How The West Was Won. Copyright Applied For. By David Schulz, Light Rail Press, ISBN# 978-0-9828666-3-4, 108 pages, Digital Offset Press (Indigo), Casebound, 7.5 x 9.5”, edition of 100, $50, To purchase, please email info [at] lightrailworks.com.
How The West Was Won. Copyright Applied For. investigates the roles of archived documents and literary genres in the creation, preservation, and reconstruction of cultural memory and historical representation.
The Pioneer Pageant of 1923/24 was a theatrical production involving over 3000 local citizens in Walla Walla, Washington, offering a romanticized narrative of “how the west was won.” Archived materials from the Pageant illuminate an expanded field of performance where a strong relationship exists between the ordering structures of material documents and immaterial genres in the narrativization of history.
Comprised of postcards and silver gelatin prints in photo-albums, contracts, meeting minutes, advertising agency reports, newspaper clippings, scripts, scripting notes, and correspondences, How The West Was Won. Copyright Applied For. presents an allegory of history through the executive, administrative, and creative processes of tableau theater by presenting the material conditions out of which the theater came to be in relation to the American myth of “how the west was won.”
This allegory is given further meaning by a series of devised Haiku poems that are sourced from a separate archive of immigration accounts. Individual phrases within each Haiku are based on the observed frequency of recurring events they describe within their stories.
This book project was partly funded by the Penrose Library at Whitman College.
Shown above, and below: Double-paged spreads from How The West Was Won. Copyright Applied For.