BBB Self Portrait of The Horse in France

img_0540During the process of making a horse in Rogues, France in the summer of 2008, we discovered in a number of photographs taken there were images or themes that seemed to have a direct link back to certain 17th Century paintings. The criteria for these BBB Self Portraits of The Horse were that all 3 BBB Operators should be present, or should have a presence within the image.

img_0551It worked best with this one. Op A photographing Op O photographing Op M sewing the body of the horse. The still and careful cats, the wooden chair, the mirror, the natural light from the window shining onto the stone floor of an old house suggested a composition by Vermeer.



Leave a comment

Filed under 1

BBB Self Portrait of The Horse

a-horse-in-the-foyer-of-t-001Captured on CCTV Camera entering a cinema in Sunderland, England.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1



available from FRMK, amazon, Bruxelles bookstores etc.



ISBN : 9782350650234
Format cm. : 13,5 x 20,5
Impression : Noir & Blanc
Couverture : Souple, Jacquette
Nombre pages : 32
PVP : 9,00 Euros

Faits et gestes, c’est à dire successions d’aperçus et vues en gravures sur bois, de la vie de l’Opérateur. Celui qui imprime, imprimé, imprimant, un livre aux pages noires. Noires. Noir. BlackBookBlack, est le titre générique d’un projet où sont réalisés in situ et à la main des livres noirs composés de gravures sur bois noires. Le livre BlackBookBlack,décrit la naissance autant que le coeur du projet. C’est, tout en images, une lettre d’amour à la gravure, au bois, au Livre, à l’Art en tant qu’idéal ou technique.

Olivier Deprez :
Graveur, dessinateur, Olivier Deprez est né en 1966 à Binche en Belgique et vit maintenant dans le sud de la France. Membre fondadeur du collectif Frigoproduction, des éditions Fréons et FRMK, il est écrivain, théoricien, peintre. Il a enseigné dans plusieurs écoles supérieures d’Arts Graphiques. Grand lecteur de Proust, Dante ou Joyce, il travaille aussi autour de l’œuvre du poète américain A.R. Ammons. En 2006, il participe au projet théatral The Attendants gallery. C’est à cette occasion qu’il rencontre le comédien Miles O’Shea et crée avec lui la Rollertowertable. Cette machine à imprimer et colporter des gravures est au centre de BlackBookBlack, un projet dédié à la gravure et au livre, qui figure au rang des projets ALEPHèrèmka.


Leave a comment

Filed under 1

Virginia Woolf on reading

5571315_mAt this late hour of the world’s history books are to be found in every room of the house – in the nursery, in the drawing room, in the dining room, in the kitchen. And in some houses they have collected so that they have to be accommodated with a room of their own. Novels, poems, histories, memoirs, valuable books in leather, cheap books in paper – one stops sometimes before them and asks in a transient amazement what is the pleasure I get, or the good I create, from passing my eyes up and down these innumerable lines of print? Reading is a very complex art – the hastiest examination of our sensations as a reader will show us that much. And our duties as readers are many and various. But perhaps it may be said that our first duty to a book is that one should read it for the first time as if one were writing it.

One should begin by sitting in the dock with the criminal, not by mounting the bench to sit among the Judges. One should be an accomplice with the writer in his act, whether good or bad, of creation. For each of these books, however it may differ in kind and quality, is an attempt to make something. And our first duty as readers is to try and understand what the writer is making from the first word with which he builds his first sentence to the last with which he ends his book. We must not impose our design upon him; we must not try to make him conform his will to ours. We must allow Defoe to be Defoe and Jane Austen to be Jane Austen as freely as we allow the tiger to have his fur and the tortoise to have his shell. And this is very difficult. For it is one of the qualities of greatness that it brings Heaven and earth and human nature into conformity with its own vision.

The great writers thus often require us to make heroic efforts in order to read them rightly. They bend us and break us. To go from Defoe to Jane Austen, from Hardy to Peacock, from Trollope to Meredith, from Richardson to Rudyard Kipling, is to be wrenched and distorted, to be thrown violently this way and that. And so, too, with the lesser writers. Each is singular; each has a view, a temperament, an experience of his own which may conflict with ours but must be allowed to express itself fully if we are to do him justice. And the writers who have most to give us often do most violence to our prejudices, particularly if they are our own contemporaries, so that we have need of all our imagination and understanding if we are to get the utmost that they can give us. But reading, as we have suggested, is a complex art. It does not merely consist in sympathising and understanding. It consists, too, in criticising and in judging.

The reader must leave the dock and mount the bench. He must cease to be the friend; he must become the judge. And this second process, which we may call the process of after-reading, for it is often done without the book before us, yields an even more solid pleasure than that which we receive when we are actually turning the pages. During the actual reading new impressions are always cancelling or completing the old. Delight, anger, boredom, laughter succeed each other incessantly as we read. Judgment is suspended, for we cannot know what may come next. But now the book is completed. It has taken a definite shape. And the book as a whole is different from the book received currently in several different parts. It has a shape, it has a being. And this shape, this being, can be held in the mind and compared with the shapes the essays of other books and given its own size and smallness by comparison with theirs.

But if this process of judging and deciding is full of pleasure it is also full of difficulty. Not much help can be looked for from outside. Critics and criticism abound, but it does not help us greatly to read the views of another mind when our own is still hot from a book that we have just read. It is after one has made up one’s own opinion that the opinions of others are most illuminating. It is when we can defend our own judgment that we get most from the judgment of the great critics – the Johnsons, the Drydens and the Arnolds.

To make up our own minds we can best help ourselves first by realising the impression that the book has left as fully and sharply as possible, and then by comparing this impression with the impressions that we have formulated in the past. There they hang in the wardrobe of the mind – the shapes of the books we have read, like clothes that we have taken off and hung up to wait their season. Thus, if we have just read, say, Clarissa Harlowe for the first time we take it and let it show itself against the shape that remains in our minds after reading Anna Karenina. We place them side by side and at once the outlines of the two books are cut out against each other as the angle of a house (to change the figure) is cut out against the fullness of the harvest moon. We contrast Richardson’s prominent qualities with Tolstoi’s. We contrast his indirectness and verbosity with Tolstoi’s brevity and directness. We ask ourselves why it is that each writer has chosen so different an angle of approach. We compare the emotion that we felt at different crises of their books. We speculate as to the difference between the 18th century in England and the 19th century in Russia – but there is no end to the questions that at once suggest themselves as we place the books together. Thus by degrees, by asking questions and answering them, we find that we have decided that the book we have just read is of this kind or that, has this degree of merit or that, takes its station at this point or at that in the literature as a whole. And if we are good readers we thus judge not only the classics and the masterpieces of the dead, but we pay the living writers the compliment of comparing them as they should be compared with the pattern of the great books of the past.

Thus, then, when the moralists ask us what good we do by running our eyes over these many printed pages, we can reply that we are doing our part as readers to help masterpieces into the world. We are fulfilling our share of the creative task – we are stimulating, encouraging, rejecting, making our approval and disapproval felt; and are thus acting as a check and a spur upon the writer. That is one reason for reading books – we are helping to bring good books into the world and to make bad books impossible. But it is not the true reason. The true reason remains the inscrutable one – we get pleasure from reading. It is a complex pleasure and a difficult pleasure; it varies from age to age and from book to book. But that pleasure is enough. Indeed that pleasure is so great that one cannot doubt that without it the world would be a far different and a far inferior place from what it is. Reading has changed the world and continues to change it. When the day of judgment comes therefore and all secrets are laid bare, we shall not be surprised to learn that the reason why we have grown from apes to men, and left our caves and dropped our bows and arrows and sat round the fire and talked and given to the poor and helped the sick – the reason why we have made shelter and society out of the wastes of the desert and the tangle of the jungle is simply this – we have loved reading.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1

BBB Fahrenheit 451


Protocole de l’action BBB Fahrenheit 451.

1. L’action BBB Fahrenheit 451 consiste à étudier par cœur un livre entier.
2. Le livre est librement choisi par chaque membre du BBB.
3. L’action BBB Fahrenheit 451 est individuelle.
4. L’action BBB Fahrenheit 451 ne donne lieu à aucun spectacle.
5. L’action BBB Fahrenheit 451 est une action solitaire.
6. L’action BBB Fahrenheit 451 ne doit pas être vérifiée ou évaluée par quelque moyen que ce soit ; seul le membre du BBB est à la fois acteur et spectateur de cette action qui ne peut être théâtralisée.
7. L’action BBB Fahrenheit 451 n’a pas de fin.
8. L’action BBB Fahrenheit 451 accompagne le projet BBB de façon implicite. Il va désormais de soi que chaque membre du BBB est la mémoire vivante d’un livre (et de plusieurs au fil du temps).
9. La langue du livre choisi est celle de la langue originale d’écriture du livre

Leave a comment

Filed under 1

The BBB Dictionary


from the notes of Op A…

Op M buys a english-french/french-english dictionary from Charing Cross Road, London on Wednesday 10th December 2008.
The dictionary’s pages cannot be wider than the width of Op M’s printing machine in the BBB-Hotel. It will have to have sewn pages to allow Op A to take it to pieces (and put it together again).
It should be as comprehensive as possible. How many words is that ?

Op M sends it to Op A at the BBB Apartment. By post.

Op A then takes the dictionary to pieces, removing each “booklet”, a number of pages that are sewn together in the dictionary; for example if there are 1,600 pages in the dictionary and each booklet has 16 pages, there will be 100 booklets. This example is important as it will be referred to later in the notes.

Op A sends two 16 page booklets, each four double-sided sheets of the dictionary; one to Op O, one to Op M. Op O will receive the first booklet from the english-french part of the dictionary, Op M will receive the first booklet from the french-english part of the dictionary.
Op A will also send with the booklets to Op O and Op M each four double-sided sheets of blank paper, identical in size to the double sided sheets of the dictionary. Op A will send the booklets and the double-sided sheets of blank paper at the same time in the same envelope by post.
Op A is responsible for the choice of paper.

On receiving the booklet and paper Op O will take a pen in his hand and beginning with the first word on the first page of the first english-french booklet, record on the first page of the blank paper all words Op O recognises as being identical to the word in french. Op M will do the same beginning with the first word on the first page of the first french-english booklet, recording on the first page of the blank paper all words Op M recognises as being identical to the word in english. They will record after each word on the blank paper the number of the page on the dictionary, thereby creating an index.
for example:
Op O will write on the blank paper, Alligator Page 1
Op M will write on the blank paper, Alligator Page 800
(presuming the dictionary is english/french – french/english consisting of 1600 pages and that the dictionary is exactly divided into two halves and “Alligator” occurs identically on page 1 and 800)
The criteria for “identical” are thus:
Words that have identical spelling and not words that have identical meanings or non-identical meanings. For example, the english word “sensible” is spelt identically as the french word “sensible” so this word will be recorded. The BBB-Dictionary’s criteria is not to record words that have the same meaning in french and english. The BBB-Dictionary’s criteria is to record words that are the same in french and english.

All identical words identified and written onto the blank pages completed, Op O and Op M will then print over the pages of the booklet. The woodcut should be cut to meet the measurements of the border of the words printed in the dictionary but not the page number. If through error or intention the page number of the dictionary is obscured then ah thats how it is ah. When dry, a minimum of two days, the booklet and recorded pages will be sent back to Op A. By post.

On receiving the booklets and pages from Op O and Op M, Op A will then send the second booklet and second four double-sided sheets of blank pages to Op O and Op M. Naturally, due to the inconsistency of time and the postal service and workrate of Op O and Op M, Op A will send the second booklet and second four double-sided sheets of blank pages to Op O and Op M at different times. Also, Op A’s workrate is to be considered.


Op A’s next step will be to take the completed black-printed pages of the dictionary from the envelope and resew them back to their original format, a 16 page booklet. Op A will take the four double-sided sheets of paper with the recorded words on them and sew them into a booklet which will become part of the BBB-Dictionary’s index.
Op A’s other indispensible part in the process of the creation of the BBB-Dictionary will be to create the BBB-Dictionary Website.
Op A shall, on receiving the recorded blank pages type them onto a specially created website listing the words that appear on the blank pages posted to her by Op O and Op M. For example Op A receives Op O’s first, there will appear on the website;
Alligator 1 (page number)
Anathema 1
Attack 1
If the viewer is to click on the word, on the screen will appear the image of the black-printed page of the dictionary that it is taken from (with page number 1 if it is not by error or intention obscured).
For example if Op A receives Op M’s first, there will appear on the website;
Alligator 800 (page number)
Anathema 800
Attack 800
If the viewer is to click on the word, on the screen will appear the image of the black-printed page of the dictionary that it is taken from (with page number 800 if it is not by error or intention obscured)
A computer programme will automatically sort words arriving onto the website posted by Op A alphabetically.For example Op A receives Op O’s first, there will appear on the website:
Alligator 1 (page number)
Anathema 1
Attack 1
and when Op A receives Op M’s it will appear thus:
Alligator 1
Alligator 800
Anathema 1
Anathema 800
Attack 1
Attack 800
Again this consistency all depends on the inconsistency of time and the postal service and workrate of Op O, Op M and Op A, not to mention the beforementioned error or intention. But the BBB-Dictionary is not concerned with consistency or inconsistency or error or intention. Also this chosen example only consists of six words, or to be accurate, three words. In this chosen example the dictionary consists of 1600 pages.
Op A is responsible for the content and design of the website but should comprise of a list of the words and links to each relevant black-printed relevant page.
An example of a website consisting of a list of words, with links, although not exactly reflecting the BBB-Dictionary website is this :

Op A will send, over the years, a total of 100 booklets and blank pages to Op O and Op M, who will then send them back to Op A, to be collected into a list on the website. When complete, Op A will then reassemble the dictionary, with all its pages reinstated and a hand printed index at the back which will send the reader of the BBB-Dictionary to the correct page where each word occurs. Naturally through error or intention, pages, words, numbers will be lost.

All contact between Op O, Op M and Op A concerning the BBB-Dictionary will be made by post. In english-french/french-english.

Questions and queries in an envelope to;

Op M
The BBB-Hotel
rue marché au charbon 91
1000 Bruxelles

Op O
The BBB-Center
Les Anglades
30120 Rogues

Op A
The BBB-Apartment
rue e. bouilliot 19
1050 Bruxelles

Leave a comment

Filed under 1

Reception. Perception. Deception.

1_bbb-okpage11_v2 Scientists distinguish between the sensation of black and the perception of black. Theories have been advanced to explain both aspects, one espoused by a group of physiologists whose best known representative  was physicist and polymath Hermann von Helmholtz, the other developed by physiologist and brain expert Ewald Hering. For Helmholtz, the sensation of black derived from the absence of light, from the lack of light stimuli. By contrast, Hering claimed that all visual perception including seeing black involved light, explaining the perception of black as the result of contrast. Von Helmholtz discovered that the human retina has three different kinds of cone enabling us to see colours and that these do not register stimuli at night. For Hering, this did not delve deeply enough. Incorporating the brain into his theory, he proposed that both the sensation and the perception of black result from a physiological-chemical reaction taking place in a nerve fibre. The two theories were eventually reconciled. For the perception of black this meant that first, a surface appears black when it does not reflect the light striking it, that is, when it absorbs waves that the eye can register; and secondly, although we register phenomena with our sense organs, lack of information received by the rods and cones in our retina does not make it impossible to see black, because ultimately we perceive with our brain.

Nevertheless, it has not been established how exactly the brain enables us to perceive black. We possess nerve cells that react to red and green, to circles and triangles, and to moving bars, but none of our nerve cells register black, which our brain processes in the areas reserved for shapes and movement.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1