Saturday, March 22, 2014

Piles of Words: Book Art Work-in-Progress

What Draws Me to Alter a Book

 One version of my idea of a
 "gutted" book by Georgia Russell.
After looking into book art further I've decided I'm interested in exploring most are a few qualities: a surreal exploration of elements of the book's content, "gutting" the book by allowing the viewer to experience a whole swath's of  its content, or winnowing the book in an area to expose one element of it's content that reveals a new way of thinking about the book.  In this project I'm leaning towards a surreal experience for the viewer, though a bit of "gutting" is involved. 

The Process

What I have done so far is page through the book looking for words and phrases that jump out at me and then carefully cut them out. In the end I want those words to create disjointed combinations that hint at meaning but don't communicate it; I want it to be a fun confusion to the viewer like venturing with Alice Through the Looking Glass.

I'm in the obsessive phase of this project. I found myself a few days ago planning on just taking half an hour to go through a few pages cutting out words and in the end I spent a few hours absorbed in it and hunched over it. My shoulders were a bit sore afterwards. :P

The effect of cutting on the pages.
This likely will not be a visual element of the finished piece.

The words and phrases I carefully cut out of the pages of Introductory Metaphysics.
They have yet to find their final purpose.

I'm still not sure what the final result of this is going to be, but this piece for me is very much about finding ideas through the process of making something new as a reaction to something old. 

What I have decided is: I will incorporate painted elements (perhaps small creatures on the cover), that the end result will be a solid sculpture rather than an altered book that can still be flipped through, I will recombine words I've cut from the book to build a new idea or meaning that still incorporate's the book's original idea/ideas, and that layers of paper will be glued together and bursting through the cover so that the interior and exterior will be experienced simultaneously.

The Book's Lofty Subject

You may be asking what my interest is in metaphysics. My answer in this case is that I don't need to be absorbed in the subject to find meaning from this book. What drew me to the book were these elements: the book was free at a local library, it was full of vast ideas communicated in brief and dramatic phrases, it was full of words that are meant to be important and cause a reaction, and that the book had a pleasant air of age about it; so I could see myself absorbed in reacting to those words and that object for many hours.

The book, with such a meaning rich title to play with.

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Thanks for your interest in my art. I'm very curious to hear your thoughts. Cheers!

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