the codex is allowed to stand.

Photographs and cutting by Marshall Weber.
Digital production and printing by Dana F. Smith.
Design and layout by Dana Smith and Marshall Weber
Ink jet printed on Moab Entrada paper using Epson pigment based inks,
All materials in this book are of archival quality.
The closed zippered case is 11.25 inches by 9.5,
the fully extended double accordion fold is 13’x 6”.



To purchase a copy of this book please contact Dana

FORWARD codice unfolded

FORWARD displaying its sculptural tendencies with the codice standing up and covers un-zipped.