Book from the Sky, by Xu Bing:bookfromtheskyWhat's on those sheets on the floor? Here's a close-up:fakesWell, those certainly look like traditional Chinese characters to me. But since I can't read Chinese, I'm not really in any position to know that they're not


  1. Wow. I'd love to see that in person.

    I was going to say it's the Chinese version of "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua." But Google tells me that what I always thought was a nonsense paragraph is actually a passage from Cicero with a few spelling errors.

    It does remind me of the Japanese fad for t-shirts with random English words on them like "LIBERTYBELL IS PRIME WISH" or "IT WON IT TRYING HARDRESULY" or the way Americans will decorate things with random Chinese/Japanese characters without knowing what they mean.

    I note that the artist also has a work in progress called "Book from the Ground" which is an attempt to write a book in pictograms that can be read by anyone, regardless of their language. You can see some of what he's doing at bookfromtheground dot com. I don't think what he's got so far works very well yet.

  2. One of my photography professors at the U of O would make photos of architectural ruins, and then using a faint graphite pencil, would lightly inscribe psuedo-writing into details of the architecture.

    The idea was something along the lines of having the visual impact of writing without cluttering up the photos with the meaning of words. Or some such.

    I can't be bothered with that sort of subtlety.

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