Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2019

Cobey Lusinger
Echo en abyme

In the mid-1970s, author Samuel R. Delany (b. 1942, New York City) published a monolithic novel, Dhalgren, which, after becoming his best-selling work, eventually turned into something of a cult classic. The novel was an ambitious (if not entirely successful) experiment which incorporated the natural degradation of memory into storytelling. The story itself functions as an open text and unfolds forever en abyme (a book within a book within a book, etc.). Because there’s no true past in the story, memory is effected in an interesting way. This generates an increasingly unstable and ever-corroding world of mnemonic reverberations and refractions.

Whether it’s for remembering or misremembering, Delany’s use of iteration intersects every element of the novel — the syntax, diction, characters, settings, the narrative structure at large. Design interventions are then marked by where such elements recur or echo. The visual qualities of Xeroxing and overprinting mimic memory retrieval while the book’s construction utilizes DIN standards, a spiral binding, and the removal of covers and front/back matter to further embody Delany’s idea of infinity.

In reimagining Dhalgren, Echo en Abyme carries on a tradition of experimentation in bookmaking which challenges the limits of books historically as mutable art forms. Echo, being somewhere between an artist’s book and a typographic novel, continues Delany’s systemizing of linear phenomena within cyclical structures. For Echo en abyme, this framework renders the linear nonlinear through typographic and material interventions. The result is a book that grants a truly endless reading experience.

Yasmeen AlAyoub

Maria Badasian

Jenny Barroll

Bhavika Bhatia

Leehe Bok

Lauren April Brady

Elisa Bustos

Gabrielle Cantamessa

Jo Castanon

Ana Sofia Murillo Cernicchiaro

Sherleen Chen

Tiange Chen

Dahee Choi

Carol Chong

Olivia Chow

Matthew Chu

Lily Clempson

Analuisa Corrigan

Gaurika Dalal

Iyana Martin Diaz

Sylvia Epstein

Maria Farah

Vitoria Schweitzer Fiore

Jamie Fong

Bentzion Goldman

Sarah Hennessy

Irene Hernandez-Gaona

Sara Hilany

Allen Hu

Gufeng Huang

Julia Isman

Erika Jaquez

Moonnyung Jo

Adam Johansen

Souraya Jureidini

Cynthia Kamata-Banks

Zarrin Karimi

Ta Suranart Kasitipradit

Anastasia Khadivi

Peggy S. Khammanotham

Jiwon Kim

Minhae Kim

Sarah Kim

Soyeon (Chloe) Kim

Soyeon Kim

Esther Klingbiel

Rose Kramer

Clare Lagomarsino

Julia Lassen

Chloe Lee

Jahyun Lee

Nicole Lee

Ye Eun Alison Lee

Leqi Liang

Chia Ying Lin

Chih-Yi Lin

Eric Lish

Clarissa Losciale

Eileen Lu

Cobey Lusinger

Maria Magnani

Miguel Marcos

Gaebrielle McIntosh

Sarah McNutt

Mitali Mehta

Vincent Merle

Mitali Nopany

Eugene Ong Bang Jun

Diana Pak

Seongjin Park

Holly Parkin

Annika Phillips

Olimpia Pignatti-Morano

Marie Poncin

Jin Qian

Jack Rieger

Kenisha Bijoux Rullan

Joshua Ryan

Bushra Sarker

Amy Schultz

Nico Siy

Leah Slava

Demi Isabela Straulino

Anisha Subberwal

Erica Tagliarino

Cristina Cepeda Thielmann

Elisa Tordjmann

Kyle Tranquilli

Yasemin Varlik

Varun Vig

Diana Vivar

Abby Wang

Yifei Wang

Yuqi Wang

Coco Wohrle

Angela Yang

Stella Yen

Tiffany Ying

Ingrid Yiu

Kyle Yu

Celestine Yuan

Seoyoung Yun

Maria Zabolotnaya

Amanda Zaldivar

Yinglin Zeng

Junhao Zhang

Limber Lingya Zhang

Haitong Zheng

Karolina Zuchowski