The original constructions I created by cutting up books, I referred to as ‘hypertexts’ as they were meant to parody the new world of information that connected to other information, relatively devoid of context.
However, to my surprise, these sentence structures began to emerge with a power of their own, as if thoughts were being released from the pages of those poor books. It was like a great butterfly escape, where ideas with no discernible weight of their own took of into the sky, leaving gravity behind.
My first project was The Professor’s House by Willa Cather. I cut each line from the text and glued it to another, creating a cubic, architectural construction. Soon, inspired by the architectural models on exhibition at the Cooper Union,
I embraced the form of an open book as a land-scape on which to build.
Ever since I got boxes and boxes of X-acto blades, I began to cut up everything in sight: Styrofoam cups, dollar bills, innocent flags. It’s the tactility and materiality that appeals to me – that, and the maniacal craftsmanship that seems to capture people’s attention.
Before long, magazines and newspapers were commissioning me to wave my blade in their direction. Things that cast shadows, and have the evidence of being crafted by the human hand, will always have a special place in my heart.
Stephen Doyle is creative director of Doyle Partners in New York. The studio has produced graphic design, communications, identity and advertising work for twenty five years. Doyle created his first paper sculpture in 2001 and has since continued to make them as personal projects and also as commissioned work. This year he was awarded the National Design Award for Communication.