Thought Police Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell, 1949  In George Orwell’s prescient novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he introduced the terrifying concept of the Thought Police — a secret police who rely on mass surveillance and informants to search out and punish those who hold views that are contrary to the views of the government.  This idea that one must accept the world as dictated by the ruling authority regardless of facts is especially relevant in today’s “alternative facts”, post-truth society.  In this piece, I used a razor knife to physically redact text, leaving the Thought Police surveilling all from the top of the page.  I also left a selection of words that reference the tactics employed by the Thought Police in their suppression of free thought.  Even with the redactions, one can still see the faint remains of the text’s ascenders and descenders, which represent the muffled voices of the suppressed masses.  Finally, near the bottom of the page, isolated and hopeless, is the word “futile”, representing final resignation, followed by silence.

Thought Police
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell, 1949

In George Orwell’s prescient novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he introduced the terrifying concept of the Thought Police — a secret police who rely on mass surveillance and informants to search out and punish those who hold views that are contrary to the views of the government.

This idea that one must accept the world as dictated by the ruling authority regardless of facts is especially relevant in today’s “alternative facts”, post-truth society.

In this piece, I used a razor knife to physically redact text, leaving the Thought Police surveilling all from the top of the page.  I also left a selection of words that reference the tactics employed by the Thought Police in their suppression of free thought.

Even with the redactions, one can still see the faint remains of the text’s ascenders and descenders, which represent the muffled voices of the suppressed masses.

Finally, near the bottom of the page, isolated and hopeless, is the word “futile”, representing final resignation, followed by silence.

 Detail from Thought Police Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell, 1949  In George Orwell’s prescient novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he introduced the terrifying concept of the Thought Police — a secret police who rely on mass surveillance and informants to search out and punish those who hold views that are contrary to the views of the government.  This idea that one must accept the world as dictated by the ruling authority regardless of facts is especially relevant in today’s “alternative facts”, post-truth society.  In this piece, I used a razor knife to physically redact text, leaving the Thought Police surveilling all from the top of the page. I also left a selection of words that reference the tactics employed by the Thought Police in their suppression of free thought.  Even with the redactions, one can still see the faint remains of the text’s ascenders and descenders, which represent the muffled voices of the suppressed masses.  Finally, near the bottom of the page, isolated and hopeless, is the word “futile”, representing final resignation, followed by silence.

Detail from Thought Police
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell, 1949

In George Orwell’s prescient novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he introduced the terrifying concept of the Thought Police — a secret police who rely on mass surveillance and informants to search out and punish those who hold views that are contrary to the views of the government.

This idea that one must accept the world as dictated by the ruling authority regardless of facts is especially relevant in today’s “alternative facts”, post-truth society.

In this piece, I used a razor knife to physically redact text, leaving the Thought Police surveilling all from the top of the page. I also left a selection of words that reference the tactics employed by the Thought Police in their suppression of free thought.

Even with the redactions, one can still see the faint remains of the text’s ascenders and descenders, which represent the muffled voices of the suppressed masses.

Finally, near the bottom of the page, isolated and hopeless, is the word “futile”, representing final resignation, followed by silence.

 Big Brother Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell, 1949  For this piece I needed go no further than the first page of Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where he introduces the concept of ”Big Brother.” To highlight Orwell’s famous and ominous phrase, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, I folded the page to resemble police tape, as if Big Brother is preventing you from reading the “subversive" text behind.

Big Brother
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell, 1949

For this piece I needed go no further than the first page of Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where he introduces the concept of ”Big Brother.” To highlight Orwell’s famous and ominous phrase, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, I folded the page to resemble police tape, as if Big Brother is preventing you from reading the “subversive" text behind.

 Detail from Big Brother Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell, 1949  For this piece I needed go no further than the first page of Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where he introduces the concept of ”Big Brother.” To highlight Orwell’s famous and ominous phrase, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, I folded the page to resemble police tape, as if Big Brother is preventing you from reading the “subversive" text behind.

Detail from Big Brother
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell, 1949

For this piece I needed go no further than the first page of Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where he introduces the concept of ”Big Brother.” To highlight Orwell’s famous and ominous phrase, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, I folded the page to resemble police tape, as if Big Brother is preventing you from reading the “subversive" text behind.

 WAR IS PEACE Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell, 1949  In this piece I highlight the three slogans of the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) -- War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Orwell’s warning of the possibility of a dystopian future at the hands of an oppresive government is especially relevant in today’s world of “fake news” and “aternative facts”. Here I have formed the page into the shape of a kiosk plastered with government propaganda, such as one might encounter on a street corner.

WAR IS PEACE
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell, 1949

In this piece I highlight the three slogans of the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) -- War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Orwell’s warning of the possibility of a dystopian future at the hands of an oppresive government is especially relevant in today’s world of “fake news” and “aternative facts”. Here I have formed the page into the shape of a kiosk plastered with government propaganda, such as one might encounter on a street corner.

 Detail from WAR IS PEACE Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell, 1949  In this piece I highlight the three slogans of the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) -- War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Orwell’s warning of the possibility of a dystopian future at the hands of an oppresive government is especially relevant in today’s world of “fake news” and “aternative facts”. Here I have formed the page into the shape of a kiosk plastered with government propaganda, such as one might encounter on a street corner.

Detail from WAR IS PEACE
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell, 1949

In this piece I highlight the three slogans of the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) -- War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Orwell’s warning of the possibility of a dystopian future at the hands of an oppresive government is especially relevant in today’s world of “fake news” and “aternative facts”. Here I have formed the page into the shape of a kiosk plastered with government propaganda, such as one might encounter on a street corner.

 Doublethink Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell, 1949

Doublethink
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell, 1949

 Fashionista from Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia by Stephen Fried, 1993   Thing of Beauty  is an account of the famous supermodel Gia Carangi who was used and then discarded by the fashion industry. She became a heroin addict and eventually died of AIDS-related complex when she was 26 years old. I formed the page into a sexy, little dress headed for the catwalk, but I purposely left blank, anonymous space above and below where the head and legs would normally be in order to represent, in the view of the fashion industry, the interchangability and discardability of their models.

Fashionista
from Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia
by Stephen Fried, 1993

Thing of Beauty is an account of the famous supermodel Gia Carangi who was used and then discarded by the fashion industry. She became a heroin addict and eventually died of AIDS-related complex when she was 26 years old. I formed the page into a sexy, little dress headed for the catwalk, but I purposely left blank, anonymous space above and below where the head and legs would normally be in order to represent, in the view of the fashion industry, the interchangability and discardability of their models.

 Life's A Bitch Weeping Bay by Joy Davidman, 1950  To capture the essence and frustration inherent in the phrase, “life’s a bitch”, I imagined the author sitting at her desk, frustrated with her manuscript, pulling pages from her typewriter, crumpling them up and throwing them at the wastebasket.

Life's A Bitch
Weeping Bay
by Joy Davidman, 1950

To capture the essence and frustration inherent in the phrase, “life’s a bitch”, I imagined the author sitting at her desk, frustrated with her manuscript, pulling pages from her typewriter, crumpling them up and throwing them at the wastebasket.

 Cyberspace Neuromancer by William Gibson, 1984  It’s hard to imagine a time before we were all jacked in to the worldwide hive-mind known as the Internet.  But in 1984, a full decade before the first web page ever flickered to life, William Gibson not only introduced us to the concept, but he also gave us a name for it.  In his 1984 masterwork, Neuromancer, Gibson called it, “cyberspace”, which he defined as:  “A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions… a graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system.”  Remarkably, in the same paragraph, Gibson also introduces us to the idea of connecting to the Matrix via cranial jacks.

Cyberspace
Neuromancer
by William Gibson, 1984

It’s hard to imagine a time before we were all jacked in to the worldwide hive-mind known as the Internet.

But in 1984, a full decade before the first web page ever flickered to life, William Gibson not only introduced us to the concept, but he also gave us a name for it.  In his 1984 masterwork, Neuromancer, Gibson called it, “cyberspace”, which he defined as:

“A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions… a graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system.”

Remarkably, in the same paragraph, Gibson also introduces us to the idea of connecting to the Matrix via cranial jacks.

 When The Drugs Began To Take Hold Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, 1971  The New York Times called  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  “the best book on the dope decade”. Hunter S. Thompson concludes the opening sentence of his book with “when the drugs began to take hold”.  I took that page and folded the rest of the page in a way that distorts the text as if the drugs were taking hold of the reader and distorting their vision.

When The Drugs Began To Take Hold
Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas
by Hunter S. Thompson, 1971

The New York Times called Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas “the best book on the dope decade”. Hunter S. Thompson concludes the opening sentence of his book with “when the drugs began to take hold”.  I took that page and folded the rest of the page in a way that distorts the text as if the drugs were taking hold of the reader and distorting their vision.

 Gonzo Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, 1971  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “gonzo” as:  1. of, relating to, or being a style of journalism marked by a lack of objectivity due to the writer's immersion in the subject and often participation in the activity being documented.  2. outlandishly unconventional, outrageous, or extreme, very strange or unusual : bizarre  While the first definition stems directly from Hunter S. Thompson’s book, it is the second definition that has not only become the more common usage, but one that well sums up what the New York Times then called, “The Dope Decade.”  For this piece, I wanted to capture a sense of that insane, wild, hanging-on-by-your-fingers, Hunter S. Thompson ride so I formed the page into shape evocative of a roller coaster.

Gonzo
Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas
by Hunter S. Thompson, 1971

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “gonzo” as:

1. of, relating to, or being a style of journalism marked by a lack of objectivity due to the writer's immersion in the subject and often participation in the activity being documented.

2. outlandishly unconventional, outrageous, or extreme, very strange or unusual : bizarre

While the first definition stems directly from Hunter S. Thompson’s book, it is the second definition that has not only become the more common usage, but one that well sums up what the New York Times then called, “The Dope Decade.”

For this piece, I wanted to capture a sense of that insane, wild, hanging-on-by-your-fingers, Hunter S. Thompson ride so I formed the page into shape evocative of a roller coaster.

 The Cheshire Cat Alice's Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, 1865  In Carroll’s famous story, Alice ventures down a rabbit hole to find herself in a world where all the laws of physics and logic seem to have been replaced. For this image I folded the page so that it seems that gravity has been reversed and the page has floated upward and curled against the top edge of the frame.

The Cheshire Cat
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll, 1865

In Carroll’s famous story, Alice ventures down a rabbit hole to find herself in a world where all the laws of physics and logic seem to have been replaced. For this image I folded the page so that it seems that gravity has been reversed and the page has floated upward and curled against the top edge of the frame.

 Zipless Fuck Fear of Flying Erica Jong, 1973  About Erica Jong and the Zipless Fuck.  Erica Jong is a feminist, scholar, an 18th century English Literature graduate of Columbia University, a novelist and a poet. She also coined the term “zipless fuck”.  In her groundbreaking 1973 novel Fear of Flying, she boldly advanced the women’s liberation movement by unapologetically suggesting that women could enjoy the pleasures of anonymous, casual sex without being a slut or a whore – the same as a man. Before that time, it was fine, even admired, for a man to have anonymous relations with a woman, but that was not something that “good girls” did.  A "zipless fuck" is defined as a sexual encounter for its own sake, without emotional involvement or commitment or any ulterior motive, between two previously unacquainted persons; you'll never meet again, and nobody who knows you will ever know it happened.  “The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game . The man is not "taking" and the woman is not "giving." No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn. And I have never had one.”  – Erica Jong, Fear of Flying (1973)

Zipless Fuck
Fear of Flying
Erica Jong, 1973

About Erica Jong and the Zipless Fuck.

Erica Jong is a feminist, scholar, an 18th century English Literature graduate of Columbia University, a novelist and a poet. She also coined the term “zipless fuck”.

In her groundbreaking 1973 novel Fear of Flying, she boldly advanced the women’s liberation movement by unapologetically suggesting that women could enjoy the pleasures of anonymous, casual sex without being a slut or a whore – the same as a man. Before that time, it was fine, even admired, for a man to have anonymous relations with a woman, but that was not something that “good girls” did.

A "zipless fuck" is defined as a sexual encounter for its own sake, without emotional involvement or commitment or any ulterior motive, between two previously unacquainted persons; you'll never meet again, and nobody who knows you will ever know it happened.

“The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game . The man is not "taking" and the woman is not "giving." No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn. And I have never had one.”

– Erica Jong, Fear of Flying (1973)

 The Right Stuff The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe, 1979  The Right Stuff is the term Tom Wolfe coined to  describe the combination of fearlessness, commitment, and nonchalance possessed by the test pilots who became America’s first astronauts.  As Wolfe writes on the page I used for this image, “As to just what this ineffable quality was. . .well, it obviously involved bravery. But it was not bravery in the simple sense of being willing to risk your life. . . any fool could do that. No, the idea seemed to be that a man should have the ability to go up in a hurtling piece of machinery and put his hide on the line and then have the moxie, the reflexes, the experience, the coolness, to pull it back in the last yawning moment--and then to go up again the next day, and the next day, and every next day.    Chuck Yeager, perhaps the most famous of all test pilots, and the single person who most personifies the quality of The Right Stuff, never became an astronaut.  Yeager is best know for being the first person to break the sound barrier.  On the day of the fateful flight, Yeager climbed into the cockpit of his X-1 jet with a broken arm.  Had he told anyone about his arm, he would have been grounded.  Instead, he took a sawed-off broom handle with him so he could close the canopy, and then without any fuss, set off to make history.  For this image, I formed the page into a shape evocative of the nose cone of Chuck Yeager’s X-1 and of rockets.

The Right Stuff
The Right Stuff
by Tom Wolfe, 1979

The Right Stuff is the term Tom Wolfe coined to  describe the combination of fearlessness, commitment, and nonchalance possessed by the test pilots who became America’s first astronauts.  As Wolfe writes on the page I used for this image, “As to just what this ineffable quality was. . .well, it obviously involved bravery. But it was not bravery in the simple sense of being willing to risk your life. . . any fool could do that. No, the idea seemed to be that a man should have the ability to go up in a hurtling piece of machinery and put his hide on the line and then have the moxie, the reflexes, the experience, the coolness, to pull it back in the last yawning moment--and then to go up again the next day, and the next day, and every next day.  

Chuck Yeager, perhaps the most famous of all test pilots, and the single person who most personifies the quality of The Right Stuff, never became an astronaut.  Yeager is best know for being the first person to break the sound barrier.  On the day of the fateful flight, Yeager climbed into the cockpit of his X-1 jet with a broken arm.  Had he told anyone about his arm, he would have been grounded.  Instead, he took a sawed-off broom handle with him so he could close the canopy, and then without any fuss, set off to make history.

For this image, I formed the page into a shape evocative of the nose cone of Chuck Yeager’s X-1 and of rockets.

 Catch-22 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, 1961  A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules In Joseph Heller’s novel of the same name, a military pilot named Orr requests a mental examination in hopes that he will be found insane and therefore not required to fly any more missions. In the book, Heller writes,  "There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to”.  So, for this piece, I chose to use the epigraph which appears before the title page in the book. Technically, it is the first instance of the phrase Catch-22, and I formed it into a shape reminiscent of a poker player stealing a glance at his or her cards, meaning that they know know something the others don’t, and can use that information to their advantage. In the book, it is the doctor who informs Orr about Catch-22 who holds this knowledge.

Catch-22
Catch-22
by Joseph Heller, 1961

A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules In Joseph Heller’s novel of the same name, a military pilot named Orr requests a mental examination in hopes that he will be found insane and therefore not required to fly any more missions. In the book, Heller writes,

"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to”.

So, for this piece, I chose to use the epigraph which appears before the title page in the book. Technically, it is the first instance of the phrase Catch-22, and I formed it into a shape reminiscent of a poker player stealing a glance at his or her cards, meaning that they know know something the others don’t, and can use that information to their advantage. In the book, it is the doctor who informs Orr about Catch-22 who holds this knowledge.

 Heparin Heparin, Your Heart's Best Friend: The Untold Story Hyman Engelberg 1986  Special commission for the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute Scripps Hospital La Jolla, California

Heparin
Heparin, Your Heart's Best Friend: The Untold Story
Hyman Engelberg
1986

Special commission for the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute
Scripps Hospital
La Jolla, California

 Detail from Big Brother Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell, 1949  For this piece I needed go no further than the first page of Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where he introduces the concept of ”Big Brother.” To highlight Orwell’s famous and ominous phrase, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, I folded the page to resemble police tape, as if Big Brother is preventing you from reading the “subversive" text behind.

Detail from Big Brother
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell, 1949

For this piece I needed go no further than the first page of Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where he introduces the concept of ”Big Brother.” To highlight Orwell’s famous and ominous phrase, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, I folded the page to resemble police tape, as if Big Brother is preventing you from reading the “subversive" text behind.

 Detail from WAR IS PEACE Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell, 1949  In this piece I highlight the three slogans of the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) -- War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Orwell’s warning of the possibility of a dystopian future at the hands of an oppresive government is especially relevant in today’s world of “fake news” and “aternative facts”. Here I have formed the page into the shape of a kiosk plastered with government propaganda, such as one might encounter on a street corner.

Detail from WAR IS PEACE
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell, 1949

In this piece I highlight the three slogans of the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) -- War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Orwell’s warning of the possibility of a dystopian future at the hands of an oppresive government is especially relevant in today’s world of “fake news” and “aternative facts”. Here I have formed the page into the shape of a kiosk plastered with government propaganda, such as one might encounter on a street corner.

 Images are available for purchase as 40" x 40" prints from limited editions of 15 prints.  Framing is shadowbox style with Museum glass. For information on pricing and delivery you can contact me at: davidfokos@mac.com

Images are available for purchase as 40" x 40" prints
from limited editions of 15 prints.

Framing is shadowbox style with Museum glass.
For information on pricing and delivery you can contact me at:
davidfokos@mac.com

 Book Pages Project Pulse Gallery San DIego, California December 2013

Book Pages Project
Pulse Gallery
San DIego, California
December 2013

 Book Pages Project Pulse Gallery San DIego, California December 2013

Book Pages Project
Pulse Gallery
San DIego, California
December 2013

 Book Pages Project Sparks Gallery San DIego, California February 2016

Book Pages Project
Sparks Gallery
San DIego, California
February 2016

Exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art

Exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art