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"fragile" Tag


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The size of the indexed World Wide Web is 15.66 billion pages (

The year is 1924. That’s a long time ago. That’s why this book smells of old grandpa.

The title is intriguing. “Woodcuts, and some words”. An honest title. Plain simple. As if the phrase “what you see is what you get” was authored for this book only. It doesn’t have a fancy wordplay. Someone once upon a time spilled coffee on it. Maybe also dropped a cigarette on it. Drank coffee and smoked cigarettes, while glancing to it’s precious content. This book I’m holding in my hand is some book. Extraordinary. Classic. Both fragile and pretentious at the same time. The thick papers, the fine composition on each page. So elegant and authentic. So anti-industrial, so handmade. This book can teach you how to make woodcuts…

– It’s like an old school version of one of the many ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube. I’m actually holding an offline version of a ‘how-to’ video. It makes me think of information, and how we approach and handle the nonstop floating information on the WWW.

What is the actual difference between information in a book and information on the internet, besides the limited/unlimited amount? I recall my teacher saying something like: “I will recommend you all to buy the book and not make scans and read them on your computer… because… it’s nicer, you know”. What makes us grab a book instead of browsing the web?

What is the fuss about a book in general? Is it because it’s capable of generating a certain feeling or a certain “vibe” which will never be generated from the most awesome and well-made webpage? Is it the typography on the paper, the quality of the paper, the fact that you can touch it and that it isn’t ongoing?

There’s an enormous difference between getting information from a book and getting information from the internet. I, myself, is having a hard time keeping track on the endless amount of available information on the internet. It’s interesting that the information about any subject on the internet is unlimited. It’s like having unlimited access to ‘knowledge’. There’s always more. You’re never finished. It’s ongoing. It will always follow time, never become obsolete.

The information in a book is not developing. There’s a last page. A period. It’s printed and can’t be changed in a sec. No further links. No sudden brand new pages. No updates. No hidden information. What you see is what you get. And *that* somehow puts the whole ‘info on the internet’ in perspective. You never see what you get, until it’s there. Always floating, constantly changing. Eternal information.

Rietveld > lib. cat. no: 755.1

A piece of wood.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In media res. Irma Boom. Can’t believe she worked on a book for 4 years. 4 years. That’s a lot of time, a lot of energy. A lot of passion. I guess one can easily sense the passion and effort that she puts in the books she makes. I admire her.

But then, there, amongst the passion and well-trimmed books, I find a piece of wood. The book seems hard on the surface. It’s like you can count the growth rings in it. Hard and mushy at the same time. A paradox. It has a story to tell. Kinda like this old grandpa full of wisdom, full of mystery, full of everything you can imagine. Yet it kind of reminds me of those big pieces of cheese. They have also wholes in them, as the book has scratches and bruises here and there. And I guess they, too, have some sorta history. A cheese history, I guess.

I find myself deadly curious about that book. It is enormeous. I wonder how thick the papers are, I wonder how many hands have touched it. I wonder how large the typography is, I wonder how it smells. I wonder if it’s one long story. Oh my, it sure is mysterious. I find myself wondering if it really has pages in it. Or maybe it’s one of those fake-books with a whole inside. No. It is a real book. A modest book. A proud book. A book with a story. I guess that’s kind of ‘meta’. A story that has a story.

The end.

Design linked to Art: Designblog’s New Library Search Engine

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Tags for the Rietveld Library:

How do you find interesting books when you don’t know what you are looking for? How do you stray through the collection in search of inspiration? Can the library catalogue help you or do you better construct one yourself, Exploring connections in the library between design- and artbooks, students created keywords/tags that linked them together.
a recount of tagging the library

Click the keywords/tags from the Tag-list [purple column at the left] to see all related postings, or use a yellow keyword link [below] to read the postings and experience how they are connected together. Use these keyword links to navigate between the postings!

overview, freedom, animal, elder, identity, intervention, repetition, connection, tattoo, self sufficiancy, structuur, illustration, pyramid, leader, visual language, individuality, playground, best, give, beeld, independent, shelter, West Coast, time, neon, develope envelope, fragile, construction, wisdom, invention, oppervlak, culture.

Fragile subject, solid object.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Doris Salcedo is a columbian sculptor who works with the seemingly fragile subject of memories. Salcedo has for years travelled the land of Columbia, searching out and listening to the stories of people who have witnessed and survived the cruel civil war. People that have lost parents, siblings, spouses, friends and neighbors to guerillas, drug gangs and military death squads. These stories Salcedo translates into beautifully unnerving sculptures. She works with everyday objects such as wardrobes, chairs and tables and she turn them into assemblage like sculptures.

In the Untitled series chairs and wardrobes merge into each other in solid blocks held together by concrete. The concrete fill out the hollowness inside the wardrobe and the space under the table as if trying to fix the memories and keep the secrets these spaces holds. In the work Unland the orphan tunic, two table halves becomes one, dependent on each other they create a new unity. Salcedo takes everyday objects and by slightly changing them she turn them into symbols for human relations and carriers of memories.

I feel affected by these works. They are curious, narrative, they want to tell the story but still don’t give away the secrets. I feel like this is art that wants to change the world, not in a big revolution, but by telling stories and changing us a tiny bit at the time, so slightly that it can barely be noticed. I’ll end this with a quote from the artist;

`I know that art doesn’t act directly I know that I cannot save anybody’s life, but art can keep ideas alive, ideas that can influence directly our everyday lives, our daily experience.´ -salc 1-

keyword: fragile

More is more is more

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My search for another fragile subject led me to the book “The Crystal Palace Exhibition, illustrated catalogue”. Again I choose by title. Crystal Palace, what a beautiful combination of something stable and something fragile almost a contradiction. The combination crystal palace is somehow a little impossible as if it would only exist in fairytales.

The book is an old paperback, it used to be brown but on the back it’s been bleached by time and sunlight and has turned into a fifties purple. The pages are yellowed and the book is full of beautiful etchings of art nouveau design, furniture, elegantly ornamented pistols, silverware, and luxurious flower-print fabrics.

Last week I wrote about the book Fragiles, a book about contemporary ceramics and I can see a lot of connections between the two books. The art nouveau designs, just like the contemporary works, has a kind of playfulness in it, the flower ornaments seems almost alive as they intertwine around the legs of the tables and when you look closer at the ornaments soon you will find creatures and fairy tale animals hiding in the patterns. Another thing that I connect to some of the contemporary ceramic is the “more is more motto”. Some of the furniture in the art nouveau book is crammed with decorations, ornaments, cherubs and flowers, just like some of the objects in Fragiles are over the top kitschy. But there is something quite beautiful about this unwillingness to stop when it is enough.

cat. no. 772.1 cat 2

keyword: fragile

Playful porceline

Thursday, March 19, 2009

As I was walking in between the library’s narrow lines of bookshelves I quickly browsed through the titles on the shelves. A book caught my eye, I don’t know why, maybe a combination of the title and the layout and what notes of association they strike. The book that caught my attention was on the bottom shelf, in-between books about african ceramics and the art of pottery. The title Fragiles in black on a white background. I instantly felt a liking for the title “fragiles”, a poetic word that suggest vulnerable and delicate objects that has to be handled with care. As I picked up the book I noticed that it was a new book from one of my favorite publishers Gestalten Verlag.

Of course. I’ve got some of their books and always find them interesting, they cross over the borders between design, graphic design and contemporary art, in a playful and inspiring way. So sitting down and opening the book I found a collection of contemporary work in porcelain, glass and ceramics by both established and emerging design talents and artists. Gesltalten Verlag always seem to have an extraordinary eye for finding the most interesting subjects of right now. Ceramics is an area with history going back to the beginning of human kind but recently new  technical developments allow designers a new approach. Collecting inspiration from the whole history of ceramics, these artist’s freely play with the language of old ceramics styles but by fully mastering that language and adopting it to new techniques they can create new unconventional objects that range from housewhare to artworks.

cat. nr:

keyword: fragile

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