New Worlds Carved Out of Old Books

Book sculpture isn’t a new thing. Many artists butcher books in attempt to make something new. Usually they treat them just as a carving material, without giving any notice to the contents. At best you’ll find the carving to correspond to some elements of the cover. That’s not the case for Brian Dettmer (New York, USA) and Alexander Korzer-Robinson (Bristol, UK.)

For them, the contents of a book is as much a source of inspiration as a sculpting medium. Instead of just cutting through the layers, they first search for illustrations and other design elements to incorporate them into the sculpture.

Some of the illustrations are kept, other are cut out. Alexander Korzer-Robinson prefers a straightforward approach. His books retain the conventional rectangular form of a codex. He just adds a window on the front cover that invites you to a new imaginary world of illustrations, which were divided among the pages, but became one crowd with artist’s help.

Brian Dettmer goes further. He works not only with the insides of a book. He cuts though the sides of covers and edges of pages, he bends and twists the books, combining them to form new and exciting shapes.

Here is his talk at TEDYouth 2014: