Brass Book

2011 – 2012

The idea that technology will begin to replace the book, rather than enhance it, dominates current thinking about the future of literature in the digital age. Brass Book seeks to reverse this way of thinking through a series of exhibitions of digital book objects exploring the concept of the book in the digital age. Three traditionally bound books have been embedded with technology and presented in a specially designed reading seat. The books contain poetry, video, audio, photography, performance, graphic illustration and text. They were produced in collaboration with the bookbinder Deirdre Thompson, the furniture maker Nick James, the musicians Adam Cogdon / Jane Lindenberg, the Lanchester Brass band, the Easington Writers and the graphic designer Russell Maurice. The work was shown at The Wolfson Gallery, Palace Green Library, Durham University; Bishop Auckland Library, County Durham; Seaham Library, County Durham and Galleries Goldstein at Goodwood, London. Performances fusing poetry, song, brass music, video and DJing took place at The Sage Gateshead and within the communities of Lanchester and Easington where the books were developed.

Further works exploring the concepts of Brass Book were shown alongside the main piece, including Binding (2011 – 2014), Solar (2011), Instrumental (2011) and Bibliotech (2011 – 2013).

Brass Book was commissioned by Suzy O’Hara at Durham City Arts and produced in partnership with Culture Lab, Durham County Council, New Writing North, Durham Book Festival, Brass: Durham International Festival, The Sage Gateshead and Arts Council England.