The book might not be feeling so great these days. If you can get people to read, you have to look hard for a bookstore. And then there is the competition from the latest gadgets, including the gadgets that promise you the experience of reading a book electronically.
Part of the experience of reading the book is finding the book to read. You might be given the book, or borrowed the book from someone who has thought you would appreciate it. There is the fun of browsing bookstores and libraries seeing what you can find. Sometimes you are out of something to read. There are those times when you end up picking out a book that happened to be handy. More than once I have even bought books in airport bookstores that I never would have read if I wasn’t in a pinch. Some of those are books I have really enjoyed.
And there is the experience of the object. Cracking the book open for the first time, holding the book. Looking at the book sideways and seeing your progress marked by the bookmark sticking out between the pages. Then there is the surprise of finding some scrap left behind in an old book. I even did an entire art piece about that last December.
With all that in mind, today’s piece for the 2011 Project is about the book. One of the themes resonating through the project is time. There are pieces about past, present and future. This piece in particular may end up being even more a time capsule. As books in a non-electronic form start to vanish, I have used elements of discarded and damaged books for this piece to preserve them for the future. And this piece also is another work of tactile art. In the future, touching the piece will be part of a past experience of handling the book as object.