Destructors by Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine

 “Destructors I” (2013), elephant hide paper, 7″ × 7″ × 10″ high

” Each “Destructors” book sculpture is a modular combination of three or more interacting pieces. Each piece is made from a sheet of Zanders’ Elephant Hide paper, or Mi-Teintes’ watercolor paper, that has been printed with overlapping pages from Graham Greene‘s short story “The Destructors” (1954). We cut the sheet into a circle with a circular hole, score centric circular creases, and fold by hand in an alternation between mountains and valleys. The paper folds itself into a natural equilibrium form based on these creases. We “weave” the pieces together by squeezing one piece to fit inside the hole of another, let these pieces relax into a natural resting state, and then glue the pieces to prevent shifting.

We loved the chaos and confusion of the movie “Donnie Darko” (2001), in which the characters are inspired by Graham Greene‘s (real) short story “The Destructors” (1954), whose central tenant is that “destruction after all is a form of creation”. This story seemed ideal for our process, which obscures and slices the text into an unreadable “book”. The transformation of the flat paper into swirling surfaces creates a sculptural book that feels alive.

The Destructors pieces are part of our “Language Series” that explore text printed on paper before folding. ”

Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine

Erik Demaine / Martin Demaine

Closeup of the above 0361-150_medium

0362-031“Destructors II” (2013), elephant hide paper, 8″ × 11″ × 8″ high


0363-001 “Destructors III” (2013), elephant hide paper, 9″ × 14″ × 13″ high

0364-020Destructors IV” (2013), Mi-Teintes watercolor paper, 8″ × 12″ × 9″ high

0365-048Destructors V” (2013), Mi-Teintes watercolor paper, 10″ × 13″ × 11″ high

 “Destructors VII” (2013), elephant hide paper, 9″ × 10″ × 8″ high

Greene Recycling / Destructors VIII” (2013), elephant hide paper, 9″ × 14″ × 9″ high

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