#experimental literature

Illuminated Manuscript

At a show called Documenta 2002 in Kassel, Germany, an unusual kind of electronic book was featured. It was called “The Illuminated Manuscript.” As the author describes the book:

A handbound book is set in a spartan room. Projected typography is virtually printed into the blank pages with a video projector. Sensors embedded in the pages tell the computer as the pages are turned. In addition, sonar sensors allow visitors to run their hands over and to disrupt, combine and manipulate the text on each page. The book begins with an essay on the four freedoms - freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want. Each page explores a different text on the topic of freedom.

Of course, it doesn’t take lights and circuits to create an illuminated manscript. The tradition goes way back. For an interesting overview of that tradition, read Concrete Poetry In Analog And Digital Media by Roberton Simanowski.


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