Book Implosion: Developing Language Skills by Edwin Jager

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What is a book? As we continue to produce books, what function will they serve? Will they be a useful means to convey and store information or will they become primarily aesthetic objects? In 1995, I was looking for an analogue for our transformation from an industrial to an information society and a world moving from the physical to the virtual. I took a book, twisted and folded it with the idea that if I picked the right method, I could make the artifact fold in completely on itself. The book, its cover and architecture will inspire the patterns and dictate the end result. The resulting sculpture is an artifact of these ongoing attempts to implode the book. With Book Implosions, my process is less about building than about a controlled demolition of the object-not to turn it into rubble-but to transform a disregarded object into something that is, once again, worthy of contemplation. All of the content is there but in this form, is it still a book?

Artist Bio

Edwin Jager is currently a Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh where he teaches courses in graphic design. He earned an undergraduate degree in printmaking from the Ontario College of Art and Design. He holds an MFA in printmaking from the University of Iowa and also earned a Graduate Certificate in the Arts and Technologies of the Book from the University of Iowa Center for the Book. Using sculpture, print, photography, text, and drawing, he explores the book as a physical and cultural artifact. Recent exhibitions include: Book Bound and UnBound III, University of South Dakota; Book Implosions at the Foster Art Gallery in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania; Typeforce, Chicago, Illiniois; Fluxjob, Minnesota Center for Book Arts; The Open Book, Ypsilanti, Michigan; Book As Vessel, Jacksonville, Florida; and The Beautiful Book, Denver, Colorado. His work is also found in numerous institutional collections in the United States and Canada.