This past summer, technologist Nicholas Negroponte (Being Digital
that the physical book format will be dead in five years. While there may be some truth in that controversial opinion, Luddites and digital pioneers alike are setting aside their differences to ensure that design-driven, tangible
publications don’t go the way of the 8-track.
remains the premier incubator of tomorrow’s big ideas, so it’s only fitting that the innovative Written Images project is seeking funding
through the trailblazing platform. The brainchild of post-industrial designers Martin Fuchs and Peter Bichsel, Written Images offers art book collectors tomes so limited in publication that not even the most highbrow of aesthete print emporiums
is likely to stock them. Indeed, every book published is essentially a first edition. The collaboration between more than 70 international media artists and developers employs generative art
apps to deliver the images that fill the pages. (No two copies are the same.) Offering consumers both a sampling of generative art and a meditation on the process doesn’t come cheaply. It’s $200 a copy.
Tree of Codes
: After applying his literary dexterity to an unexpected ethical exploration of eating meat
, author Jonathan Safran Foer has exceeded readers’ expectations of what it means to be a contemporary fiction writer once again. In his latest work, Tree of Codes
, he dons the hat of book designer. Demonstrating that he’s just as deft with an X-acto knife as he is a weaver of gripping stories, the sculptural book
is both a physical and textual retooling of one of Foer’s favorite works, Bruno Schulz’ The Street of Crocodiles
, featuring a different die-cut on every page. If this whole writer thing doesn’t work out for him, Foer should have no problem getting work in an art department.
: Thanks to the advent of e-readers and tablets, the days of snooping to ogle what your neighbor on the beach is reading may be coming to an end. But, while some readers may be concealing their books in public, purposely or not, many still want their books to be judged by their covers in private
. Former Internet entrepreneur Thatcher Wine’s Juniper Books is a curatorial service that “assembles complete book collections and decorative book solutions.” The company specializes not only in filling library shelves with out-of-print works by specific authors, but also in customizing books to fulfill desired color palettes
or design schemes. Those lacking the budget for such services can always just score some Penguin Classics
and call it a day.