Thursday, 1 October 2009

Book Art - the future of books?

The thought of hacking up books is a slightly disturbing image for me, that is until I saw these 'book art' sculptures. A new trend of cutting up and redesigning books into aesthetic sculptures and practical objects, such as chairs, shelves, vases and even lights. I like this idea of taking an existing object like a book and transforming it into something entirely different, changing the message of the story inside. Below are some examples that caught my eye, they all use books, but contain different messages and purposes.
Though I find the concept of taking this traditional medium and turning into something innovative and beautiful fascinating, I cant help but think it sad. The question that comes to mind - is this all that is left for books today? I love the tactile nature of books, the cover designs, even the smell. I am probably one of the few people that still has a library card. However with growing use of the internet and the introduction of e-books and online magazines, is there a future for books? 
There are obvious environmental benefits to e-books, having been looking at sustainable design, they fit into this category very well. Despite this, I cannot imagine being able to concentrate reading a story on my computer. When reading a book, you can pick it up and dip in and out when you like, this would not be so easy using a computer. I enjoy turning the pages of a book and the tangible experience that e-books could not replace. This is an issue I have found myself thinking a lot about recently, I love the medium of print, it has a uniqueness that online doesn't posses. However with environmental problems and the growth of digital medium, who knows, libraries may one day become galleries for book art. 

On a more positive note, these sculptures take something old and used and reinvent it into something new, something that can be done with anything. I particularly like the book light shades, at a glance, I didn't notice that they were made from. The rest I have chosen because they use books in an innovative and visually appealing way. 

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