Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Required Reading (no. 4)

Good things are happening. Weird things are happening. 
Things are happening.

Last Friday, we attended Book As Art: Beyond The Limits, an exhibition at MOSI advancing the book as a contemporary art form, sponsored by the inspirational USF-SOLIS (Student Organization of Library Information Science) under guidance of Cleo Moore

Attendance felt mandatory after reading this compelling sentence on their press release: 
"If you are inspired in any way by the physical presence of the book, as a vehicle for transmitting information, as a personal object or as a multiplicity of ideas, you will no doubt be moved by the visual power of word and image presented."

Vehicle, you say?

The show presented book illustrations, text collage, poetry and various paper works, fabric arts and deconstructed / reconstructed books. Plus a book sale (extreme restraint was exercised), banned book readings (cool) and adorable craft table. After careful observation, we can report that alphabet stamps do consistently appear to cause smiles.

In the gallery area, we were instantly lured in by Claudia Ryan's haunting, circular litany "I am a secret," a prose poem printed on simple white wall panels. But Sabrina Hughes' "Stories in Black and White" revealed a surprise with multifaceted charm. 

Each cross-stitched square, meticulously executed and pinned to the wall, was wrought into a QR code -- those blotchy, smart-phone-scan-able barcodes you see cropping up everywhere. Scan these tiny wall tapestries, and your digital device registers a simple line of text: the first line from a famous book. The resulting clever blend of media -- tediously handmade object providing instant delivery of information -- seemed an appropriate statement in the conversation about the future of words in a digital world.

We look forward to talking with the SOLIS folks again soon.
And also cannot stop looking at this art, captured on a quiet night in Ybor City.
The owls are not what they seem:

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