A new book showcases artists, writers, architects, and designers who turn blank journals into works of art
By coating warped pages in colorful resins and fanning them out in the shape of a pumpkin, American artist Cristina Lei Rodriguez transformed a standard Moleskine notebook into a whimsical, rainbow-hued sculpture. The piece is her contribution to The Detour Book, published by the Milan-based notebook company, which compiles images of journals-turned-artworks by dozens of international artists, architects, musicians, writers, and designers.
Another playful submission comes from Turkish architecture firm Atelye70, who constructed a sleek, three-dimensional, Renzo Piano–inspired model of a “Moleskine Museum”—it even includes small-scale museum patrons. Tom Sachs took a more traditional approach to the project, fashioning a hefty chained-and-padlocked diary titled Tom Sachs Secrets 2007.
While many participants added on to the original structure of the notebook, others cut, burned, or otherwise attempted to destroy theirs. Italian artist Loredana Longo rigged a makeshift bomb to her Moleskine, charring the photos and notes inside, and Singapore-based artist Ana Prvacki photographed herself lighting her pages on fire as part of a performance piece.
Of course, the blank sheets of a notebook are meant to be written on—the contributors to this project simply took their markings a step further. As Raffaella Guidobono, a longtime creative consultant for Moleskine, says in The Detour Book, “Each time you work with paper, you are automatically upcycling it.”