From England & Co’s online gallery:
“Russell’s work with books began during an artists’ residency in Paris while she was a student at the Royal College of Art. Old books have always seemed to her like sculptural objects ‘representing the many hands which have held them and the minds they have passed through’. She says that she has always chosen something which ‘holds within it a sense of its own personal history, an object which has a secret life’, and wants to resurrect her fragile materials and give them ‘a new life and new meaning’. There is a simultaneous sense of loss and preservation in each construction, as she wants to retain and reclaim the past as much as her techniques attack it.”
Like the phenomena in our transition between analog and digital, Russell’s shredded books and the other instances of book art or “bookworks” bookmarked here constitute another form of “creative destruction” to stretch Schumpeter’s economic concept.
The opening up of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the organizational development from the craft shop to such concerns as U.S. Steel illustrate the same process of industrial mutation—if I may use that biological term—that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism.
Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942), p.83
Of course, without the old print book industry’s output, our Scottish artist and her kith and “ken” will eventually face a scarcity of raw material for their new art industry. A sure sign of a misapplied economic theory, however apropos and paradoxical the misappropriation of the paradox may feel.