In the run up to the Unbinding The Book exhibition as part of the London Art Book Fair, Noot (Camille Leproust and Andres Ayerbe Posada) have kindly submitted a selection of books that have served as inspiration to them.
If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller (Italo Calvino, 1979)
This is a book of constant beginnings and lost endings. The Reader, who is us, a fictional character, and the author at the same time is constantly battling the frustration of never being able to keep on reading any of the books they (and us) encounter throughout the story and they (and us) are locked in an amusing, obnoxious and titillating cycle of beginnings and lost endings.
It is a love-letter to the act of reading and of writing books but at the same time Calvino is having a great time teasing everyone (the characters, the readers) and creating the ultimate non-book.
The System of Objects (Jean Baudrillard, 1968)
In this book Baudrillard deconstructs the meaning of objects and their utility in the daily life of French society in 1968, analysing the relationship between the object itself and its owner in a capitalist society. Baudrillard writes about the way objects slowly become autonomous through use and how the human figure becomes spectator of their own objects, reversing the signs and meaning that they have given to these same objects in the past, all of that thanks to industrialisation and mass production. These themes were very influential in the development of our project.
This is Not the End of the Book (Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carrière, 2012)
This is Not the End of the Book discusses the future of the book in the digital age. This book is a catalogue of anecdotes collected by the two authors, with themes ranging from who did exactly invent eroticism or how should we organise a library. It is interesting to see their relationship with books and all the stories that derive from their fascination with the object. I have been particularly inspired by the part where the authors discuss what will happen to their book collections after their death, an amusing-sort-of-depressing idea which I think our project tries to address too.