Since 2015, I have been exploring ‘book’ as a medium for triggering thoughts, transitioning from analogue to digital, challenging public and private spaces, allowing intimate & communal experiences.
I started decluttering my office and was thinking about how to respond to the monthly challenge of my bookbinding Meetup: METAL! It all happened quickly. I thought, ‘If I am throwing out old devices or tech bits, I may as well open and strip them apart to see what is inside.’ Wonders! Things we never see, cause we’ve been told to never open for warranty reasons or making things worse! Anyway, I found stripping things apart thoroughly enjoyable, and began a series of OBSOLETE books made with parts of old hard disks, zip drives, cables. I embarked in a totally new adventure!
This process sparked a series of new artist books (the ‘Obsolete’ series) raising questions on sustainability, reminding us of how quickly things around us become obsolete.
While making the first ‘Obsolete’ books, I was listening to Yuval Noah Harari‘s audio books ‘Sapiens’, ‘Homo Deus’ and ’21 Lessons for the 21st Century’, which stirred me. From Harari’s perspective, with the creation of robots, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of things, and algorithms that think for us, our bodies seem to be becoming outdated. He goes on to say that while we are researching and quantifying how our brains function, our minds and senses need to be delved into further, as they are what is/will differentiate us from our creations. My work is an attempt to provoke and challenge these notions.
At the same time, I took up making jewellery with these electronic parts with a collaborator. Photos of the jewellery in next post. Below are images of the three first ‘Obsolete’ books and ‘Copper Motherboard Book’. There will be maximum 5 editions – each exemplar will be similar but different.
For ‘OBSOLETE 1’, I used an external hard drive and engraved on the 3 first pages. ‘We explore intelligence to create AI & robots, which will make us humans obsolete.’ ‘From latin obsolescere: fall into disuse – obsoletus: grown old, worn out.’ Six recto-verso pages including the cover. Dimensions: 11cm wide x 14,5cm height x 2,5cm spine.
This is ‘OBSOLETE 2’. A concertina book I made with screen layers of two digital tablets, and assembled with conductive tape and a copper integrated circuit clasp. I borrowed an engraver from the police station, and used it to write a list of obsolete devices: audio cassette player, CD, CD player, DVD, DVD player, PDA, pager, beeper, dial-up modem, dot-matrix printer, daisy-wheel printer, phone-booth, rotary phone, landline, phonebook, vinyl record, film camera, telegraph, phonograph… Eight one-sided pages plus cover. Copper thread woven on recto-verso of the cover. Dimensions: 10cm wide x 16,5cm height x 1,5cm spine.
I love this little book! ‘Obsolete 3’ is made from a small external harddrive and assembled with fishing cable and crimps with a copper circuit clasp. It was quite challenging to find proper crimps this size, I had to make-do! There are 7 double-sided pages including cover. It has its own transparent plastic case. Dimensions: 7cm wide x 9,5cm height x 3,5cm spine