Simon Lewis
Observances. The Book of Soundings


“When in English one uses the term to “take soundings,” one is either referring to the act of making indirect enquiries about a person or situation, or to the attempt to determine – by the use of such devices as sonar, a sounding balloon or a deep sea lead – physical properties and conditions in a terrain, the atmosphere or the sea. In taking soundings one is not working in front of the object, but at a distance from it. One is neither taking samples from the physical environment nor describing a direct perception of it, so there exists a space between what is investigated and the investigator.

“The soundings involved in The Book of Soundings derive not so much from geographical conditions, as from such realms as the natural sciences, culture, politics etc., and although the drawings are initiated by these realms, they are not a collection of unmediated pickings from, or comments about them, chosen merely to highlight this or that current issue or debate. The idea, in these drawings, is to let the distance between the investigator and what is investigated become a breathing space that allows in both the imagination and the critical gaze.” — Simon Lewis

Besides the drawing series in The Book of Soundings, the publication includes a second book, Observances, featuring Simon Lewis’ previously unpublished text work. The artist book is published on the occasion of Simon Lewis’ solo exhibition at the GAK – Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen (Germany), 26.01. – 09.04.2007.

Published by Passenger Books
ISBN 978-3-00-020662-7
2 thread-stitched 48 page paperback volumes, 29.5 x 21 cm, in slipcase; 20 full page b/w illustrations.
Edition of 800
$28 USD

Available from Passenger Books

Simon Lewis was born in Norwich, GB, in 1965 and lives in Denmark. Around fifteen years ago, as a response to his fellow students at the time (the so-called “Young British Artists” such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst), he took the exact opposite path of extreme concentration and deceleration.

Passenger Books came into being on a ship on the Bosporus on New Year’s Eve 2004/05. Since then, a number of artists’ books and artists’ buttons have been published between Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Istanbul, Montreal, and Zurich.