A page turning…thing

In Books, Edinburgh College of Art, Rambling on November 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I would say machine, but it’s not exactly done. So I’m not sure it can be called that. At the moment it’s several bits of card, some string, a fan and a pair of boots. Something will happen…hopefully. It’s a different way of getting a random page, instead of using a number generator. Although it won’t be that random seeing as the spine will be bent more in certain places…but close enough. I taped my diary to my boots last night, to see what it’d look like…


I might possibly have written in all the week numbers for next semester and the one after that. Like to be organised and all that. So I sort of now when I need to be here, although not really because our semester dates are a tad different to the rest of the university, seeing as we don’t do exams.

I was planning on making holes in the covers of books and threading laces through that, but that’d bend the spine oddly and it’d go to the same page. So I made a crap little cradle out of cardboard, which was too high for me to walk properly, and for the pages to flick about. But I have a video of me limping with that. So I’m going to make a less crap version and attach a book to that, hopefully it’ll work. It did sort of before the book fell off (I didn’t want to glue it, seeing as the cradle was crap and I’d never get it off otherwise).

It’s a pretty crap video, but you sort of get the idea. I started using a fan after that, which worked a lot better in terms of actually moving pages.

I kind of like it being active though, having to move about to get it to work, rather than standing there passive whilst a fan does all the work. Unless you pace and read (which I do do sometimes), reading is fairly passive (in a physical sense anyway). I have no idea how you’d read the page the shoes chose for you though, so that could be a bit of a problem. Maybe the book should be facing you, rather than facing outwards. Things to try… Or the shoes need to move something else which moves the pages. It’s going better than using the words you end up with anyway… There’s even a bit of a plan for how to show it (if I can get it working anyhow), quite a lot of text-based art seems to be instructions. So there’d be instructions to put on the shoes and do whatever it is that makes the pages turn, then choose a line and write it onto a blackboard. As long as the damn paint turns up… As for which line to choose, I might go through and black out most of the book, leaving only two or three lines per page which can then be chosen.

The fan can always be a separate machine I guess… I’ll probably spend the weekend in the studio (having carried everything home). I’ll try and make a better cradle tonight though, so I can attach a book. I’ve bought quite a strange selection – there’s Vets Might Fly (James Heriot), The Falls (Ian Rankin), A Text Book of Light (G.R. Noakes) and The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel (How to survive runaway camels, UFO abductions, high rise hotel fires, leeches) (Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht). Two were chosen for the titles, two because I knew the authors, well not personally.

Things have happened, which is good, despite feeling ill (I couldn’t talk too well this morning, a near constant supply of hot lemon & honey sorted that though). I’m doing a private view next week for the Patriothall exhibition, and possibly a kids drawing workshop. Which could be…ehm…interesting. And the rest of that week I’m finishing off this work (agghh), clearing studios and putting it up. And there’s the drawing talks on Friday, as well as our private view. So busy all of a sudden…

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