What the what! There’s nothing like randomly surfing the internet looking for awesome things to share and discovering the unreleased cover of my wife’s forthcoming book (designed by David Gee) from the Joyland imprint at ECW Press on This Isn’t Happiness. It’s a really great book, and I’m not just saying that because I’m in it. Now excuse me while I go build her a web site.
Brooklyn-based artist Meg Hitchock dissects religious texts such as the Bible, Koran, and Torah and uses the individual letters to create maddeningly complex, interwoven collages of typography. Via her artist statement:
In my series Mantras & Meditations, I examine and deconstruct the word of God as interpreted through the world religions. I select passages from holy books and cut the letters from one passage to form the text of another. For example, I may cut up a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible and reassemble it as a passage from the Bhagavad Gita, or I may use type from the Torah to recreate an ancient Tantric text. A continuous line of text forms the words and sentences in a run-on manner, without spaces or punctuation, creating a visual mantra of devotion.
In her most recent work at Famous Accountants Hitchcock spent 135 hours transcribing (gluing tens of thousands of letters, ahem) the entire Book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian New Testament, but with text cut out from an English translation of the Koran. And if 135 hours seems like a lot, she began cutting the individual letters for the installation almost six months before its opening. The text ran across gallery walls and floors like an endless rope of words. See video of that piece as well as a brief interview here:
I can’t decide if I’m more impressed with her artwork or simply what must be her incredible patience. See more of her work here. (via hyperallergic)
A series of print ads for Dutch Book Week by Van Wanten Etcetera. This years theme was the “autobiography”, so 3D portraits of Anne Frank, Vincent van Gogh, Louis van Gaal and Kader Abdollah were created from books as centerpieces for the ad campaign. Despite how striking the ads are I have to admit that they were digitally produced, and in an age when anything can be realistically created with computers I tend to get more excited about the real thing, like the works of Julia Feld. That said, the artists for this campaign clearly spent lots of time focusing on the fine details, as even the text used on the pages came from the actual books. Digital or not, this is a lovely campaign. (via behance)
The latest work from architect Sou Fujimoto who designed this stunning new library for the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. To dramatically emphasize the function of the building, Fujimoto chose to extend the bookshelves beyond the interior with immense external pillars of red cedar shelving covered in structural float glass. (via abitare)
The Robot Book is the latest creation from Brooklyn-based artist and photographer Thomas Jackson (previously). It’s actually the culmination of a larger photo project he completed last year which follows dreamlike story of a lone robot in a post-apocalyptic future, carrying on the day-to-day menial tasks of life. The book is constructed from sheet metal, salvaged wood, and is embedded with an antenna (!) and other electrical components. It contains 24 giclée-printed photographs and 7 giclée-printed illustrations by Jackson.
When I began this project three years ago, I didn’t know I was making a book. The plan was to create a series of staged photographs addressing a set of themes that interested me, among them our culture’s obsession with hard work and our less-than-harmonious relationship with the natural world. Composed in narrative form, in the manner of a medieval tapestry or altarpiece, the pictures would tell the story of a solitary robot’s last days in a post-apocalyptic place. But when I completed the images in late 2010, the project felt unfinished. The story seemed to need one last narrative twist. The answer, I came to realize, was a book. A book that was itself an artifact from the world I’d created in the pictures. A combination of organic, manufactured and mechanical components, it would be the sort of thing the robot himself might have made. The result is a mixed media mash-up that’s part sculpture, part graphic novel, part photo book and part gadget—an inscrutable relic long lost in an apocryphal future.
If you’re interested in obtaining a copy (a limited edition of 11) you can contact the artist directly via his web site.
In 2004 I moved from Chicago to Prague to finish a writing degree through Columbia College. For six weeks I wandered the narrow cobblestone corridors of Prague, drank beers the size of my head, and in my spare time read the complete works of Franz Kafka. We’re talking every single book including The Castle, his technically unfinished novel that is in essence, madness. I wouldn’t say that makes me any kind of authority on his work, but I will say that these incredible covers by Peter Menelsund, the art director for Knopf (that owns publishing rights to all of Kafka’s work), perfectly captures the essence and concurrent themes in much of his writing. Even the use of Mister K, a font based on Kafka’s own handwriting is surprisingly pitch-perfect and not gimmicky as one might expect. And the eyes:
So, as you can see, I’ve gone with eyes here (not the first or last time I will use an eye as a device on a jacket-book covers are, after all, faces, both literally and figuratively, of the books they wrap). I find eyes, taken in the singular, create intimacy, and in the plural instill paranoia. This seemed a good combo for Kafka- who is so very adept at the portrayal of the individual, as well as the portrayal of the persecution of the individual.
The books will be available in June or July of this year. (via coudal)