Even if electronic readers do usurp the reign of the paper-based book, low-tech tomes can still live on as art. We've seen them carved into breathtaking landscapes, recycled as lighting, and even reincarnated as fairytale haute couture, but for Swiss artist Valérie Buess, books are tentacled sea organisms that she brings to life by hand.
Buess' works are created through endless rolling, shredding and twisting the pages of books into organic forms -- sometimes resembling corals, sea urchins, or some other mythical creature of the watery depths.
The patterns of text are left visible in her pieces, and Buess also employs the judicious use of colour -- a bit here, a bit there, or a suggestive tone all over -- to bring her works to life, like this cluster of purplish sea urchins -- which look like they would tickle quite a bit.
Some of Buess' other pieces are more shell-like, hiding or hatching mysterious surprises.
Then, there are the metaphorical pieces, like this one that she titles "Boycotting the original content" (making me wonder what this book was all about that it was worthy of such a name).
I've always felt there's more to books than mere words; unlike e-readers, they speak to the heart and hands, and I marvel at each revelation when artists are able to bring this quality into life, especially from such a 'mundane' material. There are many more images of Valérie Buess' beautiful art on her website.