The University of Wisconsin Press

Photography / Art / Popular Culture


Touchless Automatic Wonder
Found Text Photographs from the Real World
Lewis Koch

“Lewis Koch takes the weird world and makes it look real.” —Barbara Crane, artist/photographer

Created as a poetic and visual journey, Touchless Automatic Wonder spans twenty-five years and four continents. These striking photographs capture “found text”: the sometimes mysterious, occasionally humorous, often cryptic presence of words in the everyday landscape. This intriguing approach at the intersection of language, image, and the social landscape will appeal to readers interested in contemporary art and photography, popular culture, and conceptual concerns both literary and visual.

“Absolutely brilliant! . . . Koch’s camera eye is like a fist that punches the daylights out of the nightmares we call life. His word pictures are the ransom notes we write to death.” —Michael William Doyle, author of Imagine Nation: The American Counterculture of the 1960s and 70s

Lewis Koch is an artist whose work has been shown in sites from garages to museums with solo exhibitions in New York, London, Brussels, Seoul, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Chicago. His photographs are in permanent collections throughout the United States and Europe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art–Chicago.

As artist-in-residence at Copenhagen’s Fotografisk Center in 2001, Koch created the Web project Touchless Automatic Wonder, which was the precedent for this book. You can link to his project here.

And for more information about Lewis Koch,visit his page at Luminous Lint September 2009


Wisconsin Public Television talk:

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

The cover of Koch's book is based on one of the photographs. A giant commercial sign hand points down. In the background can be read "Touchless Wonder."

September 2009

112 pp.   8 3/4 x 10 1/2
80 duotone illus.

Book icon
Cloth $45.00 t
ISBN 978-0-9815620-4-9
  Adobe Digital Edition (PDF)
About our e-books
Printing and cut/paste allowed, access on six different devices.
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout

Borderland Books logo includes a line drawing of a tree.

Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated July 13, 2011

© 2011, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System