I’ve been tracking my reading on Goodreads for several years and it occurs to me that the resulting catalog is a record of everything I have read while containing none of what I have read. The website records statistical and cataloging information about each book in order to create convincing shells.

This is an ongoing project where I create a physical such shell for every book I read in 2019 (currently 23). The dimensions of each book-sculpture are the same as the edition I read and they are painted the average colour of the cover image as calculated by an online app here.

The pocket on the back contains a blank end page as a paper sample from the physical book and a photocopy of the ISBN page. This page includes the cataloging information from the Library of Commons and the text declaring that no part of the book may be copied or reproduced.

I wonder how many qualities of the original can be mimicked until the copy becomes equivalent to the original. How much of a book’s identity is its objecthood and the information used to catalog/verify its existence on the internet?

Ioana Dragomir, Here lies one whose name was writ in water, 2019, acrylic on cardboard, Stonehenge, found paper, digital prints.


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