Expanded Artists’ Books: Envisioning the Future of the Book

Here’s a twist, or is it?

The Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago issued a call for proposals yesterday (19 July) for projects that “provide concept(s) of how the digital work may be transformed into a physical book object – ….”

The premise behind the “award of two $10,000 commissions for new artworks for the iPad [which] will have physical counterparts that intersect, modulate, or inform the digital components of the artwork” is:

“Artists’ books claim all aspects of the book (format, typography, structure, etc.) as potentially expressive.  As immersive hybrid experiences for the reader/viewer, these works expand the limits of what we traditionally think of as a book. Simultaneously, we consider that tablet-based mobile platforms are emerging as a dynamic arena for investigation of the notion of the book. Expanded Artists’ Books utilize the rich capabilities of the tablet platform to imagine new forms that a book might take, such as exploring how interactivity challenges the traditional closure of text or the performance of time.”

William Gibson’s novels leap to mind as examples of predictive fiction (fairly uncannily when you compare Google’s VR glasses to the Ono-Sendai Cyberspace Deck that allows characters in the Sprawl trilogy to enter and navigate “Cyberspace [that] consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts. … A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.” (Gibson 69)

So why not predictive book art to envision the future of the book?

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