Artists' Books - Presses
Nexus Press
Atlanta, Georgia


Contact Information for the Nexus Press

Above: Cover of Whisky Defense by Clifton Kirkpatrick Meador, Nexus Press, 2001.

A story about the history, culture, and whisky of Scotland, the clever text of Whisky Defense is paired with hauntingly digitized images of Scotland. The colophon notes, "The text is set in New Caledonia (get it?)."

"Black and oily, almost viscous in a greasy way, the peat emerges from the peat bog. As it lies in the ground it is mostly water, 90 percent water. Diggers cut out chunks and pitch them up to dry on the banks around the diggings; there it lies until it is dry enough to stack into little tripods. When it is finally completely dry, it is taken home and stacked into a neat pile, carefully constructed to shed water.

We ourselves are mostly water, with just enough solid material to keep the water together. We emerge from the womb and are thrown into bassinettes until we are dry enough to take home. From there we are stacked in schools until needed.

We drink whisky when the water inside us gets cold, or lonely, or just sad" (pp.34-35).

"Bronze working spreads to Scotland. A long period of climatic deterioration begins. The weather turns colder and wetter" (pp.40-41).

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"The Stone of Destiny, Scotland's Coronation Stone, is returned from London to Edinburgh Castle, seven hundred years after being stolen by Edward I. A Scottish Parliament is reinstated after almost three hundred years, following the devolution of powers from London through the Scotland Act of 1997. A long period of climatic deterioration begins. The weather turns warmer and wetter" (p.57).

Cover of Wheeling Wheeling Wheeling by Ruth Laxson, 1992.
Below: One of the spreads from Wheeling Wheeling Wheeling.

Above: Cover of Surplus Koan Totem: Book Two by Lewis Koch, Nexus Press 1993. Right: The images of the Surplus Koan Totem from Koch's book.


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Koch explains:

  • "The language of totems is one that speaks of many mute or incomprehensible voices among us in this world....The photographic assemblage represented here reconfigures the idea of totems in a contemporary context. Following the traditional pattern, it offers a sincere respect of the mysteries of our existence in its many manifestations. It also becomes a tool of a critical discourse by suggesting the connectedness we all implicitly have to the pressing issues of our time."


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Koch also quotes John Muir,

  • " 'When we try to pick out everything by itself we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.' "


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From the title of the book, a definition of Koan:

  • "Koan (ko'on), n. A teaching device in the form of a paradoxical riddle, originally used as an accompaniment to Zen meditation."

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