Book Pages

Detail from "War Is Peace."

Detail from "War Is Peace."

Book Pages Project

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The first decade of the 21st Century will be remembered for the radical paradigm shift brought about by the introduction of a vast array of portable, personal, information technology.  On Monday, July 19, 2010, Amazon announced that for the first time, it had sold more e-books the previous quarter than hardcover books.

This project is an homage to books and the art of their authors. “Real” books.  Books with covers and dog-eared corners; books with pulpy paper and yellowing pages.  Musty smelling books fading into history. It is an appreciation of the book’s physical form – the fonts, the layout, the ink, and the printing.  And it is a celebration of the immeasurable contribution writers have made to our culture through their art.

For this project I have chosen works that I believe demonstrate the power of books.  Every so often, a writer coins a phrase that goes on to have profound cultural significance, either as part of our daily vocabulary, or as the iconic representation of a point in history.  And though, at the moment of inception, they may have been just one or two words among the hundreds of thousands that make a book, these few have lived on to become linguistic superstars.

Life’s a bitch.  Or so it’s been since 1950 when Joy Davidman penned those words on page 184 of her novel Weeping Bay.  The now common notion of  "Cyberspace," for example, didn't exist until William Gibson invented it for his book, Neuromancer, in 1984.  For this series, I went back to the birthplace of these ideas to witnesses the moment in which they winked into existence.

With this project I not only wanted to highlight specific words, but I wanted the viewer to see them as works of art rather than mere information.  To imbue the creations of these writers with physicality I have manipulated the pages to subtly reference the content.  “The Right Stuff” is formed into a conical shape, evocative of the nose of Chuck Yeager’s X1 or a NASA rocket.  “Big Brother” is meant to reference police tape, suggesting that Big Brother is preventing you from going past the tape and reading the subversive text on the page behind.  "Fashionista" has been formed into a sexy, little dress.  And after Hunter S. Thompson writes “the drugs began to take hold”, I folded the rest of the page in a way that distorts the text as if the drugs were taking hold of the reader and distorting their vision.

Here, in these images, the viewer sees the work of these authors as art, both literally and metaphorically.  

David Siki