At some point before publication, a book assumes its final form, the form in which it is experienced by its audience. Naturally, this audience is often oblivious to the many, sometimes complex, decisions involved in constructing visual meaning through the montage of different ideas and elements. But, although these deliberate decisions are not normally communicated to the audience, the book is always to some extent a conception, or mediated presentation.
The contributors to" Before Publication" consider the construction of visual meaning through montage, with each essay taking as its starting point a particular artifact from Ed Ruscha s photobook, "Every Building on the Sunset Strip" to works by Sergei Eisenstein, Muriel Cooper, and Marshall McLuhan to Tristan Tzara s unpublished "Dadaglobe" anthology."" A common theme threading throughout the chapters is the relationship between privacy and publicity. A concise introductory chapter by the book s editors, Nanni Baltzer and Martino Stierli places the chapters in conversation and discusses the broader subject of montage in art, architecture, and book design.