100-page offset printed catalog/exegesis on ways that thought—and the phenomena that spark it—shapes culture. Contains 50 illustrations. Printed in an edition of 250.
Contact me for a print copy. See Academia.edu for a long excerpt...or download as a PDF (free):
"Alyce Santoro's Philosoprops: A Unified Field Guide is radical (meaning "proceeding from the root") in the truest sense. What at first seems like an account of her personal process of creation unfolds into a manifesto about the paradoxes of self-consciousness. We learn that her "philosoprops" give contemporary form to perennial conundrums. Long associated with Zen koans and ancient attempts to square the circle, her artworks playfully re-invent time-honored techniques for inducing illumination through befuddlement. Yet the book also reveals her intention of going far beyond celebrating the novelty of riddles. She seeks to give voice to the unclassifiable heretics that occupy the liminal realms at the boundaries of art, science, religion, and spirituality. Instead of succumbing to modern society's push towards specialization and categorization, she uses philosoprops to encourage pulling the rug out from under paradigmatic assumptions to examine the complex unities of existence. By documenting the decades-long nucleosynthesis of her own creative process, Alyce has managed to provide a touching insight into her own ongoing epiphanic supernova. Her explorations of the complementary possibilities of intuitive reason, gentle empiricism, and precise speculation have not only produced delightful objects, they have also enabled her to make a compelling case that embracing multiple perspectives on the world is essential for cultivating empathy, compassion, and reciprocation. Philosoprops: A Unified Field Guide is an open invitation to her fellow astronauts aboard the magnificent Spaceship Earth to embrace the playful nature of a mutually beneficial cosmos: in her words, to believe in everything instead of nothing."
"Alyce Santoro is best known as the inventor of the most creative advance in textiles in the past few millennia. Her Sonic Fabric brought cloth and clothing into an entirely new sensory and indeed ontological realm. Dialectical materialism may have gone out of style in recent times, but Sonic Fabric has assured that dialectical material has a great future. Now, with Philosoprops, Santoro dedicates her impressive creative energies to the cause of making sure that dialectical philosophy, and indeed, philosophy as a whole, also has an auspicious future. Her new book is a kind of “Guide for the Unperplexed.” If you fear that you may be lapsing into some kind of dogmatic slumber, Philosoprops will shake you up a bit and render you more creatively perplexed. What is a philosoprop? It’s a prop, something that helps you philosophize, and it’s also an op, an opportunity to have fun doing it. Santoro says that philosoprops are like philosophical toys. This is one of their most admirable qualities. They help bring play, and maybe even joyfulness, back into philosophy. It’s often been said that the origin of philosophy is in childlike wonder. But has this truth been taken seriously, or seriously unseriously, enough? Santoro thinks not, and wants to do something about it. Philosoprops is a guide to engaged philosophizing, to doing, and not just thinking about doing. It helps return philosophy to everyday life. Philosoprops takes philosophy out of the hands of the philosopros and philosoprofs and puts it back in the hands of the philosopeeps. Who knows what will happen when you get hooked on philosoprops? They may help you notice how you notice what you notice! If you do enough philosopropping, you may discover that in the end wisdom is just a mountain to be plucked, or a flower to be climbed, step-by-step! Whether or not you accept Santoro’s invitation to “choose determinism,” I certainly hope that you will be determined to get this book!"
– Max Cafard, surregionalist writer, psychogeographer, Zen anarchist
"Alyce Santoro (a.k.a. Alyce B. Obvious) is keen at pointing out with graphic grace, material beauty, and steampunk sensibility what should be obvious to us all: that the universe is marvelous, and that a down-to-earth, resilient lifestyle is immediately available to anyone who is willing to tune in, unplug, and DIY. Philosophical apparatuses and instruments – philosoprops – are the tools of Alyce’s obvious multiverse. Informed by a love of wisdom and an absurd sense of humor, these material propaganda draw attention to human behaviors and the social, political and environmental ramifications of our beliefs and actions. Alyce’s instruments broadcast a hopeful message: that changing the world for the better begins the moment we realize it is possible. When we reach out with open arms, an open mind and an open heart, simple actions (like hanging laundry in the sun to dry instead of relying on a machine powered by coal, fracking, or nuclear fission) take on transformative power. By raising questions like “Is magic real?” “Are we separate from one another?” and “Can we create a more just, egalitarian system?” philosoprops disarm us, make us smile, and show us a path towards participation in the wonder of it all. Whether we decide to notice what we notice, embrace paradox, follow our instincts and intuition, or live simply…the choice is ours."
– Eve Andrée Laramée, interdisciplinary artist, ecological activist