My Nature in Stars: A Creative Critical Response

I am, by nature, impulsive. Any planning I may do prior to a project – whether that be personal or for a class assignment – is minimal; I prefer to give myself general guidelines, with room to experiment and explore and just be creative within my constraints. As such, the accordion book I assembled is a testament to my impulsive processes: I knew, ultimately, how I wanted my book to look; I had a grasp of how I would assemble the form and content. However, everything beyond that was impulse, with my choices made solely to further the purpose of my book as an aesthetic object (I am reluctant to call it a “work of art,” for it sounds to pretentious in my mind to refer to my own creation as one). Thus, I would define my accordion book as an artist’s book, perhaps a visual book, with my intended purpose as one of aesthetics, or, as Amaranth Borsuk would describe in The Book, my “impulse [was] to create an original work of art through the accumulation and juxtaposition of [chosen] materials” (115).

[Above: The “front” of my accordion book, displaying the cut-out windows and the text I chose to incorporate. Below: The “back” of my accordion book, displaying the visual content I chose to arrange to show through the windows. Photos by author.]

My book aligns with the typical appearance of an accordion book, with pages folded into an accordion fold, and my book is bound between two covers, a choice made less to denote a “beginning” and “end,” a “front” or a “back,” but more to protect the content inside – physically, yes, but also conceptually, with the two covers acting as unassuming enclosures to safely contain the content and its personal meaning to me. The choice to cut out the phases of the moon, as well as assorted star-like shapes, was the foundation for my whole book; I arranged the content intentionally to show through the cutouts, like little windows into my personality. The content being scraps of colorful tape, torn pages of an old book, postcards and thank-you cards and photo cards, wrappers, stickers, and all manner of small, colorful objects I could collect from within the simple space of my room, as well as text taken from specific songs that have had a particularly strong effect on me throughout the years. From the very first mention of the accordion book project, the concept of my book was “conceived of as a whole” (141).

However, the way in which the content would appear through the windows was not entirely planned – I framed two of the moon phases intentionally, but the rest of the phases, as well as all of the stars, were left up to. . .fate, I suppose? Whatever would show through would only ever be a fraction of the full image, which correlates to how I understand people to see me: Whatever people – me included – understand about me, my personality, is only ever a fraction of my true self. And, though my title, too, was unplanned, I suppose it is serendipitous that “We Are Stars By Nature” was the end result, mirroring the ways in which the nature of my content – and, ultimately, the nature of myself as the author – is revealed through the moon and stars.

This sentiment, the idea that my content reveals something intrinsic about my own nature, is imperative for my intended reader. Though the content may seem silly to some, it is important to me, and I would want my reader to see that through the ways in which I’ve arranged the pieces, as if journaling, and the ways in which those pieces appear through the windows. Truly, then, my book “relied on the viewer’s interaction with the object to make meaning” (145); any interpretations a reader could make about me would be entirely based around how they interact with my book. The text content, too, provides insight into my nature; each line is intentionally and carefully selected to convey an element of myself.

With such considerations, I would say with a finality that my ideal reader is myself, that the purpose of my book is to collect my scattered pieces and display them in such a way that I might be able to better understand who, it is, that I am.

Work Cited

Borsuk, Amaranth. The Book. Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2018.

4 thoughts on “My Nature in Stars: A Creative Critical Response”

  1. There is an interesting concept taken from biology applied so society called spontaneous order. Spontaneous order is generally understood as the result of human actions rather than planning. The academic rigor often demands the planned approach, but your artbook made through individual choices that made a beautiful finished product seems t reflect the benefits of less planning and more action.

    Its a great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the way you approached this book– spontaneously and with the purpose of exploring your identity. I think most art, whether intentionally or no, reflects the artist, and this accordion book is one such self-portrait. I especially love the metaphor created by the little pieces of your personality showing through the cutouts of stars and moon. Space is such a great motif in this book, too, because (like personalities) we see so little of what’s actually out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one of my favorite accordion books! I love how you describe your decisions in making this piece as impulsive. I really enjoyed how the content of your book appeared through the windows. In reading your blog, I really like how you explain that the idea of your content reveals something intrinsic about your own nature and is imperative for your intended reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m agreeing with all of the comments above! Your book is exquisitely beautiful, and dynamically sequenced in so many ways. It reminds me a bit of a crow’s nest, a collection of shiny pieces–and it most certainly is a work of art. In this post, I wish you had reflected more about the text, and your inclusion of Korean lyrics! Your ideal reader is yourself–but you also allow that: “any interpretations a reader could make about me would be entirely based around how they interact with my book.” I wish you would say more about that latter interaction.


Leave a Reply to Nick Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s