Preserve, Renew, Invent, Light Bytes: Is the Aphoristic Statement the Future of the Book?

By:
Lesley Kaiser
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Eric McLuhan suggests that 'The future of the book is the aphoristic statement' [1]. An aphorism is a short saying that communicates an insight or truth about the world (and can sometimes function as a guide to action). Aphoristic knowledge has traditionally been transmitted through texts and through libraries. The new potential for the visual dissemination and archiving of aphoristic texts is explored in this practice-based research project. It brings into play various modes of recirculating aphoristic texts using contemporary distribution networks and digital media such as moving image, projection on to urban screens, artists’ books, archival digital photography and glazed ceramics. Using a methodology of ‘viral inhabitation’ [2], the texts inhabit a number of sites and languages. Preserve, renew, invent originated as the brief given to French typographer Robert Massin when he became art director at the publishing house of Gallimard in the mid-twentieth century. Preserve, Renew, Invent: Light Bytes, is a series of works situated in the interdisciplinary context of artists’ books and contemporary text art.


Keywords: Artists' Books, Aphorisms, Maxims, Memes, Visual Art, Ceramics, Digital Publishing, Design, Culture, Philosophy, Sociology, Urban Screens, Text and Image, Concrete Poetry, Aesthetics, Semiotics, Typography, Bookworks
Stream: Books, Writing and Reading
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Preserve, Renew, Invent [Light Bytes]


Lesley Kaiser

Senior Lecturer, School of Art & Design
Faculty of Design & Creative Technologies, AUT University

Auckland, New Zealand

Lesley Kaiser is an Artist/Author, who teaches Theory, Bookworks and Studio at AUT University. She completed her BA in English and Philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington before gaining her Diploma of Teaching. She went on to further study at Elam, School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, and is currently enrolled in postgraduate study at AUT University in Art & Design.
Over many years Lesley Kaiser has worked in a wide range of media, from the more traditional areas of sculpture and painting, through the design-related fields of illustration and photography, to pop-up books for the international market [The Naughty Nineties, first edition1982]. Her more recent work as an artist has involved exhibiting in a number of sites e.g. Urban Screens, TV, newspapers, art galleries, and multi-media events. Her current research, Preserve, Renew, Invent: Light Bytes, is an on-going local and international art project that involves text animations. Published projects, often in collaboration with John Barnett, include a number of artists’ books, and a study of joking culture in NZ [The Penguin Book of NZ Jokes (1996)]. Group exhibitions include Art Now - The First Biennial Review of Contemporary Art at the Museum of New Zealand (1994).

Ref: B07P0067