Learn how to do something crafty with your obsolete library of books
(Via GalleyCat) Last Thursday, artist Lisa Occhipinti gave a class on how to turn books into art at Housing Works. The event promised that “Often using no more than a craft knife, glue, and a little ingenuity, Occhipinti demonstrates how ‘orphaned’ books can become home décor accessories, such as wreaths and vases, as well as functional items, such as shelves, storage boxes, and clocks….Only a love of books is required!”
The images from Occhipinti’s Bookwork website certainly demonstrate her ingenuity, but it’s curious how a “love of books” relates to the desire to turn them into purely aesthetic objects. How does rendering books unreadable show one’s love for reading? Or has books’ power always been partly totemic in nature?An impressive library has long been a sign of wealth and wisdom, even for the illiterate. Does the fetishization of physical books derive from a true love of reading or some stranger, possibly perverse, psychology? For example, what relationship with literature do you have in order to fill a tasteful basket with The Pottery Barn‘s decorative “book bundles”? One could argue there’s something misguided about placing value in book’s non-linguistic traits… their look, feel, and smell, rather than their meaning. But it’s also natural that those who love books have come to also love their incidental traits and features. Or perhaps this new interest in the decorative book is practical in nature: let’s find something pretty to do with all these obsolete books as the digital age dawns.