Jesse Kohn at The Quarterly Conversation:
In 1990, Kevin White composed a piece of writing called ‘SSES”‘SSES” as his thesis for a master’s degree at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. In it he used the structure of Joyce’s Ulysses as a lens to refract and reflect on his own travels through Asia in search of his (and Derek’s) father, who committed suicide in 1982. ‘SSES”‘SSES”, along with Kevin’s journals and notebooks, came into Derek’s possession when Kevin died of a drug overdose in 1997. Derek describes SSS on what might be page one (as we shall see, where the book begins and ends are not clearly delineated), as “a dilated (+belated) expansion of that book, a deconstructed REDUX w/ further recapitulations by me searching recursively in parallel for: my brother searching for: our father.” Embedding ‘SSES”‘SSES” within carefully but chaotically assembled pages composed of Kevin’s journal entries, fiction fragments, reproductions of his paintings, and designs for conceptual art pieces, Derek has created, or curated, something much more complex than an homage to his brother or an archive of his creative output. In Derek’s hands, and with recourse to the guidance of the structure of Homer’s Odyssey, what could have been a sort of Collected Writings of Kevin White becomes instead a labyrinthine and polyphonic odyssey of its own wherein Derek’s chronicling and deconstructing of his curatorial and editorial processes become as integral to the collection as what it collects. This is also, by the way, only half of it: Books 0 and I, “En-Telemachy (In Absence)” and “In Pursuit of Higher Art In.” Book 2, “The Homecoming,” remains in progress and will comprise Volume 2.
The radical demands and strategies to be found within SSS—and Derek White’s publishing project as a whole—spill out onto the cover page.