Textbook - reformed

Spot the difference!

I finally brought this project to what has felt like a logical ‘conclusion’ last week. (Not sure ‘conclusion is entirely the right word because this can go on developing and will be my main focus for Sustaining Your Practice – to be blogged here.) After much trial and error (plus some tense final moments involving the ‘no return’ use of much glue with the need for accurate positioning of wet curling paper!), my ‘Textbook Project’ images are printed, re-bound and brought into the original cover of the original book that I bought getting on for two years ago!  There is a video available here ‘Textbook’ Book.

Besides a sense of relief that I’ve managed to do it, the overwhelming sensation when looking at it is one of strangeness, a weird surreal sort of uncertainty – almost as though I’ve managed to perform some sort of trompe l’oeil on myself. As it sits here on the desk beside me, it could, apart from the edges of the pages being a bit cleaner and less aged, be the original book, which almost makes me feel as if I haven’t done anything, almost a sense of disappointment.  I hadn’t expected to have that sensation, but then that is the ‘magic’ of art, I guess. It will go for assessment in this form and it remains to be seen what sort of reaction an assessor will have when picking it up and opening it.

Perhaps one source for the strangeness is that it is a unique piece of art that cannot be reproduced. Short of getting my hands on more copies of the original work, I cannot produce more versions of it in this form. I don’t think the video does it justice but it’s the only means of sharing it widely (as I will need to do to get feedback in SYP) in its ‘completed’ form – and one of the questions to be resolved in SYP will be how best to develop this project for wider distribution and exposure.


12 thoughts on “‘Textbook’–reformed


    Well done Stan. I hope I will be able to look at it in the flesh so to speak. The video makes me want to look at it and feel the different textures for real.

  2. anomiepete

    I love it! Great video John. I’ve been wondering how to present images in a book and this looks like a great approach. (All others such as producing a website appear to be simple – and not very good – facsimiles, whereas this shows the original images insitu).

    1. standickinson Post author

      Thanks, Paul (sic)! 🙂 Cheers, Pete, glad you like it. Bookbinding was not a skill I’d expected to take up & I’m certainly no expert (as you can see!) but there’s plenty of stuff on the internet if you have a look around & the required investment isn’t too high! 🙂

  3. jsumb

    Finally got to it! The video image quality looks fine to me, I can’t see that being a issue. However I do wonder about a couple of things regarding presentation. Firstly the speed the pages are turned seemed a bit too quick, you are a hostage to your ambition here, because of the sheer volume of work you’ve undertaken it seemed that you were conscious of the time the viewer had to view was limited, so my time viewings have page was quite short.
    Secondly, a very large number of the images had your fingers interrupting the view, which of course added a layer which I found confusing. Just thoughts.
    It did make me want to see the finished work though.

    1. standickinson Post author

      Thanks for the reassurance on the quality question, John, appreciated; I got similar tutorial reassurance in the SYP context, too. You’re quite right, though, that I have compromised on timing and the presence of fingers (too many in the pie!). At 4mins 40secs, the video is already longer than ideal (to maintain attention), so I didn’t have a lot of choice (and persuading the pages to stay flat enough to view without fingers would have been another timne-consuming distraction). I might ask Spielberg to do my next one! Another approach that I might try, if time allows over the next couple of weeks, would be to make still images of the individual pages and drop those (with fades) between videos of me handling the front and back. Another danger, though, in lots more experimentation, is that I damage the book itself! Thanks, again for the reassurance, much appreciated.

  4. Pingback: looking at other student’s work – Amano Level Three

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