Book Launch: Socorro! by Lucy Raven

at Printed Matter / St Marks
October 25, 2023
6PM - 8PM

Join us at Printed Matter / St Marks as we launch Lucy Raven’s new book, Socorro!, published by MACK. Raven will be joined in conversation by David Levi Strauss.

About the Book:

Between 2021 and 2022, artist Lucy Raven created a series of more than sixty unique silver gelatin shadowgrams at an explosives range in New Mexico, often used as a test site by the US Department of Defense and private munition companies. From within a custom-built room-sized black box purpose-built on the site, Raven recorded the elemental pressures of air and the raw materials that constitute the explosive event by exposing photosensitive paper for micro-seconds. These empirical experiments resulted in the subtly inflected abstractions that are collected in this artist’s book.

The town where the explosives range is located was given its name, Socorro (meaning ‘succour’ or ‘relief’), by ailing Spanish settlers when Piro Native Americans welcomed them with water. Raven became interested in this location, which is also close to the very first sites of nuclear weapon testing, whilst filming for the second of a cinematic trilogy of latter-day Westerns, each of which investigates properties of pressure, force, and material transformation in relation to the Western United States, past and present.

Accompanied by newly commissioned essays by art historian Pamela M. Lee and David Levi Strauss.

Lucy Raven’s distinct and methodical practice combines an extended and interdisciplinary enquiry into the form, function and apparatus of the moving image – whether animated, digital, mechanical or cinematic – with an ongoing appreciation for the landscapes, labours and myths surrounding the American West. Her work has been exhibited and collected by leading institutions both within the United States and globally. With Vic Brooks and Evan Calder Williams, she is a founding member of 13BC, a moving-image research and production collective. Raven teaches at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. She is represented by Lisson Gallery.

David Levi Strauss’s most recent books include Co-Illusion: Dispatches from the End of Communication (The MIT Press, 2020), Photography and Belief (David Zwirner Books, 2020), and The Critique of the Image Is the Defense of the Imagination (Autonomedia, 2020). He is chair emeritus of the graduate program in Art Writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York, which he directed from 2007 to 2021.