Charles Wisseman, Mixed Media Artist

Subtitle

bullet book

Next book in my cubic foot of art series.--the " Book Hunt" altered book, about the book as personal armor. I was thinking about hunting season, and the guns and shootings in the news--the one that got less press was the FSU student who was protected from a bullet by a book in his backpack.(pictures on the web are quite dramatic). A student these days might reasonably wonder if his backpack would stop a bullet, so I decided to go into the country to hunt books to provide some guidance. I shot three old discard books with a low-power projectile (22short) at close range. An old Microsoft Excel manual had excellent stopping power (I always found these manuals very dense). An outdated medical chemistry text gave intermediate protection. An old farmers almanac passed the bullet right through to the backing board. I cut open the bullet tracks and mounted them in epoxy. The deformation of the bullets was very different-- very flat in the densest book, inverted cone-shaped in the medium dense, and staying fairly globular in the lightweight book. A forensics of book shooting could be developed. No sacred texts were injured here-- but the classic image is the bible stopping a bullet over a soldier's heart. So I cut a left breast pocket from an old shirt, which can be filled with a book and pinned over the heart.. I was thinking about which books and objects I would most/least like to owe my life to. I made a set of cards for the pocket from handmade papers, each with the name of a book or document type or object. The wearer can arrange these from front-to-back in the order which they would prefer to have as a protective (but sacrificial) talisman. May your values protect you! Teddy Roosevelt was saved by the text of a speech (a long speech, fortunately for him.)
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