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Artfull Books

Brian Dettmer does autopsies on books, and makes beautiful works of art out of them.  There are some good ones shown there.  It must take him a really long time.  I wonder if he reads the books, to get an idea of where the big words are like in this one below, so he can make it look prettier?


36 replies on “Artfull Books”

@otherdan: Of course there will be plenty other copies of the books available to be read. These inspiring objects raise the profile of books and make you think – it did it to you and now it did it to me.

No, I agree with @otherdan. I don’t think this is okay at all. There might be other copies out there, but why destroy even one of them?

How do you know there wasn’t something wrong with these books, i.e. pages stuck together, pages torn or missing, etc. The artist has probably saved a book that will never be read, or at least read properly, and made it into something fascinating and beautiful.

The artist is destroying someone’s art. The AUTHOR’S story is the art. I just don’t think it’s ever right to destroy a book.

What about Mother Nature’s art that was destroyed to make those books? How many trees do you think needed to be chopped down to be made into paper to print such large books?
I think, whether you like it or not, beautiful things are always going to have to be destroyed to create more beautiful things.

It’s a horrible destruction of the original author’s work. It is sad that this artist can only create by destroying someone elses’ creation.

wow, you people are feisty. It’s art, no its destruction of real art, no, its killing of trees.

none of you seemed to notice the little kilobytes that died to show you these photos. Each day hundreds of millions of billions of kilobytes die in lost packets delivering you your precious internet, yet no one sheds a tear for them. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Quarreling over who destroyed whom, when at this very moment, you are slowly and painfully killing hundreds of kilobytes each minute.
I feel sorry for you all…

in all seriousness though, if we just burn them all would you all be happy?

Oh, also: the art is in the words, not the actual pages. Destroying a book doesn’t effect the art at all. Is it a horrible destruction of art when copies of paintings are changed to fit some purpose? No I don’t think it is.

You’d be surprised how many books you destroy when you visit your local book store. If you visit at least once a week, I guarantee you that you destroy a book a month. While no deliberate, it happens. Also, if these books were already damaged, the artist may of been giving them new life. Same with the killing of trees. They were dead already. Might as well recycle.

Besides, those could of been copies of Twilight.

WTF? it is his books, he can do what he want with them.

I would love to see what he can do with a bible.

I use my bible to roll joints when I am out of rizzla.

I must say, I’m an author, and I think these are beautiful. I would hope that if someone wants to read my work they would be able to find a copy. But, I would also love to see one of my books in a museum, done up like this. Might even get me some new readers, curious as to what the book the artist chose was about.

Bookstores rip the covers off of unsold mass market paperbacks, send the covers back to the publishers as proof, and destroy the rest of the book to save the publisher shipping cost. This would be a great use for those books, though legally they’re supposed to be destroyed or pulped.

Those are some of the coolest things I have ever seen.
I am with FILL kind of. The only books that should be allowed are the Twilight books.
As for Animono, that makes me sad.

The only ones allowed to be burned are the twilight books you mean.

what if it was an old outdated encyclopedia…. its gonna be in the dump anyway. we gots da internetz.

I’m an avid reader, and this is amazing. It’s art and instead of having hundreds of copies of one book, we are now graced with art. As for all you ‘doing this is wrong…”s out there don’t go into a secong hand bookshop, because I’ve seen books WAY worse off than the ones on this site. I personally LOVE them and if I could do it, or own one I would

I used to work at our local public library. Every week, we would end up throwing out boxes of books that had been donated to us. This was for a variety of reasons; sometimes they were water damaged, sometimes they were damaged in other ways, and sometimes (especially in the case of text books/reference books) they were hopelessly out of date.

It broke my heart every time I had to heave a box into a dumpster. I only wish that those books could have found a second life as artwork like these pieces rather than ending up moldering in a landfill.

To all you idiots that are crying over a book being harmed…….maybe it was a book on pedophilia, or a manual on how to exterminate Jews or a book entitled “Nuke the Gay Whales for Jesus”. Damn fools make me sick with your incessant whinging over pathetic issues. You are all what makes the world weaker and more annoying.

Thanks for posting my work. I would argue that I haven’t destroyed these books more than time and newer media already have. I almost exclusively use non-fiction, reference books that contain outdated information in a mode that is almost extinct. Even when I do use someone else’s work- it is a copy. If you have a problem w/ that you will have a hard time finding any new music, or movies, or books for that matter that don’t directly use, or reference someone else’s work from the past. There are some really good points above about the loss of information in digital media, the tossing of books in stores and libraries and the fact that a book is a copy of an original and the original is never threatened…unless it was constructed digitally.

Dang you most of you guys are are a tad psycho. How do you know these aren’t books he got out of the garbage? He could have saved these lonely books from the dump. You know how many books I see in the trash or left at thrift stores all torn and dirty. Get a life its not like a ripped apart a rare addition or the only copy left on earth. To the artist these are beautiful and would love to own a piece.

this is an increadible work of art. to Brian Dettner, brother, i commend you. for everyone else, as a published writer and an avid reader, I say that this form of art is increadible. To be able to do something so intricate with your hands is indeed a marvel. If the artist is true to his word that he only uses old encyclopedias, then I see no harm. If he is not, then I still fail to see the problem.

I would love to own one of these myself.

for those of you guys saying it is bad to destroy a book for art…

shut up.

All that is happening is one art form is being converted to another.

i have nothing constructive to say to you because you clearly are not intelligent enough to understand/appreciate it.

PS Oakman. You are hilarious. let’s be friends.

It’s all a matter of perspective anyway, isn’t it? There is no mandate of what is art and what isn’t; if you saw this as destructive vandalism, then to you, this WOULD NOT be art…and vice versa for you people that like this, this would be art in your eyes. Just enjoy it, take it with a grain of salt, or find something else you enjoy if not this. why be butthurt about it?

and besides, the authors who sold the books to the artists who cute them up, sold them with a caveat; when the author parted with his work in exchange for money, his ownership over ‘his baby’ was passed onto the purchaser, so, that’s that. the property rights are no longer the creator’s, even though it remain his contribution to the arts and legacy and shit. no manner of destruction will take THAT fact away.

An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.

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