[POST] Week 9: Picturebook

Michael Becker

I love books.


I love to read, too, but that’s not the same thing. My love for reading doesn’t explain why the Kindle never grew on me, doesn’t explain the comfort I find in musky old bookstores. My love for books does. As far as fetishes go, book loving is a pretty tame one, and I’m not particularly ashamed of it.

All of this is a long winded way of explaining I love chronicling my thoughts in books – not just any old Evernote or Google doc, but a real, physical, preferably beautiful book. Preferably a Paperblank, preferably from the Silver Filigree series (until I run out of colors).  This is my current one.

I adore Jung’s Red Book. I come back time and time again to Da Vinci’s notebooks. I’m enamored with the Linking Books of Myst and Riven (the idea, more so than the game itself). As I started making more and more online pieces – especially static, uninteractive ones – I realized the proper place for them (with all due respect to tumblr posts) is a real book in the real world.

After printing some screenshots out on high quality glossy paper and pasting them in my journal, I realized I was feeling an inclination to write about the pieces. Around the pieces. Then, as I started writing, the subject matter as well as the scribbling itself became more ornate, oblique, Non-obvious.

My handwriting is barely legible in the best of days – certainly not when I’m worried about questions of space, size and direction. But that’s fine; while the subject of the writing is the work itself (and the metaphors it naturally inspires in me at the time of writing), those texts aren’t meant to be read, necessarily. Meaning can be found in the shape itself, its interplay with the graphic.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of fun making these. I don’t know if anything proper comes out of it – for now it served a welcome diversion from a difficult web optimization project – but it’s certainly a direction that attracts me, that I hope to revisit in a more profound and extensive manner further down the road.


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