books2eat

Yesterday Denison University Libraries participated in the Books2Eat. Books2Eat is formally called the International Edible Books Festival with over 20 countries participating in a day of literally eating your words. According to the official website, the festival takes place every year to honor the birthday of French foodie Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (there’s a mouthful) and take advantage of April Foolery.

Here are a few of my favorites from this year. To see more, check out my Books2Eat post from 2013.

the sandworm from Dune by Frank Herbert
the sandworm from Dune by Frank Herbert
The Pale of Settlement by Margot Singer (who is a professor here at Denison!)
The Pale of Settlement by Margot Singer (who is a professor here at Denison!)
James and the Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl
James and the Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (even the book cover was classy)
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (even the book cover was classy)
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin (won for humor, I think)
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin (won for humor, I think)
and Best in Show went to The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
and Best in Show went to The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

books2eat

Today Denison University Library participated in the Books2Eat. Books2Eat is formally called the International Edible Books Festival with over 20 countries participating in a day of literally eating your words. According to the official website, the festival takes place every year to honor the birthday of French foodie Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (there’s a mouthful) and take advantage of April Foolery.

Here are a few of my favorites from today.

Going Bananas for Dr. Suess - yes, Suess. Hey, it was made by students at Granville Middle School and won Most Creative (no one took off points for spelling).
Going Bananas for Dr. Suess – yes, Suess. Hey, it was made by students at Granville Middle School and won Most Creative (no one took off points for spelling).
How to Win Friends and Influence People by our own Sheryl Pustay. When judging was over, this was the first edible book to get devoured.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by our own Sheryl Pustay. When judging was over, this was the first edible book to get devoured.
Monster Book of Monsters by Beth Walter based on Hagrid's Cure for Magical Animals (Harry Potter).
Monster Book of Monsters by Beth Walter based on Hagrid’s Cure for Magical Animals (Harry Potter).
Hearing Loss by our own Pam Magelaner. Great after-Easter humor. She also made Elvis Peeps.
Hearing Loss by our own Pam Magelaner. Great after-Easter humor. She also made Elvis Peeps.

 

 

erica baum – visual poet

For photographer Erica Baum “the act of information retrieval is turned into a journey” (Josefine Raab). The library card catalogue and the book are both physically and contextually animated, juxtaposing text and imagery to create new meaning. Baum’s work can be considered an original hyperlink; by carefully arranging a book’s pages of words and images, she allows the audience simultaneous points of view.

Images of people often appear in her photographs of books. In an interview with Mousse magazine Baum states,

Towel (2009)

“I want the expressions on the figures to suggest the contents of the book as imagined by the figure, or as the viewer imagines it to be. It’s as though the abstract lines and fragments of text represent the thoughts of the figure caught inside the book. So the visual abstraction represents this conceptual abstraction.”

Her work with card catalogues and dog-eared book pages are visual poetry. Lemon Hound’s recent blog posting on Baum’s book Dog Ear describes the process of reading an image from this series. Of the project, Baum says “I’m reauthoring the text in this simple act of folding the paper which creates a new view.”

Examined (2009)

The cards in the library (pre-digital) catalogue are in a predetermined order and fixed in place within the drawer, within the cabinet. Yet Baum is able to manipulate this rigidity and develop an image that is ambiguous and suggests continuity.

Jackie O

Alemani, Cecelia. (February 2010). “Dog Ear Poems.” Mousse Magazine.

Filreis, Al. (13 September 2007). “Erica Baum Photographs the Card Catalogue.” Al Filreis.

Hynes, Ben. (14 November 2011). “Erica Baum’s Dog Ear.” Lemon Hound.

See more of Baum’s work at ubuweb and Bureau.

jody alexander – artist and librarian

Jody Alexander is a librarian at Cabrillo College and a book arts teacher at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work is ephemeral and nostalgic mostly because, while in library school back East, she fell, like Alice, down the rabbit hole into another life.

if she thought it would help, zelda would use her antediluvian curse cache to attain her revenge

Discovering the artist book as a medium in library school, she has been working with the book. Alexander works with the book as both a found object and creates anew using traditional bookbinding and papermaking techniques. Found objects often begin the artwork. In an interview, she states,

It usually starts with items that I collect and I gradually see that they belong together. And, maybe there is space for a little hand-bound book in the front or back of the box, or in the drawers, or some other space. Then the person who owned these items starts to emerge.

Interestingly, much of her artwork includes exposed spines yet the story is convoluted and hidden within the folds. Each piece is tenderly executed and feels precious. Their titles are just as elusive and poetic. Alexander reawakens the lives of the objects and beautifully narrates the stories of the people possessing the objects.

exposed spines
the odd volumes of ruby b

 

Waston, Chris. (2010, February 2). Book artist Jody Alexander explores the character of books. Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Wylde, Nanette. (2011, May). Jody Alexander. Whirligig.