Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Altered Books: What to Make of a Diminished Thing

As we pursue sustainability in its many forms, there's something comforting about the development of the altered book art form.

Books, after all, deserve long lives. A friend of mine who has authored several major non fiction titles, told me about the fate of many remaindered books whose publishers haven't the space to store them: the dreaded shredder.

I am reassured, therefore, by the emergence of the altered book.

Taking books that might otherwise be consigned to the landfill, artists are creating new art objects from old titles, sometimes commenting artistically upon their subjects or themes. Take this artist's re-make of Whitman's Leaves of Grass; its blades are the lush lines of the poem, sprouting anew from the volume.

This emerging art form is the stuff of NPL's fall fund raiser, Uncovered. An impressive array of Vermont artists and writers have undertaken book
alterations of their own. In November, amid glittery celebrations, they will be auctioned off.

Approaches to the alterations of books are as varied as the artists and the
books themselves.

This is a form that is in the process of taking off. Go here to see the work of artists who work in this medium.

It's going to be fun to see what our local artists come up with.