Cooperation/Conflagration book
Cooperation / Conflagration

By Edward H. Hutchins
[Mount Vernon, New York]: [Editions], [1992]. Open edition.

4.5 x 4”; 16 pages. Flutter book structure. End sheets tipped between heavy bright blue cardstock paper with black lettering. Single photocopied sheet of text and pictures used for the inside pages. Wrap-around cover. Includes copy of “Which Way?” Signed by the artist.

Ed Hutchins: “Eight steps turn cooperation into conflagration. But at any point, the book can be rotated 180 degrees and the process reversed.

"’Cooperation/Conflagration’ is one of my most important, and perhaps, most insightful books. I love it! Just eight words, all starting with the letter ‘c’, trace the path from cooperation to conflagration. By rotating the book 180-degrees, there are eight new steps from conflagration back to cooperation. The really amazing aspect of this book is that anywhere in the process, the book can be rotated and the possible outcome changed. For example, even when you arrive at ‘collision’, it is possible to turn the book to ‘concession’ and reverse the destructive possibility. On the other hand, when you get to ‘compromise’, the book can be rotated to ‘complication’ and the peace process falls apart.

“A similar book, ‘Which Way?’ was created on the brink of war in Iraq. It pairs words that start with ‘r’ to create two alternate possibilities. My favorite pair--the last tiny match--is ‘regret/rejoice’. Which way did we choose? “The point of both books is that decisions have consequences. There is a need to gauge outcomes before acting.”