Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
Three Rooms Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 0.9 X 8.2 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author

Johanna Drucker is an artist, writer, critic, historian, and theorist internationally known for her creative and scholarly work in digital humanities, history of the book, visual poetry, and artists' books. She began making letterpress editions in the 1970s in the context of the Bay Area poetry scene, where language writing and book arts were flourishing. She has lived in Amsterdam, Paris, New York City, on the island of Santorini, New Haven, Charlottesville, and Dallas, and has held faculty positions at Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Virginia, and UCLA, among other institutions. Her work as a book artist was the subject of a retrospective in 2012, Druckworks: Forty Years of Books and Projects. She has published more than a dozen scholarly works and as well creative writing titles including: The Alphabetic Labyrinth (Thames and Hudson, 1994), Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Harvard, 2014), As No Storm (Rebis, 1975), Italy (The Figures, 1980), Dark Decade (Detour, 1995), Diagrammatic Writing (Onomatopรฉe, 2014), and Fabulas Feminae (Litmus Press, 2015). Her text, The Century of Artists' Books (Granary 1995), is considered the definitive work in the field. She is currently working on a database memoire, ALL the books I never wrote or wrote and never published.


"Occasionally books arise that explore unique and provocative universal potentialities, books that are provoked by scientific research and grow into speculative knowledge. Johanna Drucker's DownDrift is such a book. . . . Downdrift insightfully and rigorously explores questions of consciousness, processes of biological evolution, and the transformative impact of shifts in communication on society. Sound familiar? Downdrift is about our time, now, as human beings, navigating extreme turbulence and destabilized subjectivity: surveillance capitalism, populism, memes. . . . DownDrift is reminiscent of the best parts of Burroughs, Lispector, Pynchon, DeLillo, Patchen. And one hears residues of the poets: Charles Bernstein (for humor), Lorie Graham (on elegies), Lisa Robertson (in The Weather). The quantum world is strange. The human pinnacle of dominance, precarious. DownDrift's plot tension is lite. Its intellectual recruitment, high. Insight, agility, style, and humor far above average." --Electronic Book Review

"Rides the wave of the New Weird, combining elements of fantasy, horror, speculative, psychological, absurdist, and literary fiction. ... A work of tremendous ambition, strangeness, and most import, compassion." --Library Journal, starred review

"Tales of the many different animals are delivered in deliciously short chapters that build over the course of one year into a story that's by turns droll, subversive, pensive, brooding, off-the-charts weird, and wonderfully surprising. . . . Animal lovers will enjoy the antics of the beagles, bears, salamanders, cows, spiders, and other creatures, but the author's beautifully subtle message isn't just for pet owners or environmentalists. It's for all of us." --Kirkus Reviews

"Laughing or crying, Drucker skewers the current cultural moment in an novel extrapolation of epic proportions. Taken to the furthest extreme, Downdrift is dogged by an urgent need to understand the difference between the domestic and the wild, measure it, and recalibrate its implications for survival." --Foreword Reviews (starred review)

"A bold narrative . . . stunningly effective." Tulsa Book Review

"In actual labs, we've already been able to engineer goats that manufacture spider silk, and tomatoes that are part fish. In Johanna Drucker's brilliant meditation on the dissolution of species, cats process coffee beans in their guts, hyenas recycle foil and we are left to ponder what is lost when the wild grows out of place among the domestic and the domestic grows strange to itself. Just as profoundly, DOWNDRIFT invites us to take the long view of a humanless future." --Steve Tomasula, author, VAS: An Opera in Flatland

"A genealogical critique of morals--a migratory picture of that sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, working out of the West's metaphysics of justice on a planetary scale." --Ron Day, Professor, Indiana University at Bloomington