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New York, NY
7.25 x 12 x 11.25 in.
18 x 36 x 15 in.
My work explores "the book itself", an 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 Photoshop and Quark; Artists' Books remain an open-ended medium.) I apply quasi-software functions such as cutting, pasting and hidden text onto an analogue system; it doesn't work-it can't. 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 book's structure in 1980 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 As an artist my goal is to transform how a book functions outside a linear read for an outdated technology, the codex, becomes something that is new and visually meaningful.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 found books, which the viewer will recognize for its utilitarian quality. When necessary I will purchase a book or fabricate materials for a specific idea. The viewer visually engages with the re-contextualized bookwork, 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 visual experience, is my objective; beyond concept, above references, each piece explores the reciprocity between meaning and structure as comprehended subliminally through the senses.
Douglas Beube's work appeared in the following exhibition(s) organized by The Center for Book Arts
I will cut thrU: Pochoirs, Carvings, and Other Cuttings
Organized by Alexander Campos, Executive Director and Amber McMillan, Artist and Instructor
Beyond the Wall
Black/White [and Read]
Altered books, collage, mirror, glass
Organized by Gloria Helfgott, Artist and Independent Curator
A Void: Consonants and Vowels (after Georges Perec)
Italian to English Speakers
Altered book, recorded voice
Recorded voice- Manuela Ferrari
Audio Assistance- Greg Boas
Audio Editing- Michelle Leftheris
Artist Members Annual Exhibition, organized by Carol Barton, Artist and Alexander Campos, CBA Executive Director.
The Only Book
Altered Book; zippers
30 Years of Innovation: A Survey of Exhibition History at The Center for Book Arts, 1974-2004
Organized by Jae Jennifer Rossman, Special Collections Librarian, Arts Library, Yale University.
A Tale of Two Cities
Unique sculpture, mixed media (altered books)
2 books each by 10 artists from New York and 10 artists from Bristol, England
manipulated, found book
an exhibition featuring current faculty
Patterns of Abuse
Geometry & New Math
books about sex
Evolution: Seaman, Seemen, Semen
Three found books, altered.
Center for Book Arts 1992 faculty show
Found book, graphite, wood, brass
Found book, knobs
1991 Spring/Summer Faculty Show
Found books, metal
Found book, glass, tempera, paper
Electronic Voodoo (from performance)
Found book, pins, feathers
Galileo: The Discovery of Two Great Worlds (But Not for Your Eyes)
Found book, razor blades, wax, acrylic
Seduction of Empty Words
Celebrating 15 Years
Found book, tempera, mousetraps
new works by Artist Members
Ashes: The Effect of Fire on Paper
Mixed media, silver gelatin prints
Mixed media, silver gelatin prints
Study for Matches
International Artist's Books Contest of Canada
Toned-Silver Gelatine Prints
Unveiling the history of painting, a post modern interpretation by art gossip
A Survey of Bookworks by Photographers
books that reflect visions not observed through a lens of a camera, but rather through the eye of the artist
Silver gelatin print with mixed media. Courtesy of Tony Zwicker.
an exhibition in which the structure of the book supports the metaphor of the content or is the content
Center for Book Arts: The First Decade
Ceramic with leather thongs.
an exhibition at The New York Public Library
Portrait of My Father Standing on Mars
Photographic book; mixed media. 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in, opens to 46 x 48 in.
Straw seed book; bound with hemp.