Judging Covers: Plato’s Altered State

As part of the Art 4004/5005 Drawing Ideas course that I taught this semester with Suzanne Silver the students had a project in which they had to use copies of Plato’s Republic either as their sketchbooks throughout the course or as singular work of art (an altered book project). I will explore the tension between the two options in later posts and how some students reacted to their reading assignments by intervening in pages within the book, while others transformed the book as a whole into an object. For now, here is a selection of the students’ projects as seen from their covers – as judged compared with my own – unadulterated – copies of the work. Seen from the covers the acts of binding, burning, cutting and taping can barely be seen, while in future posts we’ll look inside the books to see how the students more radically manipulated Plato’s epic.

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