Artist’s book

Ad Astra
La Société des archives affectives / The Society of Affective Archives, 2021
Text by Claire Moeder
Graphic design by Criterium
English/French, 136 pages, offset colour printing, hardcover, 8 x 7 inches
Edition size: 250 (numbered edition)
ISBN: 978-1-77136-973-2
Photographic documentation of book by Daphnée Rouleau

Ad Astra is available via email order – payment by e-transfer or cheque
55$ (including taxes and postage fees for shipping in Canada)
And at the following locations:
Occurrence centre d’art et d’essai contemporain, Montréal
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
Art Metropole, Toronto

“The Society of Affective Archives constructs many intersections: between strangers who may relate deeply to each other; between the medical and artistic fields; and between different kinds of imagery (neuronal, cosmic, artistic), propelling representation toward new horizons. At each such intersection, we get a bit closer to the stars. The cosmos welcomes our human experience in all its complexity and, with it, our hopes and imperfections.”

– Claire Moeder, opening essay

Ad Astra is an artist book created as part of a public art project commissioned for the medical library of the University of Montreal Health Center (CHUM), in Montréal, Quebec. Involving the arts, science, and public participation, Ad Astra consists of an archive of messages that are poetically sent to the stars and to the future. The messages, collected from the hospital community, are transformed by means of a collaboration between art and neuroscience to generate astral images, and ultimately, a collective artwork representing a collection of prayers, hopes and fears. Rooted in deep human experiences, Ad Astra gives voice to the range of emotions and the cycle of life and death that the hospital context is witness to daily.

In compliment to the permanent multimedia artwork installed in the library, the book presents a tightly knit set of relationships among the various elements that compose the project, including messages, portraits, neurological diagrams, video-stills, citations, and texts. An introductory essay by Claire Moeder creatively illuminates the core interests of the project while the graphic design by Criterium echoes the installation with material means. The book is a nomadic archive and tactile object that was created to travel beyond the primary site of medical library, and ultimately towards the stars. 

+ more information about the Ad Astra public art project

Book Review

« Silencieux, alchimique, cosmique. C’est ainsi que l’on pourrait décrire Ad Astra, livre d’artiste à rattacher au courant de réenchantement du monde »

– Vie des arts, recension de livre : Ad Astra, Claire Caland, no 264, Fall 2021
Link to the article  (available only in French)