Doug Beube
Books of Knowledge Standing
Up Against the Elements: Model

1983
metal, thread, wood, earth, baseball, copper
12 x 12 x 8 in.
This model was for a site specific outdoor installation, which originally stood in my backyard in Rochester, NY, demonstrates the effects of the natural elements such as sun, wind, and rain on the physical components of books. In this case, the text and images of these encyclopedias were metaphorically shaken from their bindings and blown into the environment. The gradual deterioration of both the book objects and their literary meaning reflects the cyclical quality of life and art. In view of this natural circuit, it is conceivable that this piece could instigate new ideas and events, which in turn could generate a new body of knowledge for yet another set of encyclopedias. Although unrealized at the time I created it, this work also connects to the tradition of Tibetan prayer flags that are intentionally left to hang in the mountain winds until they look like tattered laundry, their inscribed blessings thus dispersed to anyone receptive to the message.
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