Acts of Translation: David Allen


Acts of Translation: David Allen is the second in a series of collaborative books from Big Jump Press devoted to translation and communication. In this project, Allen describes his process for translating a natural ecological system, a tick population, into a predictive mathematical model. Text for this project was gathered, edited, and recombined by Sarah Bryant from a series of recorded interviews with Allen conducted in 2022. The aphorism “all models are wrong, but some are useful” is attributed to British statistician George E. P. Box.

Ticks collected by Allen in Vermont were imaged with a scanning electron microscope by Jody Smith in 2019 and inkjet printed in Bryant’s studio with generous help from Allison Grant using an Epson Surecolor p900. The code featured in this book is a section of IxPopDyMod: Ixodidae population dynamics model which was written in R by David Allen. Nick Corrao and Ellen Huntington provided essential feedback. Papers for this project include Red River doublesided Premium Matte and Colorplan. Text set in Arno, Myriad, and Monaco type was printed letterpress using polymer plates from Boxcar Press. This project was made possible by financial support and community building from the Collaborative Arts Research Initiative at The University of Alabama.

This book has been produced in an edition of 66, of which 26 copies are lettered a through z and bound individually. Upon the completion of the series, 40 copies will be numbered and bound alongside other collaborative components of the Acts of Translation project.