Alex MacLellan's Hampshire College
Division III Project Description
A Book Artist's History of the Book:
A Story in Three Parts
- For my Division III, I plan to design three books that engage with the book as a cultural
technology. Each book will be accompanied with an historical or theoretical essay. The books and essays will address
the book as form, reading, and new technologies.
- To address the history of the shape of the book, I plan to construct a traditional blank
hardcover codex. Paired with the codex is an historical essay looking at the evolution of the shape of the book.
The traditionally bound blank codex is designed to engage the reader in the development of the shape of the book.
It exists as an empty artifact of a formal tradition of book making. It is a vessel capable of being filled with
anything, just as the many generations of bookmakers saw the book as being able to contain and communicate something.
The book, though, in order to communicate, needs a reader and writer.
- The second book will engage the reader in many different ways of reading. In addition to
the book is an essay on the history of reading practices. The book's story comes out of a librarian's research
into a non-existent culture. The story, combined with interactive elements built into the page, such as, pop-ups,
pull out reference tabs, movable text, instructions to read text aloud, instructions to read text to ones self,
translucent pages, and translucent windows to other pages, invites the reader to take on many different methods
- After engaging with the form, and the reading of the book, the final book I design looks
at new technologies and their impact on the book and our reading of it. This book will have two different locations:
a web page, and an artist book. The text, on the web page, and in the book, is a collection of linked fragmented
ideas about a utopian vision of new technology. Accompanying this book is an essay on new technologies and how
they affect our idea of the shape of the book, and reading.
Alex MacLellan, October 30, 2010
What is a Hampshire College Div
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