Thursday, January 05, 2012

the sanctity of books

This is really just a recap of my tweets.

I don't get why some people are so against book art, sculptures, carvings, etc. The value of the book is in its contents, not the paper it's printed on.

I do recognize the origins of the sentiment, from how we are taught to hold the book sacred as a vector of knowledge, and not disrespect it. And indeed, when books are willfully destroyed for its contents (e.g. book burnings), we should be outraged, but that is because the physical act of destruction symbolizes the destruction of the ideas within, and that is what we really should be against. Conversely, book-banning offends us for those very reasons, yet there's no physical destruction there.

Book art on the other hand - the creation of something new from the books, is paying a homage to them. One would have to be purposefully blind to not see that. Yes, books are to be respected, but there is no need to be so mindless in our regard for them that we refuse to consider looking at them in new and different ways. Words don't have to be art only in a linear form, and book art recognizes that.

Have a look at the Edinburgh mystery book sculptures. How could anyone possibly come to the conclusion that the creator of these works of art is not a booklover? I see the love in every attention to detail, even without the unabashed declaration from the artist itself.

The ones below are my favourite.

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