Portfolio > Bookwork

Theoretically and physically I 'excavate' the book, as a phenomenological endeavor, creating hypertexts, as if the text block itself is an archaeological site. When I appropriate books, their words are sometimes readable, their shapes are sometimes recognizable, but in every case they are transformed into objects that are visual and speak volumes. Relinquishing their secrets requires numerous readings. Through the use of various power tools the text of the altered book is reconfigured into abstract forms and editorializes the notion of a book into sculpture.

Transforming how a book functions outside a linear read for an outdated technology, the codex as an altered book, becomes something that is challenging and visually meaningful. In this section there are three different folding techniques; folding the pages towards the spine, folding the spine itself and creating folds or pleats;

Inspired by a phrase from the Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, in 1989 I began folding the pages of books in on themselves. The phrase goes, “Curving back upon myself, I create again and again.” By collapsing pages toward the center of the spine, the reference is, as if the codex is human, the book is becoming aware of itself, by the outer edges of the pages folding back on itself, into the center of the book, towards the spine creates shapes that were cylindrical. The text becomes abstracted into an undecipherable code of broken black lines.

In 1979, pushing the physical properties of the book, by cutting, piercing, drilling, gouging and excavating it, as if it were a thrilling, previously undiscovered site in an archeological dig, I began changing the book's structure and abstracting the subject matter of both image and text. Using various power tools I selectively removed parts of the cover, pages, and content, for example, by grinding them away. The underlying pages revealed themselves, as hidden depictions interacting with top layers, interrupting what might have been an undisturbed reading of text and image now viewed as an altered book.