Dry Salvages

This artist’s book is a part of the installation by Elisabetta Benassi for vice versa, the Italian pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition La Biennale, Venezia 2013. Nero designed and edited the book.

The installation was made of 10,000 clay bricks arranged into a corner of the Italian pavilion at Venice’s Arsenale. The bricks represented the biggest debris in orbit around earth. This debris is listed and monitored by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), which publishes a spreadsheet with updated data on a regular basis.

Paper is recurring choice for archiving artworks of this size. So, the artist and Nero decided to make a catalogue, containing the data provided by NORAD, of the debris displayed on the installation.

My assignment was to find a way to transform the data from the NORAD's spreadsheet into running text and then typeset it into InDesign with the right appearance. This was possible thanks to some Python custom software I made for the occasion.

The program was able to dilute the spreadsheet data into XML tagged text then linked into an InDesign document as an external resource. Afterwards, the styles were mapped to the tags and a PDF was generated with InDesign. The result was a mighty 1,678 page document generated in a swift amount of time.

You can buy the book here.