The Rise and Fall of Books, a documentary by Jake Gorst, (Leisurama (2005), Farmboy (2006) Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island (2012))explores the influence that books have on society, the rise of e-media and subsequent demise of print and the use of books as art. It features Buzz Spector, arts professor at Cornell University and a celebrated artist who uses books as a medium in his installations. The movie's soundtrack is scored by Peter Holsapple, and Chris Stamey of The dB's. Personally I'm a big fan of digital books. I love that when I travel I no longer have to carry a bag of books and magazines that weighs more than my checked luggage. I was an early kindle adopter and when I got an iPad the kindle app was one of the first installed. But, I still need physical books to browse and pore over: gorgeous illustrated books about design and architecture, books of photographs, travel books, cook books and of course, children's books.
At the end of the clip above, there are a few frames focused on a beautiful manuscript written in Dutch that is over 300 years old. The surprise and joy of seeing that book in the documentary reminded me that this is something you don't get with a download; the celebration of the physical and unique presence of printed matter, something you can experience in a sensory way. That doesn't happen with electronic media, no matter how high the resolution of your screen. This documentary is at the post-production stage and funds are needed to get the movie to the viewing public. A GoFundMe.com page has been set up to raise money to complete the project. Pledges start at $15, which gets you a postcard and your name in the closing credit. Rewards at the top end include a large-format Buzz Spector art Polaroid and for fans of The dBs, the actual drum head from the cover of The Sound of Music.
To support the project or read more about it click here. You won't regret it!