Our libraries are one of our most valuable resources, centers for education, entertainment, community interaction and outreach. Like many public libraries, Toronto’s library budget has been drastically cut, but citizens are fighting back. They have produced a wonderful little video about the importance of libraries, appropriately in the form of a book with moving parts and pop-ups! Watch it here….
March 8, 2015
August 2, 2014
Mindell Dubansky, preservation librarian at the Thomas J. Watson Library in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, has a passion for books that aren’t books — they’re objects shaped like books, which she describes as “blooks.” She’s been collecting these faux tomes for the past twenty years, and was recently featured in the New York Times for her collection in the article Collecting Books that are Just Covers. Her interests range from blooks that are perfume containers, flasks, guns, and radios in disguise, to patents and photos of book-shaped billboards and buildings. Check out her intriguing Blook Blog here.
June 11, 2013
Marco Tempest’s documentary video of Nikola Tesla’s life is as unique as his subject. Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a brilliant mathematician and innovator who experimented with alternating current, radio waves, X-rays, wireless telegraphy and remote control devices. He was issued numerous patents for his inventions, but tragically felt he was never properly recognized for his achievements during his lifetime. In Tempest’s performance, a pop-up book serves to relate Tesla’s story, and videos projected onto the book’s pages are accompanied by Tempest’s narration. If this documentary intrigues you, learn more about this fascinating man, starting with his Wikipedia page.
December 2, 2012
May 19, 2012
We thought this pop-up book by young designer Daisy Lew was worth noting for its unusual structure, combining a host of little pop-up blocks to create larger images of New York City icons: the Big Apple, a yellow taxi, the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty. From one angle the pop-ups look like a city of multi-level skyscrapers, and from above you get the whole view. Check out the book on her web site at www.daisylew.com/popup.html
March 20, 2012
Traditionally, the book has been both a container of information and a physical object. With the advent of digital technology that has changed, and today some books exist only in electronic form. But physical books are still part of our world, and some artists are using them as raw material for their own expressive pieces in the fields of art and architecture. The weburbanist site has mounted a small show of twelve artists’ bookworks at various scales. We love the idea of buildings made of books, while the smaller-scale sculptural pieces are also both jarring and thought provoking. Visit the show for more images of the works by clicking here.
February 3, 2012
For all of you aspiring physicists out there, here’s an intriguing introduction to the workings of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, located between Switzerland and France. Not many get to actually see the collider, so to help people understand how it works, scientist Emma Sanders and paper engineer Anton Radevsky collaborated to create this exact-scale model in pop-up book form. The book describes how the Atlas Experiment is trying to uncover the origins of our universe by smashing protons together at very high speeds. It took 15 years to build the actual collider, but you can build your own paper version into the book in just a few minutes, as shown in this short YouTube video. Thanks to Bryant Holsenbeck for sending us this link.
December 8, 2011
Can’t live without the Hogwarts’ wizardry in your Harry Potter books ? How about wearing it? Ravenna Osgood, a young, hip designer in New Mexico, has been winning prizes for her fashions in Santa Fe’s Recycled Arts Festival for years. This time around she’s concocted a wearable book, literally, crafting her dress from J.K. Rowling’s now-classic texts. She’s proven herself a fashion magician with found materials ranging from coffee bags to credit cards. For more pictures of Ravenna and the Recycled Arts event, go to http://recyclesantafe.org/2009winners.htm
October 28, 2011
Brooklyn artist Ariana Page Russel has turned her medical condition into an art form. She has dermatographic urticaria that causes her skin to become raised and inflamed when scratched, rubbed, or stroked. The inflammation is painless and lasts about 30 minutes. It’s just enough time to allow the artist to photograph herself after she’s finished her skin drawing. She exhibits the photographs, and also makes collage designs and wallpaper from the photos. Apparently she can control the pink or red hues in her designs by the pressure she exerts on her skin. For more on Ariana, visit her web site, http://www.arianapagerussell.com/
October 15, 2011
After serving his two terms as U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson retired to Monticello, his home outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, and began work on constructing his own “Bible,” a collage of clippings from other Bibles in English, Greek, Latin, and French. Jefferson was most interested in the moral teachings of Jesus, and assembled the clippings from the Four Gospels of the New Testament in chronological order, creating a sort of “scrapbook” of Jesus’s life and philosophy. He glued the cut pieces onto loose pages in four columns for easy comparison. The pages were later bound into a book that was titled The Life And Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, now known as the Jefferson Bible.
A few months ago we visited the conservation lab at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, where the Bible was being restored by conservator Janice Stagnitto Ellis. The book’s binding was cracked and damaged, and the pages fragile. It’s been a year of difficult work for Janice and her staff. Because the book is so stiff and delicate, it can only be partially opened, and many of the repairs were accomplished with tweezers.
It was a thrill to see Jefferson’s finished book, and we also enjoyed seeing one of the Bibles from which verses were extracted because it looked so much like an artist’s book with all the missing cutouts.
With the conservation mission accomplished, the Jefferson Bible will be on display at the NMAH’s Albert H. Small Documents Gallery, starting in November. For more information, visit the SI Newsdesk.