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Matthew Hebert

Altered Book:

Docking the Pod (for Haruki Murakami and Duster)

Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, Haruki Murakami (1997)

First edition. Plastic, wood, acrylic, electronics, and summoned sounds from 1998.

Artist Statement

I initially cringed when asked to sacrifice a first edition book that has some significance to me. I am, after all, the sentimental sort. Many of my books are tied up with memories of the time when I read them. However, the book with the strongest memory trace of all my collection is Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Published in 1997, a remaindered copy of it entered my life shortly after. To be honest, I only really remember a few things about the book at this point. The protagonist spends some time at the bottom of a well, and there is a horrific story within the story that recounts the skinning of a Japanese soldier and the witnessing character being tossed in a well and left for dead. (Spoiler, he gets out.) I also remember the graphic design, the dust jacket has the quality of a 90s 4AD album cover, while the actual cover has the most exquisite line art. Taking this nostalgia trip, I quickly landed on the sounds of that time in my life. Just out of college (class of ’97) two things took up most of my free time, reading and listening to records. As the wells do in the book, this piece attempts to create a portal. The other side of this portal is my psyche circa 1998. I hope you enjoy the visit.

Short Bio

Matthew Hebert has been working under the studio name eleet warez since completing his undergraduate studies in the mid-90s. The name is borrowed from hacker culture and suggests the technical sophistication, improvisational spirit, and freewheeling appropriation that is essential to his work. He is currently Associate Professor of Art at San Diego State University.

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