Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Altered Books and Memories

Brian Dettmer's new show of altered books prompts if:book's Sabastian Mary to wonder about "deeply-held taboos around the sanctity of books as objects":

Recycling, reimagining, repurposing the cultural glut amidst which we currently exist feels in many ways an appropriate artistic mode for today. Is authorship really so sacred that remixed works cannot themselves be things of beauty and value? Or, like European villages dismantling local medieval chateaux to build outhouses, are we taking our cultural history so completely for granted that we're in danger of forgetting or destroying millennia of culture in a thoughtless reappropriation of its materials for our current preoccupations?

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