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JAB36 – JAB40 on this page, keep scrolling down.


JAB36–SPECIAL ISSUE—Artists in Studios

The basic question posed to each artist was—How does your studio practice inform your work? How does working in the studio affect the ideas and final manifestation of an artwork, specifically an artist’s book. Nine artists agreed to participate and they responded with text and images concerning the ways particular projects were formed in part by time spent in the studio. 

JAB36 was offset printed on the Heidelberg GTO at the Center for Book and Paper, Columbia College Chicago in September and October, 2014. The paper is Mohawk Superfine. The cover is a photo of my cat (MeeKay), working hard in my studio.

• • • • •

The Print Production Fellows for this year are Mary Clare Butler and Woody Leslie and they printed JAB36 under my supervision. Jenna Rodriguez, PPF Emeritus, came in and printed JAB36 one day, just for fun. Gotta like that. The PPFs are graduate students in the Interdisciplinary Arts MFA in Book and Paper here at Columbia College Chicago.

Former PPF Levi Sherman wrote the essay “Books and Conflict: Witnessing Reality and Representation” for this issue, see page 37. Sherman discusses how three very different kinds of books—an artist’s book, a photo book, and a quasi sociological study from a poet’s point of view—“bear witness to the devastating impact of conflict.”

• • • • •


Table of Contents

Book of Ruth (Ruth Laxson in her studio)

inserted artist book–inside front cover

– Brad Freeman

• A Book’s Work Spaces
– Johanna Drucker

• Creative Life
– Helen Frederick

• Japan Project
– Brad Freeman

• Alive and Real . . . A Curious Curiosity
– Chris George

• Obwohl nichts wagte ist nichts gewonnen
(Although nothing ventured nothing is won)
– Peter Malutski

• The Atmosphere of Possibility
– Emily McVarish

• Chaos Theory: One Artist’s Search for Disorder in the Universe
– Miriam Schaer

• Defining a Practice with a Pig Iron Perspective
– Wilber H. (Chip) Schilling

• Notes from The Ground
– Tate Shaw

• Shift-lab: Collaborative Practices
– Katie Baldwin and Tricia Treacy

• Farbwechsel: Weiß  (colorchange: white)
– Ines von Ketelhodt

• The Incredible Shrinking Studio:
Goodbye to the process camera and wet darkrooms—
with the advent of digital technologies, studios become smaller.
– Phil Zimmermann

• Books and Conflict: Witnessing Reality and Representation

– Levi Sherman

• Books Received
– Levi Sherman

• Poster—Eugene Feldman, Falcon Press, Philadelphia
inside back cover

• • • • •

from Levi Sherman's essay "Books and Conflict: Witnessing Reality and Representation"

In the United States today, the terms “nation” and “country” are used all but interchangeably, perhaps because we use the word “state” (which, unlike nation, is actually interchangeable with country) to mean something different than in most other places. Though the distinction between nation and state may be lost on many, it has played a critical role in some of history’s worst conflicts, and continues to do so today. Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine come to mind*, as does the renewed violence in Gaza, which at the time of this writing has been halted by the seventh ceasefire in one month. The tension between nations, which are cohesive groups of people, and states, which are political designations, has shaped many regions around the world. These regions, formed through conflict, have been reflected upon and represented by artists, often to bear witness to those conflicts. In the struggle between nation and state, representation plays a critical role – whether overtly through propaganda and censorship or in the aesthetic register of issues like race, class and gender. Thus, when artists address a place and its history, their works communicate to viewers on two levels – they are a representation of history and also a reaction against the dominant representation, which was inevitably written by the victorious party in the conflict that shaped a given place.

* Sherman's essay was written shortly after Russia's illegal takeover of Crimea in 2014. (editor's note)

In the essay he examines four books: The Shoshoneans by Edward Dorn and Leroy Lucas, Zeitzone by Frank Mueller, and At Dusk and By the Ground by Boris Mikhailov.

• • • • •

Order – click here.


JAB36 cover

BF–photo, MeeKay–studio assistant

introduction to Emily McVarish's essay "The Atmosphere of Possibility."

Lately I’ve been trying to expand the effects of my shop on my disposition.
The externalization of thought (which might otherwise collapse into a laminate of associations) and the materialization of ideas (whose cast thus avoids the reductions of abstraction) allow for interrogation and elaboration. This workability is vital. Left to their own devices, my thoughts soon slip into ruts. Against this tendency, my strategy has been to attune an inventive response to charged surroundings. Over time, fresh takes are needed. The trick is to foil habits of recognition, to peel off blankets of familiarity. On the flip side of this lucidity, I have sought a loss of critical consciousness in sheer physical involvement, the sleep of judgment that frees expression from doubt and censure.


McVarish's studio


McVarish's Vandercook


The Shoshoneans, Expanded Edition

Edward Dorn and Leroy Lucas
Copyright © 2013 University of New Mexico Press.


Zeitzone, Frank Müller, 2003
© 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn



Die Dämmerung / At Dusk, Boris Mikhailov, 1996
Copyright © Oktagon Verlag.


Am Boden / By the Ground, Boris Mikhailov, 1996
Copyright © Oktagon Verlag.



JAB37, spring, 2015

• • • • •


les Éditions Incertain Sens

Cabinet du Livre d'Artistes


• • • • •


Under the direction of Leszek Brogowski and Aurélie Noury.


Leszek Brogowski and Aurélie Noury asked the artists who collaborate with les Éditions Incertain Sens to contribute to the pages of this issue, without the form of their work necessarily being a book. Some of these contributions, however, did give rise to books, for example the text of Eric Watier, "The easier it is, the more beautiful it is." Alongside the artists, we also invited theoreticians whose research follows the same lines as our own. We would like to acknowledge and thank all of the contributors here.


‘les Éditions Incertain Sens: Artist’s Books and editorial practices’ is a research program of Laboratory Arts: Practice and Poetics (EA 3208) at the University of Rennes 2. On the 25th April 2015, Leszek Brogwski will present his research in a conference at the Center for Book and Paper at Columbia College in Chicago.


On the occasion of the publication of JAB #37, on the 2nd April 2015, a seminar dedicated to the history of the review will be organized at the University of Rennes 2, and an exhibition presenting every issue will be opened at the Cabinet du Livre d’Artiste.


Translations: Russell Richardson (
Les Éditions Incertain Sens are distributed by the Presses du Réel.

Special thanks to Isabel Baraona.

• • • • •

Table of Contents



• Remakes, Regresses, (Re)prints

– Anne Moeglin-Delcroix

Teamwork (artist intervention)

– Pascal Le Coq

• What the Artist's Book Makes Us Rethink About Esthetic Theory

– Hubert Renard interviews Leszek Brogowski

• Notebook #51, Last Notation (artist intervention)

– Lefevre Jean Claude



´Editions Incertain Sens, Catalogue



• Artist's Books: Through the Text . . . 

– Pascale Borrel

• Le Double (artist intervention)

– Christophe Viart

• There May Be No Reason to Believe That the Artist Book Exists

– Denis Briand

• The Reprint Within les Éditions Incertain Sens

– Aurélie Noury


• Publishing Art

– Jérôme Dupeyrat

• The Topism Manifest

– & Il Topo (artist intervention)


• Design, Publish, and Display: The Triptych for University Research Into Artist's Books

– Laurence Corbel

• Second Hand Stories (artist intervention)

– Taroop & Glabel

• "For Here, or to Go": The Cabinet du livre d'artiste and Sans niveau ni metre Exhibitions and Journal

– Marie Boivent

• The Easier it is, The More Beautiful it is (Introduction to the Most Beautiful Exhibition in the World)

– Éric Watier


• Excluded from Loans

– Stéphane Le Mercier

• Open-Air Library

– Mathieu Tremblin

• The Collection of the Cabinet du livre d'artiste

– Aurélie Noury

• Note

– Bruno Di Rosa

• Only the Sea? (artist intervention)

– Laurent Marisaal Painterman


• The Gift, the Network, and Reciprocity in Artist's Books

– Leszek Brogowski

• Documenting Documenting

– Woody Leslie

• Book Review for JAB

– Michael Kasper

• (Not) To Be Continued

– Doro Boehme

• Books Received

– Mary Clare Butler and Woody Leslie

• Left Right (artist intervention)

– Bernard Villers

• • • • •

From Jérôme Dupeyrat's essay "Publishing Art"

The growth of artist’s books in the 1960s and 1970s has to be viewed in relation to the forms and procedures of the art of that time, but also according to the desire to find an alternative to institutional contexts or art dealers. This will of the artists comes as much from necessity as choice: necessity, because the institutions of that time were showing little interest in recent works which challenged the values of art established over the preceding decades; and choice, because the same institutions were the guardians of those very values, which is why the artists had to get out of their clutches, and set up alternative art institutions.

But art institutions aren’t the only things that artist’s books called, and still do call, into question. Although it might be accidental, these publications also constitute an alternative to normal ways of publishing.

• • • • •

From Leszek Brogowski's essay "The Gift, the Network, and Reciprocity in Artist’s Books"

The arrival of the photocopier (Xerox) in western markets in the late 1950s, and its steady rise as a household name did, certainly, create the material conditions which favorized the setting up of a vast network for the exchange of ideas and information between artists all over the world; an exhibition organized at the Cabinet du livre d’artiste in 2011, “The Photocopy,” brought together documents reminding us that, from now on, works produced by artists can themselves take the form of a modest photocopy. However, when Lucy R. Lippard placed so much hope in an alternative network for ideas and information in 1973, she rightly insisted on including this new phenomenon emerging from much older foundations, such as books or the post office, “much art now is transported by the artist or in the artist himself,” she said, “rather than by […] existing information networks such as mail, books, telex, video, radio etc..” *

* Lucy R. Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972 (London: Studio Vista, 1973), 8.

• • • • •

Order – click here.


Peter Downsbrough

JAB37 cover

Bernard Villers, LEFT RIGHT, 2014

artist intervention


(left) Pascal Le Coq, Teamwork, 2014, artist intervention

(right) "What the Artist's Book Makes Us Rethink About Esthetic Theory"

Hubert Renard interviews Leszek Brogowski

Le Double.jpg

Christophe Viart, Le Double, 2014 (artist intervention)


JAB38, fall 2015

• • • • •


– BF

Print Production Fellows Mary Clare Butler and Woody Leslie designed the cover of JAB38 and Butler printed it as a tritone on the Heidelberg GTO here at the Center for Book, Paper & Print, Columbia College Chicago. Jenna Rodriguez participated in our Alumni Residency Program and printed her artist’s book Cayuga Nation: Now & Then—inserted along with Buzz Spector’s on./the/page at the back of the book., and Scott McCarney and Skuta Helgason's saga in the envelope on the inside back cover of this JAB. Spector spent a week with us as one of our summer resident artists and designed his book during that time. The paper throughout is Mohawk Superfine. Butler’s artist pages (36-37) are duotone tests for her upcoming thesis project. Ruby Figueroa and Isaac Fosl-van Wyke, also Print Production Fellows and graduate students in the MFA program, printed the text block while I supervised.  
The NY Art Book Fair took place this year from September 17 to 20 [2015] at PS1, MoMA in Long Island City. Johanna Drucker and I shared a table in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the publishing of her book The Century of Artists’ Books (Granary 1995) and my founding of JAB in 1994. During the fair, Tate Shaw, Director of the Visual Studies Workshop, and Johanna presented topics to be considered in the new century of artists’ books from her own perspective as well as those submitted by people who had responded to her request for topics earlier in the summer (see below for these responses). I gave a brief summary of JAB’s two- pronged approach to culture creation—educational and creative—and an overview of its DIY essence.
The NYABF overflowed with massive amounts of publication arts—including artists’ books, zines, scholarly books about art, journals, prints, photo books, etc. There were more than 300 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors. One of the best parts of the fair is to see old friends—people who know each other’s work and are creatively involved in publication arts. People who, by the way, understand the salient fact of books—that they are small, easily transportable objects that carry a lot of information. Unfortunately this obvious aspect of books is not generally understood by most art school faculty who, as I recently observed during a crit, expect that book arts MFA students construct installations for their thesis projects and demand repeatedly that the work be bigger. And other irrelevancies.

We requested from certain people who are active in the field to give their thoughts about artists’ books in the twenty-first century.

Lyn Ashby, Melbourne, Australia
1. Artists of the book must often avail themselves of the opportunity to show books in ‘normal’ galleries. But the environment of most galleries (even when offered as space to show books) generally encourages the more spectacular, visual, wall-friendly interpretations of what a book is or does. Reading (in the more intimate page-turning sense) is rarely encouraged by the actual gallery space or gallery owners. Sadly, this skews the kind of books that get made towards the spectacular. Perhaps part of this problem is the conflation of three, four or five different practices that all get called ‘book arts’.
2. Public collections in some countries have become the main collectors of artists’ books and thus the main patron of the practice. Because of this senior librarians often find themselves deciding what books are purchased and what are not. Through no fault of their own most of these librarians have had little or no training in the specifics or the subtleties of this art practice, and are often overly persuaded by novelty qualities. This too can lead to the skewering of what is encouraged (purchased) and discouraged (neglected).

• • • • •

Table of Contents  

• From the Editor

• The Fibrous Text
– Anne Royston

• Productive Consumption: Reading Artist Books
– Heather Murray

• How I Challenge the Canons with My Four German Ghost Dissenters
– Pete Kennedy

• Stranger in Town
– Jamie Weaver

• Interview with Michael Kasper
– Woody Leslie

• Books Received
– Mary Clare Butler and Woody Leslie

• Elemental Letters
– Johanna Drucker

• Artist Pages by Mary Clare Butler
– page 36-37

• abbe - Artist Book Brisbane Event

(Photo impressions)
– Brad Freeman

• Cantacuzino primary school
– Jamie Weaver


• • • • •

• Artists' Books inserted with JAB38

– Jenna Rodriguez

Cayuga Nation: Now and Then

• Scott McCarney and Skuta Helgason, saga

• Buzz Spector

on./the/page at the back of the book.

• JAB38 design–BF

• • • • •

Order – click here.


Mary Clare Butler and Woody Leslie

JAB38 cover


Stolnicul Constantin Cantacuzino primary school, Isvoarele Village, Romania
a rural farming community, south of Bucharest
Jamie Weaver–photo

from the essay "Cantacuzino Primary School"

by Jamie Weaver:


Most of the older students understood English pretty well, even though they were somewhat hesitant to speak in English. As a book artist, it was a pleasure to share with them what I do; I showed them some examples of artist books, and we all made star books together. One great thing about art is that visual communication is universal. We all participated, we all smiled and laughed and had a great time, and we didn’t need words. Another great thing about art is that it’s a fun way to learn critical thinking and problem solving. When I was growing up in Appalachia – far away from museums and symphonies and the theater – reading and writing and making art helped me visualize a world bigger than the one I’d thus far

experienced and taught me that disrupting my routine through creative outlets could foster hope for this sheltered kid and restless teenager who wanted to see more of the world. Reading and writing and making art led me to Romania, and maybe someday those same creative outlets will lead a kid from Isvoarele Village to see more of the world. As they enter high school, most of the kids at Stolnicul Constantin Cantacuzino primary school probably won’t remember the day I visited, but if one of them does, and was inspired to communicate in a new way, either through language or art, then I will have fulfilled my Fulbright mission to expand the cultural bubble.


documentation céline duval. Jeux de Rôles: L’album de Jeanne. Houlgate, France: doc-cd editions, 2014.
( 7.75 × 10.65 in. 64 pages, €25.

Jeux de Rôles: L’album de Jeanne is a hand-sewn photobook featuring an edited selection of archival photographs from Jeanne, a well-to-do French woman, and her friends. The images, taken from family albums and presented here as pseudo performance documentation, reveal the creative and eccentric group of friends’ antics. As Clotilde Dechamps writes, “These bourgeois ladies do not meet over tea to gossip.” Instead, the group dons costumes Jeanne has sewn, reflected in the link-stitch binding of the book, and impersonates circus performers, royalty, clergymen, and paupers. An insert accompanies the book with text written by Dechamp, who cleverly adds feminine suffixes to masculine words, highlighting the subtle subversion of norms Jeanne and her friends are practicing.    



documentation céline duval. Sport de Vie. Houlgate, France: doc-cd editions, 2010.
( 5.75 × 8.25 in. 104 pages, €28.

Sport de Vie is a collection of images of young people at leisure. Seemingly taken by one amateur photographer over several summer vacations, the photographs are intimate and thorough. The image sequence undulates between posed and candid shots, propelled by the photographer’s keen eye for composition and understanding of his subjects. Documentation céline duval’s edit of the photographs deftly prompts the viewer to see more than the photographs suggest on their own.  


– reviews by Mary Clare Butler


Artists' Books inserted with JAB38

Jenna Rodriguez – Cayuga Nation: Now and Then Scott McCarney and Skuta Helgason – saga

Buzz Spector – on./the/page at the back of the book.


The making of the cover for JAB39

The cover of JAB39 was conceived by Gwen Harrison and Sue Anderson and printed at Plumb Letterpress by Nick Summers, Sue Anderson, and Gwen Harrison in Sydney. The paper is Mohawk Superfine.

The image on the cover was made from an original etching from Gwen and Sue’s artists’ book Howl for a Black Cockatoo. The etching was photographed then digitally converted to line. A new drawing was added for the second color, and two polymer plates were made and printed in relief.
A soft tonal effect was achieved during the printing process. Nick’s idea here being tested for the first time.
The smaller text is part of the prose poetry by Peter Lyssiotis written for Sue and Gwen’s artists’ book Dancing over Dark Waters.

The large red wood type, “The Sheilas . . . “ was a sling barb from a popular right wing shock jock. He was referring to the very few women in high office at the time- most particularly our Prime Minister Julia Gillard.The rest of the text is Peter’s.
I think you’re right, I kept it simple in only mentioning the Prime minister as one of the ‘Sheilas’ being  referred to by the outrage.
The other two women included  Marie Bashir whose title is The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO and the Governor General of Australia Quentin Bryce- both of these women were remarkable people.  

Perhaps if you put this in the colophon you could mention all three?

• • • • •

JAB 39

abbe – Artists Books Brisbane Event
notes on artists books from the antipodes
– Tim Mosely

The West’s privileging of the sense of sight in the formal production of knowledge is well established in critical discourse and has come under sustained scrutiny over the last century. Effects of this privileging include the relegation of the senses of touch to a tactile function in the reading of a book, a relegation amplified by Gutenberg’s technology. As artists book practice has consistently demonstrated, the nature of reading is diversely textured and warrants investigation within our field.  
Responding to a growing diversity of reading practices that can be grouped under the term “post-literacy” and an emerging haptic aesthetics, the Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research (GCCAR) has taken the initiative to establish a biennial conference that engages with artists books and the nature of reading them. The inaugural event, abbe (artists books brisbane event), was held in Brisbane at the Queensland College of Art (QCA), Griffith University, in July 2015. It was well received in the Antipodes and has laid a platform for a continuing series of events and conferences.
The papers in this volume of JAB were selected from those presented at that conference. They do not advocate a positive discrimination of touch in the reception and evaluation of the book; rather, they argue for a restoration of touch to the combined roles of conjectural and rational interpretations of books. These papers also demonstrate the commitment of the GCCAR to advance critical thought within artists book practice and discourse.  
The opportunity to compile an Antipodean volume of JAB has been a very rewarding experience. The idea took shape during a conversation with Brad Freeman at the College Book Art Association’s 2014 biennial conference, Print, Produce, Publish, and the antipodean artists book community, including myself, are very grateful for this broad exposure. In particular, I want to thank the following people: Professor Ross Woodrow, whose foresight and support was crucial to the success of the abbe; Dr Lynden Stone, who co-convened the conference with me; Evie Franzidis, whose editing of the JAB papers has been vital; and all the staff at the GCCAR who contributed to the success of abbe and the papers in this volume of JAB. The momentum generated at abbe can be followed at

• • • • •



JAB39 (text block) was offset printed on the Heidelberg GTO52 (683 184) at the Center for Book, Paper & Print (CBPP), Columbia College Chicago (CCC) in January/February, 2016. Printed by the Print Production Fellows (PPF)—Mary Clare Butler, Ruby Figueroa, Woody Leslie, and Isaac Fosl-van Wyke under the mentorship of Brad Freeman. The PPFs—all graduate students at CCC—imageset film with Agfa Avantra, platemaking at CBPP. Mary Clare Butler designed this issue of JAB. The body text is set in Harriet and the headlines are set in Cholla. The paper is Mohawk Superfine ultrawhite smooth 28 lb. writing for the text and 80 lb. cover.

• • • • •

BF email -

• • • • •

Table of Contents

• Notes on Artists Books from the Antipodes
– Tim Mosely

• ABBE: Artist’s Books Brisbane Event
– Sarah Bodman

• Coming to Our Senses with a Modern Mythic Form: Postliteracy in Artistsbooks– Lyn Ashby

• Designing with/for/through the Existing:

Artists’ Books and Documentation
– Marian Macken

• The News and the Book
– Marian Crawford

• Machine Translations:

Poets, Poetics and the Artists Book
– Caren Florance

•  The Equal Standard Broadzine:

Using Artworks to Expand the Audience and Language of Social and – Political Critique
– Gabriella Wilson

• Report from a Border:

Text and Typography in Australian Artist’s Books
– Angela Gardner and Kerry Kilner

• The Grafted Image
– Dr. Victoria Cooper

• The Haptic and the Emerging Critical Discourse on Artists Books– Tim Mosely

• Fumbling Hands and Phantom Limbs:

The Photograph, the Hand and the Artist’s Book
– Deidre Brollo

• Climbing Discourse: The Legacy of Touch
– Bridget Hillebrand

• Interview with Karen Hanmer
– Woody Leslie

• Book Review: The Art of Collaboration
– Megan N. Liberty

• Books Received
– Jasmine Clark, Ruby Figueroa, Isaac Fosl-van Wyke and Julie Nauman-Mikulski

Wall to Wall  by Lyn Ashby
hemmed  by Deirdre Brollo
directed smooth space  by Tim Mosely

Order – click here.


Gwen Harrison, Sue Anderson

printed at Plumb Letterpress

Nick Summers, Sue Anderson, and Gwen Harrison in Sydney.


Nick Summers and Sue Anderson

printing JAB39 covers

at Plumb Letterpress, Sydney

December 27, 2015, 15:17

photo by Gwen Harrison

Nick and Sue Plum letterpress 2016 IMG_1400.png

abbe–artist book brisbane event – July, 2015

Queensland College of Art

looking at books

Noreen Grahame's gallery / studio

Adele Outerbridge and Wim's studio


Deirdre Brollo, hemmed, 2016


Tim Mosely, directed smooth space, 2016

Lyn Ashby, Wall to Wall, 2016

cover + each page spread


JAB40, fall 2016, was offset printed on the Heidelberg GTO at the Center for Book, Paper & Print / Columbia College Chicago by Ruby Figueroa, Woody Leslie, and BF. Figueroa and Leslie are Print Production Fellows and graduate students in the MFA Interdisciplinary Book and Paper program. The cover was designed by them.

JAB40 comes with three inserted publications:

Never Again / Jamais Plus, a facsimile of a publication printed in Munich in the early 1950s.

Walter 2016, BF

Lake House: Tallahassee 1972-1980, BF

• • • • •

Table of Contents

• From the Editor

Walter 2016, an inserted artist book

– Brad Freeman

• In Memoriam–Nathan Lyons

diptych from Lyons' book Riding 1st Class on the Titanic

• Carrión Carries On

– Maike Aiden

• Henri Chopin: The Poetry of Sound and Space

– Ruth Li

• April Sheridan–Non Pareil

• Inflections & abbe 2017:

Texturing GCCAR's Artists Books Research Focus

– Tim Mosely

Never Again / Jamais Plus

– inserted facsimile publication about the Dachau NAZI concentration camp, 1955, inside back cover

Lake House: Tallahassee 1972–1980

inserted artist book

– BF

• • • • •

Order – click here.


Ruby Figueroa and Woody Leslie

JAB40 cover


Henri Chopin, OU 38/39, 1971

conversation between Marcelle Cahn and Henri Chopin

courtesy of Utah State University Special Collections, Art Book Room

from the essay "Henri Chopin: The Poetry of Sound and Space" by Ruth Li

JAB40, page 2-3

with inserted book Walter 2016

​Walter 2016, Brad Freeman


Never Again / Jamais Plus


​Walter 2016, BF


Lake House: Tallahassee 1972-1980, BF

Lake House: Tallahassee 1972-1980, cover, BF

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