Brian Dettmer’s Book Sculptures

The other day my sister introduced me to this video on book sculptures by Dettmer, I have seen similar sculptures before (mostly carving books into landscapes, I’ve never seen Dettmer’s work) but I’ve never actually seen the person who started it.

It was mostly because she knew I hated it. When I was younger it was because I disliked books being damaged in any way, as I grew older I just disliked them simply because the art didn’t give much consideration to the book’s contents but rather its form, the pieces often presented little connection between the content and the art piece itself. It is for a similar reason that I didn’t understand nor appreciate the art of blackout poetry.

When I saw this, I realised how wrong I had been about these sculpture and how it reminds me greatly about information issues we have today. He talks about the shift of formats in information and the way he carves into his books remind me a lot of text mining and text visualisation. I have a new respect for this art form and it’s very encouraging looking at the pieces he make and understand information in an artistic level.