Saturday, July 30, 2011

Brian Dettmer




OK, I’m sorry. I know you probably have seen this before. It has been all around the internet, I know, I know… But I only saw it yesterday, and I’m still wowing, so I simply couldn’t resist posting this. So there you go.

He has been called “the book surgeon” and “the book slicer”, but his name is Brian Dettmer. You could say he’s a sculptor, making three dimensional objects, but at the same time he’s making images and making texts appear, so perhaps he is also a painter or a poet. Or a dada-remix-archeologist.

This is what he has to say about his working method:



In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front.

I work with knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each layer while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories.

My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.








Two videos: an interview and a presentation of work with comments by the artist himself.




One more video, worth checking out, which I couldn’t embed (for some reason?): Find it here.













What did I say? Amazing work, isn’t it?

For more information find an interview with Brian Dettmer on or visit his own site at

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