When third graders learning about the Ten Commandments are asking if the tablet, “Was an iPad or a Kindle,” it’s safe to assume that traditional reading is on the outs. Most hard-back books exist now, as tiny step stools and glorified paperweights, all making their way toward a recycled reincarnation. However, Brian Dettmer saw a hidden canvas between those pages and is re-purposing books and other forgotten media into unforgettable works of art.
Dettmer’s sculptures are truly changing the way we read a book. Through his art we get to see past the summation of their words and into a landscape that has a story all it’s own. His process is something close to surgery, often cutting up passages with exacto knives and tweezers, and sanding down pages to form new shapes and intricate designs.
I don’t know if Dettmer’s art can resurrect our love of literature, but I can say this… The next time you visit the local library you’re sure to see its contents in a whole new light. Make sure to view the full collection on his website.