BOOKSCAPES: Books have always let us escape into fantastic places and other worlds.

BOOKSCAPES: Books have always let us escape into fantastic places and other worlds. In the rapidly approaching age of the e-book, what does one do with the enormous surplus of dusty encyclopedias and unread tomes? Artist Guy Larramee sculpts them into bookscapes so they can once more amaze and delight.

He says, “So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint Romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are.”


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57 Responses to BOOKSCAPES: Books have always let us escape into fantastic places and other worlds.

  1. Dryade Geo says:

    most of me thinks this is amazingly cool, part of me is noooo, not the books! hehe 🙂

  2. Rajini Rao says:

    Judging by the other images in the series, they look like they were discarded Sarah Jane Smith . I think of these as recycled in an artistic way.

  3. Rajini Rao says:

    It’s neat how we all have an instinctive attachment to books because of what they represent. But I think the artist’s quote challenges us to think beyond that, no?

  4. Use bibles and phone books.

  5. Rajini Rao says:

    Phone books would be a totally non controversial sculpting base! Image #2 is indeed from a Bible (the cover said “Brown Bible”: is that well known?).

  6. Controversy grabs attention.

  7. With ebooks catching up, this had to happen 😛

  8. Rajini Rao says:

    Hehe, Aida Hazlan , I’m going to keep tally of all the book sympathy demonstrated in this comment stream 🙂 So far only one unemotional remark by R Prakash Prakash (I mean that as a compliment, sir!).

  9. The best ways to save a book from decay is to make a copy anew.  Then make art from the old.

  10. Please don’t sir me, madam Rajini Rao . I have seen the art here before and appreciated it. My comment was a teaser 🙂 But I’m sure the writers won’t like this one bit.

  11. Tom Lee says:

    Nice find, Rajini. I love books. I’m more with reading the real books, not much into e-book. Interesting art.

  12. Rajini Rao says:

    Feisal Kamil , it seems to be the prevailing sentiment. BUT, isn’t it logical to separate out the physical form of the book (electronic or paper, preserved or destroyed) from the words and knowledge they represent? As long as the latter lives, why care about the physical form? I feel some philosophy coming on…

  13. Rajini Rao says:

    Well said, Feisal Kamil .

    On the other hand, I’m horribly pragmatic about such things. 🙂 

  14. Kevin Clift says:

    By the way Rajini Rao ,this blog missed a point.  When you go to Lalamee’s site you’ll see that there is another dimension in that the title of the book is significant. (; 

  15. Tom Lee says:

    You can’t smell the page and the fresh ink from an e-book.  For me, an iPad or the new 7″ Google tablet are good for the web stuff. You may disagree with me but I can’t smell the Kindle ! 🙂 to enjoy a story by an author you need all the ingredients.

  16. Rajini Rao says:

    I didn’t miss it, Kevin Clift , I chose to ignore it (in fact, I found him via a discussion on his new project Guan Yin). I’m happy for you to sum it up, or bring it to the table if you care to do so? 🙂

  17. Vinod Pandey says:

    I am not going to do this on my books, and anyone who is thinking for this  and have problem with printed books please tell me , i can take those books 🙂

  18. Kevin Clift says:

    Well I don’t mean to make anything significant of this.  I just noticed a while ago, also on the Guan Yin project, that if one dwells on the thumbnail the title of the book appears.  The old book chosen for each work either inspired the piece or was chosen by the work.

  19. Jim Carver says:

    Real books stand for something that will last. E-books represent the short-term ephemeral electronic world we live in today.

    About the art? I never understood art. Oh, maybe a little now.

  20. Rajini Rao says:

    Tom Lee , you may be interested in this video when you have time: Why Do Old Books Smell?
    “Chemists at University College, London have investigated the old book odor and concluded that old books release hundreds of volatile organic compounds into the air from the paper. The lead scientist described the smell as ‘A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.'”

  21. Kevin Clift says:

    Brian Dettmer also does interesting things with books:

  22. Tom Lee says:

    Rajini Rao I prefer off the shelf new books. I do realize what ‘s in there with old books, especially the ones from the library. The new Tintin comics books smell great ! 🙂

  23. Rajini Rao says:

    Kevin Clift , apologies, I totally missed observing that! How interesting, I see it now. I thought you referred to the philosophy behind the Guan Yin project. The artist said he was “inspired by the strength that helps people endure extreme grief and pain”. Somehow, I didn’t see how that fit in with the art..but then I was busy getting ready for the workday the sentiments did not work for me.

  24. Jim Carver says:

    That is one advantage with e-books though. No dust… an old book can send me into an allergenic fit. But that is usually outweighed by the ease of use. Books are more user friendly when it comes to finding something. Also books lock up carbon for a long time. E-books increase the carbon footprint.

  25. Rajini Rao says:

    LOL, sorry Tom Lee . I have to look for the chemical basis of the new book smell in that case! I know that the new car smell is quite toxic, so hopefully Tintin is not hazardous to your health 🙂

  26. Kevin Clift says:

    When I said blog I didn’t mean to imply your post I meant the link. 

  27. Tom Lee says:

    I’m not aware of  any scientific study regarding harmful affects of using new books. Only seen millions of articles about how good books are for the brain though. 🙂

  28. Rajini Rao says:

    Very cool link to Dettmer’s site, Kevin Clift . Will check it out. 

  29. Jim Carver says:

    I think the health effects of e-books are worse though. Everyone is getting carpel tunnel and eye problems from using computers all the time.

  30. Tom Lee says:

    Jim Carver people who are getting those problems because  they didn’t exercise the usage vs. adverse effect for being overused though. Anything can affect your health if you are not cautious.

  31. Rajini Rao says:

    Jim Carver , the e-Ink technology (in the standard Kindle, not tablets) is easy on the eye. No glare like the computer display. 

  32. Rajini Rao says:

    Tom Lee , I have a gift for you:

    You may be able to enjoy the Kindle now 😀

  33. Jim Carver says:

    Mahesh Sreekandath I agree. The original Kindle is very easy on the eyes, much more so than the fire or android, etc. I think the original will be around maybe longer than the newer ones.

  34. Tom Lee says:

    Rajini Rao Thanks for the gift. Looking forward to it in the mail! o_o …:-)

    Soon I smell like books anywhere i go. LOL…

  35. Vinod Pandey says:

    Amazon and Apple is very happy by Rajini Rao this post :). They think they are going to capture most valuable things.

  36. Rajini Rao says:

    It’s the sexy new cologne for G+ men, Tom Lee  🙂

  37. Rajini Rao says:

    Perhaps they have an apple-fresh scent to enhance the new MS Tablet, Mahesh Sreekandath ? 😉

  38. Vinod Pandey says:

    MS tablet flots on the surface 🙂

  39. Jim Carver says:

    All in all, it appears to be a toss up. I think where we are going, we will have both for a long time. It’s nice to have choices and use the right tool for the job. 🙂

  40. Rajini Rao says:

    We’ll still have paper books in our generational lifetime, Jim Carver . But I doubt for much longer. If you watch kids now, most are totally into the virtual world. Paper may go the way of the stone tablet and Egyptian reeds. There was a funny cartoon on that…

  41. Vinod Pandey says:

    Jim Carver I hope so, MS will recover from it’s bad taste and compete with Apple at least in imagination 🙂

  42. Rajini Rao says:

    Er, were we talking about ebooks vs. paper or Apple vs. everyone? 🙂

  43. Vinod Pandey says:

    Sorry Rajini Rao who started This ?

  44. Rajini Rao says:

    I was planning to bring up the concept of maya and the shedding of one’s body like changing our clothes. Nothing is permanent, according to the Gita. So why should we care about paper or plastic books, just the knowledge in them counts (to paraphrase Krishna). 

  45. Rajini Rao says:

    Great minds think alike, Mahesh Sreekandath . But then, someone also said, Fools seldom differ. 😉

  46. Vinod Pandey says:

    If we talk seriously then it is process of evolution, started from verbal to stone to paper leaf to print and now digital word, we can’t stop and we can’t ignore or avoid it, we must preserve our past but we must also go ahead. may be after 20 years now you does’t need even a device.

  47. Jim Carver says:

    Rajini Rao Hmm, I hope hard copies don’t go away ever. Electronic copies are much easier to lose, whether by human or nature. I’ll put my paper up against an EM blast any day.

  48. Vinod Pandey says:

    Thanks Mahesh Sreekandath I already heard about this and read.

  49. Rajini Rao says:

    LOL, Mahesh Sreekandath at your link. I love the way they parse out the product in the first para of that link (Brainput) and then come full circle with Private Browsing mode in the end. Sounds like it was written by an Incorrigible like Chad Haney 🙂

  50. Kawthar A says:

    Great share! 🙂

  51. Chad Haney says:

    Likewise, Firefox could detect that you’re feeling amorous, and automatically load up Private Browsing mode.

    LOL Mahesh Sreekandath I think Brainput has been posted already but you should post it again with your commentary. fNIRS is definately a very poor man’s fMRI.

  52. Superb Good post Rajini Rao 

  53. Paul Melrose says:

    Seen this work before and it’s wonderful. I read quite a lot on e-readers now, but important books I will buy. Their physicality resonates. 

  54. Rajini Rao says:

     Paul Melrose it is interesting that this thread demonstrates how emotionally tied most of us are to physical/paper books. Most expressed distress at the thought of carving up books even though, logically, a great many books lie discarded, unread and unloved and logically, it is the content rather than the mode of delivery that should matter. Perhaps we need Leonard Nimoy on G+ to back me up!

  55. Paul Melrose says:

    Rajini Rao Mr Nimoy would be a logical choice:)

    I had the same reaction to seeing the books mutilated, but I think it is in the service of the book. 

  56. So…here is a way to utilize books otherwise..

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