It is fitting to begin the review of a book whose argument rests on the potential for an artistic object to not just expound on, but perform as theory with the object of the text's genesis: Anne M. Royston's 2015 artist's book, The Fibrous Text. Royston cites her artist's book and its manifestation as full-length essay in the Journal of Artists' Books 38 (2015), as “seed” for her recent publication and subject of this review: Material Noise: Reading Theory as Artist's Book (2019). By synthesizing material form and content, The Fibrous Text emphasizes “connection and relation” over “depth and hierarchy” (110) to become a critically grounding and contextualizing body for understanding Material Noise and its main tenet, the “artistic argument.”

The Fibrous Text consists of five signatures, pamphlet-stitched to a long piece of natural, unfinished cotton canvas. Five red lines are machine-sewn lengthwise across the canvas, each terminating just...

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