Bill Westheimer – Cellulose


© 2015
edition of 10
dimensions in inches: 5.5 x 3.75 x 1


About this piece:

With the nature of publishing changing rapidly from the historic and traditional printed book to the more ephemeral electronic editions, traditional books are sometimes called “dead tree books” and this one is a combination of dead trees: basswood and walnut in the box, pine shavings sealed inside the 21st century 3D-printed translucent PLA resin book.
With the invention of movable type Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized how books were made in the 15th century, and now in the 21st century book publishing is again changing dramatically. We used to think of books as ink on paper between two covers. Increasingly books are just digital data viewed on a screen. My Gutenberg series of 3D printed books deals with the evolution of books and how knowledge may be distributed in the future. Books are evolving into new formats. Some people find that digital books are undesirable, others enthusiastically embrace them. As they transform into digital media someday they may become unreadable when the compatible devices are no longer available; similar to how we can no longer access the data from a floppy disk. The content of these 3D printed books cannot be accessed – it is sealed inside the PLA resin binding. You must destroy the book to read the book.


PLA resin, wood shavings, basswood, walnut

Artist bio:

A born experimenter Bill Westheimer was raised in Cincinnati and began playing with photographic processes at age 14. He was introduced to the magic of the darkroom in the mid 1960’s and has never looked back at the conventional, average, normal, and routine approaches to image making. Beginning with a darkroom in a 3rd floor bathroom, Bill mastered developing and printing black and white photographs in his teens. He experimented with making 3-D holograms before he could drive.

About Alicia Bailey


Bill Westheimer – Cellulose

by Alicia Bailey time to read: 1 min