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Intricate book sculptures give a whole new meaning to the pun

By on August 2, 2021 0

The beauty of written language is often captured in the pages of a book, although few people consider a book to be a work of art in itself. However, for the graphic designer Stephen doyle, each book offers a unique canvas conducive to visual and textual exploration. Doyle’s Hypertexts– a series of finely modified book sculptures – allow words to jump beyond the page, creating elaborate structures and shapes that give the term a whole new meaning play on words.

“I love the language and the languages,” Doyle told My Modern Met. “Cutting up books and rebuilding them isn’t exactly a rational exercise. The way the text is composed in a book is efficient, but neither is it rational. Lines of text start in the middle of the sentence, or where the last bar is cut off, each line is a wonderful thin brick, but meaningless out of context in structure. The reconfiguration of these lines creates arbitrary associations, juxtapositions that confuse or delight… Like concrete poetry, I can use language to visualize form, create puzzles, and if successful they become koans.

Doyle was introduced to this way of playing on words as a child when his babysitter played a newspaper reading game horizontally across the columns to produce absurd combinations. Now his Hypertexts take this game a step further, bringing the text to life in its own three-dimensional realm. Like literal hypertexts, Doyle’s modified book sculptures connect one seemingly random line of text to another, creating new and unexpected interactions through these arbitrary links. The forms they take are often inspired by the books themselves.

“Some of my friends are horrified that I destroy books,” Doyle continues. “But I see them as miniature monuments, testimonies to the power of language and metaphors of the imagination. I see them as ideas entering three-dimensional life, ideas taking on a physical form that allows them to cast shadows. And to me casting a shadow is a testament to being real – my belief that an idea not only exists in the ether, but makes noise when it lands on the table!

Scroll down to see the incredible sculpture of Doyle Hypertexts. To learn more about the artist, you can visit his website and follow him on Instagram.

that of Stephen Doyle Hypertexts—A series of intricate modified book sculptures — brings a whole new meaning to the term play on words.

Stephen doyle

“Notes from the basement” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Stephen doyle

“The Prince and the speeches” by Niccolo Machiavelli

Stephen doyle

HG Wells’ “The Invisible Man”

Stephen doyle

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” By John le Carré

His sculptures connect seemingly random lines of text, creating new and unexpected interactions through these arbitrary links.

Stephen doyle

“This is New York” by EB White

Stephen doyle

“The Door” by Magda Szabó

Stephen doyle

Ian McEwan’s “Atonement”

Stephen doyle

“Speaks memory” of Vladimir Nabokov

The forms they take are often inspired by the books themselves.

Stephen doyle

“One hundred years of solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Márquez

Stephen doyle

“The sound and the fury” by William Faulkner

Stephen doyle

“The Waves” by Virginia Woolf

Stephen doyle

“The Golden Bough” by James George Frazer

Doyle considers his book sculptures to be “miniature monuments, testimonies to the power of language and metaphors of the imagination.”

Stephen doyle

“A general introduction to psychoanalysis” by Sigmund Freud

Stephen doyle

“The Reason Why” by Cecil Woodham-Smith

Stephen doyle

“Frantemaglia (Fragments)” by Elena Ferrante

Stephen doyle

Steve Silberman’s “Neotribes”

Stephen Doyle: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met has granted permission to feature photos of Stephen Doyle.

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