New Books of Knowledge (2009) Altered Set of Encyclopedias. 16″ x 26-1/2″ x 10″
have a squint the new work by brian dettmer [an artist working in atlanta, educated at columbia college in chicago]. his work answers a question i’ve been asking myself for years: how can one preserve the ideas and memories of treasured books [in this case, a full set of encyclopedias]? i remember when my parents bought us the world book encyclopedia; it was amazing. anything we wanted to know about anything could be uncovered in those mighty volumes. they’re a symbol of why i like books; sitting on the shelf, a friend always at the ready to enrich my mind. nowadays, a kid now would laugh and/or scoff at the idea of 30 gigantic volumes of information (that were outdated before going to print). not me. even today, i would welcome the 26 volume OED (oxford english dictionary.) still, i maintain there is no way anything electronic that can replace the joy and tactile sensation of a book. dettmer has raised this issue with his sculptures; and transformed the books into the monuments they deserve to be. kindle, you’ve got a lot of work to do.