By Claire Siepser Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Little Dinosaur Press, 2013.
13 x 12" compartmentalized box for books, game pieces. Contains 3 books and folder: Playbook for healing and dealing; Blank Book; Coloring Book of Unfortunate Situations; and, Make your own permanent record. 5.5 x 8.5" single sheet with introduction laid in.
Blank Book: 9 x 5"; 20 pages. Sewn binding. Blue paper wraps. "Blank Book" printed on front cover.
PLAYBOOK for healing and dealing: 9 x 6.5"; 15 leaves (4 tab divider leaves; 9 forms). Three ring binder with plastic covers and title on front cover.
Coloring Book of Unfortunate Situations: 11 x 8.5"; 20 pages. Printed wraps. Sewn binding.
Make Your Own Permanent Record: 11.5" x 8.5" paper tab folder. Six-page foldout extending from center of folder. 5.5 x 8.5" single sheet "Optional Additional Evaluation" form attached to folder with paper clip. Title on front of folder.
PLAY, introduction: "The entire piece is four books and a box, which can be experienced independently of each other or housed together. The box itself is the Kit for Healing and may be filled with objects you value or obtain from an exhibition of the entire project. ... All of the books are made to be used, filled out, colored in, or rearranged. Make up your own rules and don't forget to have fun!"
Claire Siepser: "Four years ago I started thinking about how people play. I started to think about the different ways individuals play and especially how the idea of play changes from childhood to adulthood. An idea popped into my head that I dubbed ‘serious play’ about how we play to prepare or deal with the world when the stakes are higher.
"This area of thinking led me to my MFA in Book Arts final creative project. The project has culminated in four books that can be housed in a box but can also exist separately in the world. The box itself is the Kit for Healing. The books are the Coloring Book of Unfortunate Situations, Make Your Own Permanent Record, Playbook for Healing and Dealing, and the Blank Book.
"As my ideas of serious play for adults started to take shape, I became more focused on the area where serious and play overlap. These ideas began to form into a few distinct areas, which lead to the different books. I wanted the books to span this overlapping range. I wanted some to be more playful on first glance and then serious upon closer study, and others to seem serious and actually be more playful in the end. I made each book interactive and additionally included a section readers could make their own portion. ...
"The first book is blank for people who want to make their own structure or prefer a diary format. The second book is a coloring book for adults about the terrible situations we get ourselves into. The Coloring Book of Unfortunate Situations appears more playful but is comprised of very intense situations. It is an object example of how when things are so bad sometimes the only thing to do is make a joke. The third book, Make Your Own Permanent Record, is about how we deal with our personal present and own our pasts. I decided it would appear serious, aesthetically existing further in the world of adulthood with file folders and health forms, but with unexpectedly playful content. The fourth book, the Playbook for Healing and Dealing, would be more about formalized play such as the sports playbook and the plans we put into place to deal with our world. Finally the box itself, which is more formal and possibly less playful but has the word Play very prominently printed on the cover and people would be free to do what they wanted with the extra compartments in the boxes. "