I first saw the work of Stephen Farrell while walking with Richard Meier through the opening of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Triennial in 2000. Stephen made a 600+ page book about at typeface, Volgare, inspired by a Renaissance manuscript in the Newberry Library in Chicago. That evening, the two designers on the Cooper-Hewitt board found something exquisite in the work of Stephen Farrell that transcended design disciplines: craftmanship in a single volume that posed a challenge to the scale and ambition of the other projects in a major design exhibition.
Three years later, I received another book, this time in the mail, and again I was stopped cold. VAS: An Opera in Flatland is the first full-length novel by Steve Tomasula and Stephen Farrell. A tour de force of narrative typography, it is unlike any novel since the appearance of the House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (Pantheon, 2000).
Note: A review of VAS by Rick Poynor appeared in Eye Magazine (Issue 49) 15 September 2003.
[Disclosure: Winterhouse Editions is distributing this title by special arrangement with the authors.]