In his introduction, Bantock writes: "I love the idea of creativity that honors the effect of time and makes mischief with history. Growing up in a society where hard, cold, and shiny are often valued, I find myself gravitating toward the opposite. Snow-blinded by bleached white paper, I crave smoky patina and shadowy aged surfaces." (p. 1)
He is not out to change "real" history, but to "move forward and backward into an artifact's history" to make curiosities--faux mail, dubious documents and other anomalies--and breathe new life into tattered, near-worthless, no longer loved materials: maps, letters, expired banknotes, labels, postcards, games. He urges readers to dig around at thrift stores and garage sales and ask shop owners for their supply of maps (or other items) too worn to make it on the store shelves (no need to spend top dollar on material that is destined to be altered). Collected material may include: invoices, business forms, passports, marriage and death certificates, institutional and commercial paperwork, postcards, maps, magazines and books, photographs, stamps, commercial artwork, and more. He has a particular fondness for handwriting and I love that he still uses an old typewriter to type out text for some of his works.