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The Instruments of Writing

I’ve just returned from a fantastic conference in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Women’s Writing Instruments in the Eighteenth Century. We learned about the types of things that a woman would have at her desk when she sat down to write, including seals, wax, ink, quills, knives, …

The Art of Broken

Over the past decade or so, a number of artists have been experimenting with the art of book demolition. As Garrett Stewart suggests in his definitive handbook of the movement, Bookwork, such practices of undoing books are akin to what he calls “demediation” — taking books out of their functional …

Dreaming in Books, the Sequel

Introducing the “book pillow.” At first glance it looks like a large dictionary and can even be slid between other volumes on your shelf just like a regular tome. But when you’re feeling sleepy, just get out your reading material from your desk drawer, filing cabinet or shelf. The “book” …

Human Media

A recent, and very disturbing, ad-campaign pretended that homeless people were wifi hotspots. It was a gag, but they were paid to wear t-shirts that said “I’m [insert name], I’m a 4G hotspot.” What to do with vagrant, impoverished populations? I know, turn them into mobile transponders and pay them! …

Vestiges of Media

My friend Ina Ferris has been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between books and remnants — the way books were integral during the nineteenth century to think about how cultural forms and practices persist past their time. The book was itself already seen as a vestige during the …

Printerbot

More on 3-D printing kits. I’m intrigued by the way “print” keeps getting more sophisticated, and more accessible, even with the so-called death of print. Either its like phosphorus (brightest before extinguishing) or people keep misunderstanding the long history of technologies of impression and their durability.