All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Long Overdue: Book Renewal

The New York Times had an article Saturday on a joint project of the Portland Public Library and the Maine College of Art called "Long Overdue: Book Renewal." The library sent off 186 worn-out books for artists to "do with them as they pleased."
Nearly 200 artists, mostly from Maine but also from Boston, California and Wisconsin, participated. Megan Dunn transformed text into a spiny bracelet by cutting pages into long, skinny strips and attaching them to an elastic band. Susan Winn gutted a copy of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and remade it into "Field of Greens," a potted patch of turf in which the waving blades of grass are lines sliced from the book. [Link]
The reworked books were then returned to the library, and put back into circulation. Search in the library catalog using keywords "altered books" to see what's available and to read book descriptions, like this for a text book called Teaching Reading in Today's Elementary Schools, now renamed Sticky Fingers: "Cut and shaped book, pages glued together with peanut butter and jelly."
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