Brian Dettmer

I found Brian Dettmer in issue 10 of Artbox magazine a few months ago and was blown away by his work. I don't think there's anybody out there that can't be blown away though. He is a conceptual artist from Chicago who spends his time delicately cutting into media that has already been published (mostly books in the traditional sense) to create stunning visuals. He seals the book by it's edges so all the pages are locked in, then using intricate tools slowly carves the pages back out, one page at a time. It has been said that his work is a statement on the vulnerability of the static media forms of that past, saying that knowledge and information is constantly in change making these old forms of information less powerful tools of the present.

I really like this work above because one can appreciate the time and effort that went into creating the pieces, and they are visually mesmerising. But also i like the fact that it does sort of manifest part if Dettmers personality. In the interview in Artbox magazine he explaind how he comes up with the finished result through process of elimination:

"Whenever i'm worknig on a book, i know i can potentially miss several images that could have been great. I don't worry that i'll miss a beautiful image because there will always be more and there is onlya certain amount control i can have over a book that already exists. I try to go to one page, or remove one layer at a time so that i can use the most interesting image of text in a piece. Sometimes i fragment of an image below something i have already carved around and i want to use the whole image. So i go will go back and remove the piece i previously thought i would originally keep."

I like this type of planning where he follows a strict set of rules with his books yet the process will lead him to a different outcome every time, depending on mood, day, current issues, type of book etc. It's like wanting to create a piece of artwork but letting the results come out for themselves, rather than forcefully.

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