“A Period of Juvenile Prosperity is a collection of photographs taken by Mike Brodie over the course of years of train-hopping, hitchhiking, and walking across the U.S. An incidental photographer at first – he only began shooting after finding an old Polaroid camera on the road – the shots are full of the rugged, the ragged and the temporal. Designing the special editions for this book is one of Schiek’s current projects. In his workshop he gathers together each of the pieces, like artifacts from a journey, that will draw the sentiments Brodie’s photographs evoke into the three-dimensional. “I was trying to mimic the materials that are in the photos. Most of the photos are of the side of the road, trains, all this metal.” He pulls out a steel frame with deliberately rough welds and explains experiments with rusting that he’s conducting. The frame will hold the contents of the set. The book is jacketed in 75 lb. butcher paper, simple packing material that Schiek found appropriate to the subject matter. It is saturated in deep blue ink and hand-scrawled into the ink are notes from Brodie’s journeys. A scrap of weathered American flag that will bear the colophon – the publication notes – in stamped black ink, accompanies the set along with a steel-mounted, signed print from the collection. Schiek adds an antiqued mirror to the assemblage, like something scavenged off a Missouri Pacific depot men’s room wall. Cold metal and gratifyingly heavy, Schiek gently shakes the assembled box to produce the muffled rattle of the steel print against the frame. “It sounds like industrial America.”
story starts at 12:55 in.