On the evening of November 16, 2014, Revolver launched The Book Marks, an investigation into the power of the storyteller. The first iteration of this project was a Book Cover Design Contest—with a twist.
We asked the internet to reimagine the cover of a specific book. These submissions were looked at by our staff, and three finalist were chosen. The winning design was decided by you, the Internet, and then that winning design, permanently etched into a human body. We tattooed a guy. The book was Roberto Bolano’s Antwerp. The guy was our guy in charge, Luke Finsaas. While he got tattooed, we did a reading of the book.
See, narratives structure our lives. Capitalism, patriarchy, nationalism—these myths are driven into our bodies. We wake up at a certain time, we eat at a certain time. We feel about ourselves how the story tells us to feel about ourselves.
And smaller stories—like novels, plays, television, songs—these leave their marks on us, too. You probably can remember some that have stuck with you from childhood, a book you got from the library or a show you saw late on TV. They’re there, inside, telling you how to be in the world. The Book Marks is about taking what’s happening on the inside and putting it on the outside.
And let’s be clear. This is not to say let’s get rid of storytellers. Not at all. We want better stories, stories that open the world up, and we hope that by asking people to think deeply about the power of the storyteller, we’ll all do better work.
Thanks to our partner, Minneapolis Tattoo, the premier female-owned and operated tattoo shop in the Twin Cities. Go visit them.
Until next time.