Doug Beube
Vest for the New World

2008
altered Encyclopedia, wire, wax, metal, vinyl
21 x 20 x 5 in.
Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.
—William Shakespeare

Sixteen altered books based on The New World Atlas sit inside individual pockets of a vinyl vest, compressed-- despite their ominous appearance--for a non-lethal kind of combustion. Dark brown wax seals the top and bottom of each book, with wires completing the image of a suicide jacket. The vest hangs on an individual clothing stand around which viewers can walk, its potential in this sense domesticated by the power for wisdom rather than destruction it might trigger if its texts were unleashed. From a geopolitical atlas altered in this way, an actual New World might result.
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