Brian Dettmer, New Books of Knowledge, 2009. Hardcover books and acrylic varnish, 16 x 26.5 x 10 in.

Brian Dettmer: Paging Through Time

How can history, memory, and cultural knowledge become the materials of sculpture? In Brian Dettmer’s hands, books that have lost their original function do just that. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference volumes represent the physicality of gathered knowledge with their moving pages, solid bindings, and words and illustrations. Yet many of these tomes have become defunct, their content outdated and their role in the accumulation and acquisition of information increasingly taken over by digital tools such as search engines and wikis. Dettmer gives a new life to such supplanted books, transforming them into tangible evidence of past revealed to be highly subjective.…see the entire article in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.