Friday, 23 June 2017

Medieval Books

I’ve started working on a complicated structure based on medieval book and manuscripts.

My thoughts are bit scattered the moment, but that’s nothing new at the beginning of the process.
I’ve been thinking about different types of medieval books and their purpose. Whilst looking at different types of manuscripts I was especially interested in almanacs, other folded, easily portable books and those which contained volvelles and diagrams,. These everyday objects with their signs of wear and repair have now become a precious thing to be handled with gloves and kept in controlled storage.

I was intrigued by the way that they provided information that physicians and others used on a daily basis to do their work. Nowadays we can use smart phones in much the same way

I am thinking about trying to create a book that can house multiple sources of information in separate sections which do not have a straightforward sequential structure,  echoing how we use the internet to flick quickly from one subject to another .
But I also want to make reference to our twenty first century response to the medieval book. Most of us don’t understand the languages or have difficulty in deciphering the texts .When we read about them we patronisingly consider many of the concepts in the books as primitive or strange (eg.the zodiac related to parts of the body, the body needing the four humours to be in balance for well being , forecasting the future based on the weather) .

However these books have a visual impact and we can respond to them on a surface level even if we don’t have knowledge to interact and gain from the contents meaningfully as the scribe/maker/ commissioner intended.

So I want my book to be a container of fragmented knowledge collated but not ordered in a meaningful academic/usable way.  I also want it to make clear reference to the source of inspiration, the medieval book, in a way that isn’t a direct copy. And I want it to have a tactile and visual appeal which reflects our modern understanding of the original
After experimenting putting together several sets of pages in various permutations I have a structure that I think will work. Now all I need to do is fill it. Simple !

1 comment:

  1. Simply astonishing Jac - I love love love your thinking and where this is going!


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