Friday Inspiration – Brian Dettmer

Matt receives a magazine from Columbia where he studied photography. We flip through it when it arrives to see what’s being talked about and which artists are being highlighted. This last issue brought Brian Dettmer to our attention. His work is nothing short of incredible.

He takes books, encyclopedias seem to be a favorite, and carves into them to find figures and words that emerge from the depths. He uses clamps, rope and weights to hold a book in place and applies a clear sealing varnish to the outside. Then he carves through the cover and pages one at a time. Amazing!

Here is his statement. I think it’s worth reading and if you like the few favorites of mine that I’m posting, you should definitely check out his site to see more.

The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress.
The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. This is the area I currently operate in. Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit or dissect communicative objects or systems such as books, maps, tapes and other media. The medium’s role transforms. Its content is recontextualized and new meanings or interpretations emerge. Brian Dettmer

Happy Friday!






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