McSweeney's has released a new book called Arboretum by David Byrne, described as a "collection of drawings/trees/maps." From the McSweeney's preview:
It's printed in a black-and-silver duotone for an uncanny graphite finish that preserves all the erasures and scribbles of the originals, its hard cover is wrapped in unassuming lunch-bag brown paper, and there's a 4-foot-long foldout explanatory guide.
Byrne explains the drawings:
Well, I guess they're a lot of things. Faux science, automatic writing, self-analysis, satire, and maybe even a serious attempt at finding connections where none were thought to exist.
They began a few years ago as instructions to myself in a little notebook–"draw an evolutionary tree on pleasure," or "draw a Venn diagram about relationships," for example. Mental maps of imaginary territory; typologies of wine descriptions, East Village clubs and bars, and medieval war machines. Maybe it was a sort of self-therapy that worked by allowing the hand to "say" what the voice could not.
Irrational logic–I've heard it called that. The application of logical scientific rigor and form to basically irrational premises. To proceed, carefully and deliberately, from nonsense, with a straight face, often arriving at a new kind of sense.
But how can nonsense ever emerge as sense? No matter how convoluted or folded, it will still always be nonsense, won't it?