20 pages
8.5 × 5.5 in.
Offset printed on 80# French Smart White Cover and Text

In 2014 I traveled with my collaborator, Carley Gomez, to Colombia’s coffee region to see for myself how the representations of coffee production I see in US advertising differ from the reality. We arrived amidst labor unrest which had begun as I first planned the trip and has continued on and off throughout the production of this book, culminating in the summer of 2016.

Pyrolysis interweaves news reports, advertising copy, and a report of our own time in Colombia to examine the contradictions between reality and representation, as well as the inherent contradictions in the mode of production that dominates the coffee industry. Even as the book raises the possibility of change, the influence exerted by the past on the present manifests in a ceaseless boom-bust cycle and a predictable pattern of violence. It is this inevitable conflict which the smooth facade of advertising and propaganda must cover, and which remains discernible beneath these efforts.

Printing was done on a Heidelberg GTO at the Center for Book, Paper and Print at Columbia College Chicago thanks to an Alumni Access Award and ample help from Brad Freeman. Travel and research were made possible by the Aiko Fellowship and a CBAA Project Assistance Grant.