Making the Bolted Book
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Italian futurist Fortunato Depero’s 1927 monograph Depero Futurista is universally recognized as a landmark avant-garde example of the ‘book as object’. Filled with bold typographic experimentation, daring layouts and featuring work in nearly every artistic medium, it is widely known as The Bolted Book because it is famously bound together by two large industrial aluminium bolts. Fortunato Depero’s sui generis publication Depero Futurista functioned both as a résumé or portfolio summarizing Depero’s work in the period covered by the book (1913–27) and as a promotional tool, showcasing his virtuosic artistic skills, which range from painting, sculpture, textile, and other craftwork, to theater design, product design, advertising, theoretical writing, and poetry. The physical characteristics of the interior of the book, with a variety of textured and colored papers, are no less remarkable than its binding with industrial-sized bolts. This text critically analyses the making of the famous Depero's book.