As everyone who has read Ray Bradbury’s 1953 dystopian novel or seen Françaois Truffaut’s 1966 film adaptation of it knows, 451 degrees fahrenheit (232.778 degrees Celsius) is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns, as words are erased from the pages.
The fired books of Japanese ceramics artist Yohei Nishimura are results of the artist’s experiments with working on various objects by firing them in a kiln. The books shrink under the intense heat, its pages first rising from the spine, then fusing together.
This is precisely the process that we have observed in our initial series of experiments with libricide, or book burning, but with an important difference: in order to use the wiping out of information as a form-generating procedure and an agent in the creation of architectural space, we strategically cut into the volumes to create, well, our volumes. So far, they are very fragile.
Libricide Library is an optimistic attempt to revert the biblioclastic procedures of oppressive regimes by using disposed books to build a library for digital versions of the burnt texts.
The books were cut through to create spatial configurations, then put in the kiln.
Firing at 1250°C for four days produced these end results.
The reason for what little structural integrity there is? Residual clay content within the paper, which makes the fired books ceramic.