Monday, March 26, 2012

Doug Beube: Breaking the Codex

Doug Beube, Masked Vocabulary, 2011, Altered dictionary and book, metal, marble and wood
Doug Beube, Partition, 2006, Altered books
Doug Beube, Interlocutors, 1996, Altered books
My work explores the book itself, a seemingly antiquated technology that is still purposeful in a digital age. The codex, which literally means a block of wood in Latin, is undeviating in its essential form; its fixity is antithetical to the capabilities of the computer to function on a synergetic/simultaneous plane. Although the codex, compared to computers, is undeniably limited in its capacity to store, perpetuate, generate and recreate information, I accept these boundaries. (I’m not referring to the paginated works of Artists’ Books; this is an entirely different category that has flourished with various software programs; Artists Books remain an open-ended medium.) I apply quasi-software functions such as cutting, pasting and hidden text (utilized in the bookwork Amendment and Border Crossing), for example, onto an analogue system; it does not work it cannot. The codex is intractable as a technology; you read linearly from beginning to end. It is essentially inflexible. That is its built-in personality flaw; that is its elegance.

I began changing the books structure in 1979 by pushing the physical properties of the book, piercing, gouging and excavating it, as if it were a thrilling, previously undiscovered site in an archeological dig. As an artist my goal is to transform how a book functions outside a linear read for an outdated technology, the codex, becomes something that is new and visually meaningful.

My sculptures primarily use discarded and organic materials, such as books for example, which the viewer will recognize for their utilitarian quality. On occasion I will purchase a book or fabricate materials for a specific idea, such as the steel rod and wooden leg in The Portable Library. The viewer visually engages with the re-contextualized object, which might otherwise have gone unnoticed in its customary setting, and participates in its transformation through a critique or dialogue. To visually engage with the object as a phenomenological experience, is my objective; beyond concept, above references, each piece explores the reciprocity between meaning and structure as comprehended subliminally through the senses.

Artwork and statement by Doug Beube

Monday, March 19, 2012

I work with a pair of scissors and the precision of a surgeon to transform paper into intricately detailed designs and delicate, almost lace-like patterns.  Inspired by Matsuo Basho’s haiku and the writings of Charles Baudelaire and Voltaire, I extract passages and transform them into meticulous works of art that appear to be laser cut.  I am also inspired by nature, fantasy and elements of my native Japanese culture.  I mix traditional and modern styles to produce a unique world of images, one that resonates with wonder, ethereal beauty and magnificent detail.

Artwork and statement by Hina Aoyama

Hina Aoyama, Papillon I, 2012, Cut paper with scissors

Hina Aoyama, Papillon II, 2012, Cut paper with scissors