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Art

The Art of Letters

A fascinating interview with the German typographer Erik Spiekerman, who was recently awarded the German Design Lifetime Achievement Award. He makes a compelling comparison between typeface design and musical performance. The score may be the same, but the meaning is different depending on how it is visually interpreted. One of the …

Off the Shelf

I like to catalogue past exhibits on artists’ books to see how the idea of the “artist book” has evolved as our ideas about the book (and its future) have evolved. See this exhibit from 2000 at MASS MoCA which had three main themes — science, travel, and the theater — and …

The Digital Book Has No Cover

My title comes from a quote from The Atlantic on the crisis in book design in an ebook world. Covers obviously cover something, so when there is no bounded space to cover, well, then the visual cues of the book are thrown way, way off. On the one hand, ebooks …

Visual Dictionary According to Google

Perhaps many of you remember those illustrated dictionaries from childhood. Now there is the Google Image Book by Ben West and Felix Heyes. It contains the first image listed for 21,000 words in the English language when entered into Google. The result? A book of bad photography, images that don’t …

The Electronic Stage

A nice example of when electronic reading begins to infect the theater, too. Sarah Illiatovitch-Goldman has written a new play, Pieces, currently being performed in Toronto that concerns a husband, wife, and the surprise visit of a former lover. The time-frame moves back and forth between the present and the past, …

Booksi

Media recycling has achieved a new degree of absurdity with Booksi. Designed by Richard Neely, these are charging docks for iPods/phones that are recycled books. What a fate: you were a book and now you’re a stand for the smart phone’s ass.  

All A are not B

An excellent new event put on by Triple Canopy on the aesthetic dimensions of the “diagram.” As they write: Approaching the diagram in such a way—as an epistemological figure—means questioning the nature of relationships between things and how we perceive them, and how we understand our own subjectivity in relation …

The Fallacy of Immediacy

An exemplary piece by Tim Parks at The New York Review on the dream of immediacy when it comes to reading.  “More than any other art form,” writes Parks, “[literature] is pure mental material, as close as one can get to thought itself.” As I wrote already a few years …

The Books, the band

The book has now become an inspiration for band names. That’s how far we’ve come. Luckily, it turns out they’re brilliant and the music is eclectic and beautiful. Their videos on You Tube are inspired as are their lyrics: “Most of all the world is a place where parts of …