4 3 2 CRY
Fracking in Northern Colorado

By Kathy T. Hettinga Rosendale, New York: Women's Studio Workshop, 2014. Edition of 46.

7.625 x 7.75"; 48 pages. Digitally printed on an Epson 9880 using archival inks. Fonts: Helvetica 1957, Helvetica Neue 1983, and Arbitrary 1990. Printed on Mohawk Superfine 70lb Text. Bound in hard covers with cloth-covered boards. Aluminum compliance sign riveted on the front cover. Signed and numbered on the colophon by the artist.

Trade Edition (2016): 7 x 7"; 48 pages. Perfect bound. Mohawk Superfine 70lb text paper. Bound in black linen boards. In pictorial dust jacket. Signed by the artist on the colophon.

Women's Studio Workshop: "4 3 2 CRY exposes the effects of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas upon families, land, air, and water in Hettinga’ s former home in Northern Colorado. After a 34 year absence, the author returns to the Johnstown Farm, a home she shared with her young husband, who tragically lost his life in a farming accident. The book is a meditation on personal loss as well as a lament for a community transformed by drilling operations and leads to the author’s call to stop hydraulic fracturing in the USA.

WSW, blog: "It was there [Johnston Farm] she once lived with her husband Duane, raised chicks in the basement, and reveled in the clear, open landscape. What she found upon returning was a region transformed by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking: well pads puncturing the farmhouse’s backyard, condensate tanks dotting the horizon, a haze hanging in the sky.

'Affixed to the condensate tanks were diamond-shaped, Mondrian-like signs in ironically playful primary colors, emblazoned with peculiar numbers and codes. 'I didn’t understand; these signs looked like they were for children,' says Kathy, 'and then I found out they meant this stuff could kill you.'

"The signs were the National Fire Protection Association’s 'hazard diamonds' used by emergency personnel to quickly identify hazardous material risks—and they quickly became the visual and thematic point of entry for … 4 3 2 CRY: Fracking in Northern Colorado. For the book, Kathy created her own coded sign using the numbers 4, 3, 2 and the cryogenic code 'CRY' to symbolize a 'Countdown to Environmental Lament' she says, where 'CRY' works as 'both a wailing, and a freezing of the heart against environmental stewardship.'

"Kathy is a content-driven, Pennsylvania-based artist working at the intersection of design, photography, digital printmaking, and book arts. With maximalist abandon, 4 3 2 CRY embraces technology even as it implicitly questions it: using digital sourcing, imaging, and printing, and reveling in Kathy’s interest in working somewhere between mass production and fine art. …

"The digitally-printed, hand-bound book … mediates on twin narratives of loss inspired by her visit to Johnstown Farm: the tragic death of her husband and the destruction of land, air, water, and families in what is now one of the most densely drilled areas in the United States. On the outside, 4 3 2 CRY mimics the condensate tanks along Colorado’s horizon, each book wrapped in drab book cloth with an actual aluminum NFPA hazard diamond riveted onto its cover. On the inside, 4 3 2 CRY‘s 48 pages are packed with visual and textual information: satellite maps, personal photographs, screenshots from websites, scrawled handwritten annotations, and technical text and narrative poetry are digitally juxtaposed to create rich surfaces and textures. Aerial maps of the drilled earth’s terrain create strikingly abstract, patterned compositions decoded by Kathy’s text.

"The hazard diamond echoes throughout the book, folding out three dimensionally and working as chapter markers to guide readers through Kathy’s dense, meticulously researched narrative. Like the satellite technology it references, 4 3 2 CRY zooms in as it progresses. Chapter by chapter (“4”, “3”, “2,” and “CRY”), readers begin by looking at aerial maps of Colorado’s drill sites, then enter the town of Greeley, peer into vignettes of Kathy’s idyllic life and love on the farm, and bear witness to Duane’s early death—all the while uncovering, in parallel, the mechanics and effects of fracking in increasing detail. The result is a collaged, interwoven atlas of mourning and imminent loss."
$69 Trade Edition