Book Destruction Sacrifice
In November of 2016, I did a performance in the window of the Artist Television Access in San Francisco. It was a 2 hour performance piece about ritual, sacrifice, literature, censorship and the glee of destruction.
I made an altar of my books from my library. I consecrated the space.
I sat at my altar, and sacrificed 4 of my favorite books from my personal collection. It's not a sacrifice if it doesn't hurt. Choosing which of my books would go was very hard.
The Kama Sutra was Torn
My Fantasy Novel was Censored
My 'wreck this journal' was excavated with a powerdrill
(The only consensual sacrifice - the journal asks to be wrecked)
My all-time favorite short story collection was preserved, pickled in a jar, for posterity
People love books. They like to read them, and they like to think of them as safe and happy. I like to have my books sitting in my room, safe and orderly. I might never read them again, in fact, NO ONE might ever read them again, but THROW THEM AWAY? GOOD LORD NO.
It's a Taboo.
We never throw away books, we never sacrifice them, and we shy away from their destruction. But, information lives when it's known - books speak when they're read. Sitting forever on a shelf is as sure a death as tearing out EACH and EVERY page.
Thanks Merlin for taking the video, and Sophia for taking pictures!