And I mean that literally. 20 Slices consists of twenty slices of American cheese wrapped in plastic sheets.
It's the work of Ben Denzer, an artist and designer who is fascinated with book production. He makes books out of unusual materials and content sources, such as fortune cookie fortunes, ice cream, and ketchup packets.
Some libraries have acquired 20 Slices. At Atlas Obscura, Abigail Cain writes about Denzer's works and how libraries have processed it and made it accessible to patrons. Jamie Lausch Vander Broek, a librarian at the University of Michigan, who bought it for her library, describes student reactions:
“One student was like, ‘Well, you know, I think the cheese was already a book,’ and I thought that was a really astute observation,” Vander Broek says. “I think that what [Denzer] is doing is elevating things that already want to be books because they formally exhibit the characteristics of a book. There’s so much there to talk about that really gets at the nuance of ‘What is a book, exactly?’”
I wonder if could request a copy of 20 Slices through interlibrary loan after the pandemic subsides and ILL service reopens. Currently, I can get only digital ILL materials, so I could probably request a photocopy the pages of 20 Slices.
Photo: Ben Denzer