Rim 2000

Susan Goethel Campbell, Rim, 2000; Gift of NMWA Members’ Art Acquisition Fund; © Susan Goethel Campbell

Suburban sprawl, population density, and the loss of undeveloped land are topics that inspired Susan Goethel Campbell’s Rim.

Starting at the edge of the city of Detroit and progressing outward 12 miles, the artist asked residents to respond anonymously to a survey about where they lived and what they liked about it. She then transferred the residents’ responses to magnetic sheets covered with rural landscape painting.

The book slides open to form a circle around a hollow core, which represents the fate of inner cities when sprawl is allowed to continue unabated.

The unusual format and materials of Rim derive from a workshop Campbell took on metal bookbinding, where she discovered she liked the weight of the book more than the binding or its contents. From there she began to consider the book as a remnant of a larger event and created two books, Rim and Hub, carved entirely out of magnetic sheeting that had the weight and feel of a clay brick.