In the past, I've visited a number of bookbinding exhibitions, A Clockwork Orange exhibition, a tiny modern gothic show in a shed and a generous handful of others, many of them excellent so far as I can remember, that have now apparently completely dissolved into the mists of time. The library doesn't appear to keep a record of previous exhibitions, so I can't even check that out and 'remember'. Currently there is a William Blake exhibition (should visit again, probably slower) and a collection of artists' books from the Al-Mutanabbi Street project. I should definitely visit that one again, too, but I do think artists' books always run into the problem that, in display cases, they're just things. Some of them work as sculptures (for lack of a better term) and aren't meant to be opened, if indeed they can be opened at all, but most of the books really need to be handled, to be pored over in order to function as books - they lose something when that can't happen.
Any ideas I had for the project have already joined that throng of lost possibilities, because I've finally realised that ideas are irritatingly lacking in staying power. It goes like this. I have a moment of startling clarity, or more often I hack away at some vague notion until something starts to emerge, and the seed of a possibility results. Then it sits there in my mind. If it was never going to get anywhere, it quickly shrivels and disappears, but a few of the seeds don't die. Instead they get knocked back and forth, swirled about, reconfigured into slightly (or very) different shapes. This is when I start to obsess, getting very excited at what might be growing. Even then, plenty of ideas reach the point where I realise, no, it's still too self-indulgent or empty or a dead-end. Every now and then, though, one will start to feel like the real deal and the mind goes into overdrive, providing all sorts of detail and planning. At which point there is a very limited window of time in which to plant that seed. Nothing necessarily has to be done with it immediately, but it's very important to fix the idea while I can, because soon after that it starts to decompose, and before long it's dead dead dead. It's happened often enough now that I've realised what's going on. Which is sort of useful, I suppose.