Doug Beube
Brooklyn Boroughs

1994
altered phone book, wooden base
6 3/4 x 14 x 4 3/4 in.
My inspiration for this piece was the sight of waterlogged books strewn in the gutters—warped, swollen telephone directories and other paperbacks—when I first moved to New York City in the mid-1980s. These pieces consist of semicircular sections cut out of Brooklyn phone books whose pages have been individually crushed and straightened so that the spine is forced permanently open, the index of names and addresses transformed into a Rolodex. Displayed on wooden bonsai bases—in this case supporting milled, not miniature, trees—the mounded shapes are reminiscent of fuzzy hedgehogs.
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