'Breaking the Spine' at Rare Device, June 4 - July 31, 2010

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Rare Device is proud to present Breaking the Spine, a group show of altered books, words, letters and numbers. The show runs June 4 through July 31, 2010 in the Rare Device project space; a reception for the artists will be held on June 4 from 7-9pm.

"What is the use of a book, thought Alice, without pictures or conversations?" - Lewis Carroll

Rare Device is proud to present Breaking the Spine, a group show of altered books, words and letterforms. The show runs June 4 through July 31 in the Rare Device project space; a reception for the artists will be held on June 4 from 7-9pm.

The participants in Breaking the Spine are artists, designers, photographers and even a librarian. They are concerned with the physicality of the written word in the digital era and the spatial volume that a literary volume occupies. Their reverence allows them to destroy what they love, to turn a book into building blocks, or the structured alphabet into pure form. They perform alchemy and magic - in their hands, images become stories, pages become letters, and books can fly.

Julie Cloutier and Claire Nereim have collaborated to create STYMIE, a brand-new alphabet created from one of Morris Fuller Benton's iconic typefaces. They have constructed an A from a Z, B from Y, and so on. Besides a large-scale limited-edition book, STYMIE includes a series of tees printed with one letter on the front and the deconstructed letter on the back. Rare Device will be featuring the latest tee, D/W, for the duration of the show. Julie is also exhibiting a book of color swatches inspired by photographs of New York City. Julie is based in San Francisco, CA and Claire resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Lisa Congdon has created shadowboxes that incorporate vintage books, drawing and painting. Lisa states, "I am drawn to vintage typography in particular, and the yellowed hues of worn pages. I interested in playing visually with the contrast between organic vintage and man-made graphic elements. My work for Breaking the Spine is an expression of this interest." Lisa is also the co-owner of Rare Device; she lives and works in San Francisco, CA.

Heather Eddy folds pages of books to create three-dimensional letters and numbers. She explains her work: "When a book has reached the end of its usefulness, it's also a librarian's job to take it out of circulation. There is a particular kind of sadness when a book is discarded, good for nothing but a Friends' Book Sale, the Goodwill bin or the dumpster in the back. Folding books is one way I have found to extend a book's life, bringing it new purpose and beauty." She resides in Bakersfield, CA.

Susie Grant's pinned collages treat vintage, hand-drawn illustrations as precious specimens. She meticulously liberates them from the pages of found books and affixes them under glass like rare insects. She says, " As I assemble them in the frames, what develops is a type of diorama that unites the past with the present, each with a unique story to tell." Susie lives in Oakland, CA.

Lisa Occhipinti's book-mobiles and sculptures are inspired by "words, text and the notion of endless possibilities". Lisa says, "The object of a book contains an exuberance and by reconfiguring it into a new form I aim to give it a life off the shelf." She is currently writing and illustrating a book on repurposing books to be published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Paul Octavious takes photographs celebrating the physicality of books. He stacks books to create three-dimensional letters and numbers which lean precariously and with great personality. Paul lives in Chicago, IL.

Coral Silverman's book sculptures are comprised of found hardcover books that have handcut and painted blades of grass "growing" from the center. She says, "As books become less and less a part of our lives, in this work I am interested in playing with the idea of things literally going to seed, of exploring what happens to technology once it becomes outdated." Coral resides in Brooklyn, NY.

More detailed biographies and artist statements are available at http://www.raredevice.net.

Rare Device is a store and gallery that features functional experiments and original ideas in art, design, craft and fabrication. Owners Rena Tom and Lisa Congdon constantly seek out objects that are beautiful, evocative, well constructed and thoughtful. We are pleased to bring to our San Francisco store an ever-growing roster of local, national and international artists and designers for a truly "rare" experience.

Rare Device (raredevice.net) is located at 1845 Market Street between Valencia and Guerrero Streets. Store/gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 7pm and Sunday noon to 6 pm.

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