Bookmarking Book Art – Nicholas Rougeux

Innovative combinations of color and geometry in artists’ books — think of Ursula Hochuli-Gamma’s 26 farbige Buchstaben (1986), Jeffrey Morin & Steven Ferlauto’s Sacred Space (2003), Sarah Bryant’s The Radiant Republic (2019)Ana Paula Cordeiro’s Body of Evidence (2020) — make for a useful angle on which to focus in appreciating book art.

Nicholas Rougeux shows that it is also a useful inspiration for interactive digital art.

Byrne’s Euclid: The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid with Coloured Diagrams and Symbols
and
Byrne’s Euclid: The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid with Coloured Diagrams and Symbols – A reproduction of Oliver Byrne’s celebrated work from 1847 plus interactive diagrams, cross references, and posters designed by Nicholas Rougeux
All images © Nicholas Rougeux

Rougeux describes himself as a “data artist”, and his works might also be considered “found art” given such sources of data as Nicolas Bion’s treatise on mathematical instruments from 1709, Spencer Fullerton Baird’s Iconographic Encyclopædia of Science, Literature, and Art (1852) and John Southward’s A Dictionary of Typography and its Accessory Arts (1875). While the resulting works recall Ben Fry’s and Stefanie Posavec & Greg McInerny’s celebrations of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, two different and more apropos, even if analogue, points of comparison are Edward R. Tufte’s Envisioning Information (1990) and Francisca Prieto’s Composition No. 1. The connection with Tufte is the more obvious, but Rougeux’s digital manipulation of antique works feels very much like Prieto’s manual folding of them.

Further Reading


Byrne Oliver and William Pickering. 1847. The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid : In Which Coloured Diagrams and Symbols Are Used Instead of Letters. London: W. Pickering.

Byrne Oliver. 2022. The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid. Cologne: Taschen.

KSCN. November 2022. “Euklids Elements: Visualization of the Month #5“. Kiel Science Communication Network. Accessed 18 November 2022.