Fortunately I was roused from my creative hibernation by some serious fuckery (and I also unscrewed the top off of a bottle of the good stuff). Now I don't mean to tread on the Moggit Girls territory here but what in the hell is going on with "bookshelves" lately?
Archive II from David Garcia
A nomadic library says the artist and designer. Or are we like hamsters trapped in our self-imposed wheels of institutional education in constant motion but never going anywhere... mmmhhhhhh....??!?!!!
Not Art. Just fuckery. I think it's still plagiarism even if you add a cushy bench in the middle.
Chaos Theorie by Manuel Welsky
Definitely not art. Barely functional.
Perhaps I'm having a problem with semantics and not the product. I can't tell what's installation art and what's for sale at Velocity. Or maybe my wheel of higher education has stolen my imagination... To me design is supposed to be creative problem solving while hoping for aesthetic appeal. Because this isn't Design:
Libraria Newton from Francesco Polare
It's creative masturbation. There's nothing wrong with masturbation but you can't sit on your couch all day jacking off to the self-reverential awesomeness of your own ideas. Don't you need a real job to buy the horn-rimmed glasses to read your collection of Chuck Palahniuk books you designed your "shelves" for? However I'm guessing the market for vice grip bookshelves is probably pretty small (and available at Home Depot) hence all that time on your couch.
From the designer:
The Hübler is a creation using concrete – and books with a ‘concrete’ history – in various planimetrical surfaces. The absence of the books, due to their various dimensions, form different shapes of various depths and heights. The result concrete structure will not have a final shape, because, by using it, visitors can change the books or remove them.
The politically outdated books have been donated by the Research Institute Library of Radio Free Europe, the once active radio channel, sponsored by the US that fought against the Communism before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The table constitutes a monument to eternal knowledge – set in concrete- and it is a monument to the degeneration of information, to the immortality of the past and to its disintegration, while also offering an opportunity to reflect on the essence of the book.
The aesthetic reaction is not generated by the composition, rather by the abstraction of the artwork. Our aim here is not to show the technical virtuosity, the perfection of the design but the conscious use of the technology, with all of its rigid potentialities. The control over the material is obligate on a certain level, but not it is not the ultimate intention, or the main scope.
It's "interactive". Like a thousand pound Kindle. I think they must have been rendered functionally retarded like I was last week because that last paragraph doesn't even make sense. [MS note: if you use "planimetrical" in a sentence we can never be friends. Just sayin.]
The polar bear bookshelf that can be yours for about $4000 depending on the rate of exchange for Euros. Don't forget international shipping. If it was just a stuffed polar bear I probably would have been much more likely to buy it but once you make it "functional" for storage it makes you an asshole and me *eye roll*.
Produced in a limited edition of 50 (price on request of course) the religion bookshelf was curated (curated? seriously?) by John Simonian and designed by
Looks like punishment.
It's a reading light that only comes on when you take your book off of the top. Because being confined to one tiny area for a specific task is EXACTLY what customers want now. Are you paying attention Steve Jobs?
the Soft Shelf from here
Looks really easy to dust.
Even though these shelves look like they are in the middle of paying lip service to someone at least these have shelves that are straight and easy to use which is definitely better than the essentially useless masturbation above.
Maybe with new technology books with actual pages to turn will soon begin to feel passe and almost quaint. I mean you can't display the contents of your Kindle or iPad quite so easy to impress your dinner guests. But you can put a few select books on a donkey shelf and VOILA! Instant artistic merit. Call me old fashioned if I like my books on boring straight shelves or (gawd forbid) stacked underneath lucite boxes filled with pretty things like Lonny tells me to do. Still hate the fucking rainbow of book organization though.
So I guess the question is 'Is it Art or is it Design?' I give a thumb's up for 'art for art's sake' but once you try to attach some semblance of functionality to it I start to get itchy. Or is there a sliding scale of middle ground now called 'functional Art' where things are designed with an artist's statement bigger than the actual purpose of the piece created and I need to just accept that even though I'm obviously an unimaginative simpleton?
To me it just seems like masturbating to make a baby.
Or in this case a bookshelf.