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Part of a larger art project involving an exhibition, BERTY is a journey through classic texts on the machine and the human condition.
Part of a larger art project involving an exhibition, BERTY is a journey through classic texts on the machine and the human condition.
79 backers pledged $7,408 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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*BERTY is becoming reality thanks to all the tremendous support so far! Although we have already reached our funding goal, we are aiming for more to cover the production cost of the other rewards. Your support is much appreciated!*

BERTY is a collaboration between artist Angela Su and writer Mary Lee, with postscript by Nadim Abbas. This artist’s book project is an extension of Angela’s solo exhibition that will be held at Gallery EXIT in Hong Kong at the end of 2013.

Revolving around the theme of body/machine relationship, BERTY and the adjunct exhibition attempt to answer some of the questions that arise from the body and machine dualism/dichotomy: Is the machine an extension of the body (prosthetics, assembly line)? Or is the body, that consumes and as a consumable artifact, an extension of the machine?


A homage to, and delight for the fans of Science Fiction, Scientific/Medical Illustrations, the Gothic, Body Horror, and everything fantastical.

A literary collage exploring the complex relationships between the machine and the human body, BERTY brings its readers through a fantastical journey through classic texts on the machine and the human condition. 

By presenting the novella as a centrepiece of the exhibition, BERTY not only provides a key to understanding Angela's works in the exhibition, but is also an experiment to blur the boundary between visual art and literature. 

IN BERTY WE TRUST ! 3-channel video animation, 22:30
IN BERTY WE TRUST ! 3-channel video animation, 22:30


Drawing from a wide spectrum of references, from Descartes’ body-machine analogy to Charles Darwin’s biological evolution and Samuel Butler’s evolution of machines; from Goethe’s archetypal plant to Charles Babbage and Alan Turing’s hypothetical machines; the machine in Modern Times vs. Deleuze and Guattari’s desiring machine, and the reduced humans in the dystopian worlds of Fahrenheit 451 and Alphaville; from Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein to its modern counterparts: the automaton and artificial intelligence in 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner; from Georges Bataille and J. G. Ballard’s fetishism and obsessions with the body, the body horror of David Lynch and David Cronenberg, to Japanese cyberpunk animation classics such as Akira and Ghost in the Shell, and many else besides, this novella celebrates this wide range of body/machine relationships ever conceived by the human imagination in the form of an illustrated science fiction. 

Merging various writing styles and genres, graphics and images, scribbles and illustrations, BERTY is a piece of conceptual writing engaged in the discourses of body and machine interrelation.

Original artworks by artist Angela Su


Also featured in the book is an exciting compilation of artist Angela Su’s fantastical drawings. Adopting the precision of scientific illustration, Angela’s images of torture machines, human flesh and organs represent a bleak chronicle of the human condition. Angela’s works have been exhibited in the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Rossi & Rossi and Saatchi Gallery in London. Check out Angela’s portfolio at http://angela-su.blogspot.hk/. You can also read about Angela's works in The Huffington Post, Blouin ArtInfo, and Art Radar Asia.

Deliver Me From All My Automatic Reactions, ink on drafting film, 75x150cm, 2012
Deliver Me From All My Automatic Reactions, ink on drafting film, 75x150cm, 2012


About the project and how you can help

This project began in March 2013 when Angela was conceiving her new exhibition, and decided that she wanted to make a book that will complement the works shown in the exhibition. Almost as soon as Angela proposed it, Mary Lee, a friend and ardent reader and writer of literary works, as well as creator of a number of independent book projects, agreed to participate in the experiment. Months of intensive reading and discussions culminated in the current piece titled BERTY. Angela and Mary also invited Nadim Abbas to contribute an unconventional postscript for BERTY. An installation artist in his own right, Nadim utilizes writing as an important supplement to his visual art practice. His most recent publication can be viewed on this website.

Now that the contents and design of the book are almost finalized, we are in need of funds to pay for the printing of the physical book before it can materialize. We hope to launch the book during the opening of Angela’s exhibition in late November 2013, which means that we need to send it to the printer latest by early November.

With your help, not only the book will be able to materialize in its physical glory, but also complement Angela’s exhibition under the context as she originally conceived it.

How will the money be used?


From the total raised amount raised through Kickstarter, Kickstarter takes a 5% commission and Amazon Payments 3%-5% service charge. From what remains, the majority be used for printing the 200-page colour illustrated book (final page count to be confirmed), then on producing the other rewards and covering packing and shipping costs.

None of us is taking any artist fee for the project. We did it out of a passionate belief in our creation. Your kind generosity is deeply appreciated and will absolutely motivate us to move on to new endeavours.


The rewards


Below shows images of some of the rewards if you back our project. Please refer to the right column for the list of rewards for different pledge amounts.

BERTY book
BERTY book
Postcard and other rewards
Postcard and other rewards
DVD of video animation
DVD of video animation
Digital print on archival paper
Digital print on archival paper


Timeline


Early October 2013 – Kickstarter project launches
Early November 2013 – Kickstarter project ends
Early November 2013 – BERTY book sent to printer
Late November 2013 – BERTY book printed, book launch and exhibition opening
December 2013 – Preparation of rewards and confirmation of rewards delivery
January – February 2014 – Delivery of rewards

Risks and challenges

With Mary’s experience in self-publishing, there is no question as to producing and printing the physical book. However, the production of other rewards, and the packing and shipping of them may be a challenge to us as we can only do it after work. We have only approximated the packing and shipping costs and there may be a possibility that we have underestimated them. But we will definitely try our best to keep to the schedule and make sure that the packaging is robust within the budget.

The project intends to be an exploration of the themes mentioned above, as opposed to a piece of genuine creative writing. We love the texts we refer to, but we also acknowledge that we are no professional writer of the genre. Wherever possible we have laid down the references that have inspired us, and plagiarism is definitely not something we believe in. We sincerely hope that our backers who eventually read the book will understand what we are trying to do and appreciate this visual world crafted by us and made possible by you.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THANK YOU! You will receive -
    A thank you message; and
    BERTY project updates.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THANK YOU! You will receive - A postcard of Angela's original illustration with personal note; and BERTY project updates. (All shipping included)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    THANK YOU! You will receive -
    A digital copy of BERTY; and
    BERTY project updates.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THANK YOU! You will receive -
    A copy of the BERTY book;
    A postcard of Angela's original illustration with personal note; and
    BERTY project updates.
    (All shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    21 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THANK YOU! You will receive -
    A DVD of the BERTY animation;
    A SIGNED copy of the BERTY book;
    A postcard of Angela's original illustration with personal note; and
    BERTY project updates.
    (All shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    17 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THANK YOU! You will receive -
    One A4 digital print of Angela’s work on archival paper;
    A SIGNED copy of the BERTY book;
    A postcard of Angela's original illustration with personal note; and
    BERTY project updates.
    (All shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THANK YOU! You will receive -
    YOUR CHOICE of one A4 digital print of Angela’s work on archival paper;
    A SIGNED copy of the BERTY book;
    A postcard of Angela's original illustration with personal note; and
    BERTY project updates.
    (All shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 8 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THANK YOU! You will receive -
    One A3 digital print of Angela’s work on archival paper;
    A SIGNED copy of the BERTY book;
    A postcard of Angela's original illustration with personal note; and
    BERTY project updates.
    (All shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THANK YOU! You will receive -
    YOUR CHOICE of Two A3 digital prints of Angela’s work on archival paper;
    A DVD of the BERTY animation;
    A SIGNED copy of the BERTY book;
    A postcard of Angela's original illustration with personal note; and
    BERTY project updates.
    (All shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    THANK YOU! You will receive -
    An original artwork by Angela;
    A SIGNED copy of the BERTY book;
    A postcard of Angela's original illustration with personal note; and
    BERTY project updates.
    (All shipping included)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)