So Sue Me, I Think My Richard Prince Depositions Book Looks Awesome

Wow, can I just say that, when combined with the rapid production power of our digitized present, appropriation art is just awesome?


I just got the first hardcover copies of the first version of the book I conceived of a week ago today, Canal Zone Richard Prince YES RASTA: Selected Court Documents from Cariou v. Prince et al, including Excerpts from The Videotaped Deposition of Richard Prince, The Affidavit of Richard Prince, Competing Memoranda of Law in Support of Summary Judgment, Exhibits Pertaining to Paintings and Collages of Richard Prince and the Use of Reproductions of Patrick Cariou's YES RASTA Photographs Therein, and The Summary Ass Whooping Dealt to Richard Prince by the Hon. Judge Deborah A. Batts, as compiled by Greg Allen for in March 2011, and it looks rather sweet.

I'm waiting to see a paperback version [updated link info below], and to see the other cover design in person, the one reproducing the court exhibit featuring the photocopied covers of the two dueling books. I like the graphic punch of that one. But I had a hunch, and I'm seeming right, that the original un-design, the full title, laid out in giant red letters [the default setting for the annotate function in Preview, the only software I used to produce the thing] is kind of awesome. So there may be some version tweaking to be done.


Anyway, the inside is pretty nice, too. The 2x2 deposition transcript pages turn out to read just fine in a trade-size book. Which makes it perfect for the beach or wherever. And it is much thinner than I expected. 290 pages is a lot of content, but it is a pretty manageable-sized book. Also, a little sluttier, frankly. Some of those photocopied PDF's of Prince's paintings turn out to be pretty legible after all.

Publishing a book to serve as an indispensable art history reference--and which consists entirely of someone else's work--should really not feel this fun. But I guess that's why appropriation's so hot these days.

UPDATE: Here's a link to buy the new, expanded softcover edition, which now includes Prince's entire deposition transcript, plus several other key legal documents. It's a bit higher quality, too. New printer.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: April 2, 2011.

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