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[Artspace] at Untitled invited artists to help author 'Altered Books,' a page-turning exhibit that takes the textual and makes it conceptual



at there is an irreplaceable presence to books that the downloaded, pixilated text of a Kindle just can't match.

"There's just this certain bookness to a hardcover book," he said. "Bookness isn't about the content, but rather the physicality of the book. Books will act as a medium regardless of whether I manipulate it. You see a wall of books in a law office ... it's just another type of wallpapering."

It's that "bookness" that Beube makes special use of in his pieces, although that's not the case for all book artists.

"Some artists like to make greater statements about the content of the book in the process of creating their work," he said. "I just like to look at the book as an object, not for its title, but color, content and shape "¦ its technology."

Of course, there is a huge potential for insult, especially when using highly regarded, sacred books like the Bible, but Beube defended artists' ability to make whatever statement "? controversial or otherwise "? that they want to make with their art.

"Some people ask how someone could possibly hurt a book, but there isn't some reverential necessity to book art," he said. "I mean, just look at what we do to human beings, much less books."

So what kind of statement is he making with his work?

"It just depends on the book," he said. "?Joshua Boydston


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