If a book doesn’t contain any words, is it really a book? That’s the question a lot of people have been asking after the inclusion of a very curious piece of “literature” at the University of Michigan library.
Jamie Lausch Vander Broek, the art and design librarian for the university, acquired a book titled 20 Slices last year. It is a small book containing twenty Kraft cheese slices sandwiched together. And that’s it. That’s the whole book.
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The inclusion of the cheese book has garnered a divided response from people at the University. Nevertheless, it has sparked an interesting discussion on what a “book really is. According to Broek, that was the idea.
“It engaged this part of people that has a really developed, but probably not conscious, sense of what a book is and should be. There’s almost a morality associated with the physical nature of a book, and this was an aberration. And I thought, ‘Wow, if it can make people who talk about books every day feel like that, then this is perfect.’”
The book was designed by New York artist Ben Denzer. Other book-related art pieces he’s made include books made out of ketchup packets, ice cream sandwiches, and even books on wheels.
You can find them on his website.
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