Strange Devotion
130 pages, 86 color and b&w images, 10"x8", perfect bound trifold softcover with raised foil lettering, edition of 250

Strange Devotion is a multimodal art book by Blurry Pictures founders Jacob Koestler and Michael McDermit that exhumes the Appalachian Gothic tradition to examine the often-misunderstood nuances of past and present life in the Rust Belt and Appalachia. The book exists as an intertwining photographic essay and fictional narrative that seeks to highlight dignity in spite of the well-documented difficulties. Koestler’s photographs anchor the project by documenting wide swaths of land, from the hidden caves and forests of Kentucky and West Virginia, to the rural landscapes of Ohio and industrial burnout of the artists’ native Pennsylvania. McDermit’s interweaving novelette chronicles decades of the fraught relationships within a regional family, empathetically exploring the all-too-common matriarchal experience of being put-upon in a place considered doomed by God and man alike. The result is a work that exceeds the sum of its parts through a multifaceted and affectionate investigation of the (sur)reality within a region and era often dismissed as bygone.

This project was made possible with generous support from William Busta Projects and The Satellite Fund, administered by SPACES and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Program 

Included with the purchase of every book is a 24-page religious tract, “The New Diluvialism” — a pastiche of historical zealotry that also explores the geological divinity of the Allegheny Mountains and valleys of west-central Pennsylvania. Though often fanatical, TND is imbued with a poignant story of loss and salvation all its own.
Strange Devotion (Special Edition)

In addition to the book and religious tract, the special edition also includes two photographs by each of the artists.

Printed in an edition of 25
Signed and dated
Archival pigment prints on Angelica Photo-matte paper

5" x 7" each
packaged in Glassine sleeves