What is a book? The commonly held notion is pretty simple: it is an object
made of pieces of paper, glued or bounded together, with stuff written in it.
Indisputable. But, maybe, there is more than meets the eye.
As a matter of fact, like most technological artifacts, a book can be hacked. By
altering its structure and content, magical things can happen: volumes with
movable parts, pages providing cinematic experiences, images appearing and
disappearing, non-linear structures to predict the future, pop-up magic shows.
To such unusual enterprise is devoted "Magic Books", an interactive
exhibition retracing the story of the secret art of book hacking, from
Medieval times to our days. Hosted at the Italian Cultural Institute in New
York the exhibition is a mindbending and playful tour of the
possibilities unleashed by subverting the typical use of book, an unprecedented
collection of design principles through which authors and publishers have
activated magical powers out of plain paper.
The exhibition is designed and curated by Mariano Tomatis, Wonder Injector,
writer, magician, who will himself kick it open on March Friday 13th with a
lecture/show focused on the Italian influence of the art of book hacking - from
the Venetian 17th century mind-reading books to Bruno Munari's magic shows
on paper. To the topic of Magic Books Mariano has also dedicated his
latest book, just published in Italy.
For all book lovers, designers and hackers this is something not to be missed,
promising doses of wonder enfolded within the pages of books, still of one of
the most groundbreaking (albeit simple) technologies ever invented.
Illustration: Angelo Monne
I was attracted to Station Eleven by the short description,it smacked of Commedia dell’arte: a post-apocalyptic tale of new-troubadours desperate to keep music and performance alive in a time of death. I was captivated, however, by the author’s format in story telling. Emily St. John Mandel starts this book off like almost any other book […]
Back in 2010, It Books published Mary-Lou Weisman's biography of MAD Magazine icon Al Jaffee: Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography; I missed it then but happened upon Arie Kaplan's 2011 writeup in The Jewish Review of Books this morning and was charmed by the biographical sketch it lays out.
From Zheleznogorsk's flag depicting a bear splitting an atom (the city started as a plutonium mining-town) (yours for $60!) to Domnovskoye's stark eagle claw to Syaskelevskoe's drunken bull to Khoroshyovo-Mnyovniki's crudely drawn MS-Paint-style proud beaver, the flags of Russia's states, cities, towns and districts are pretty fabulous; Weird Russia has a giant trawl through them. […]
They might be the shiny new thing, but AirPods aren’t for everybody. Maybe you’re looking for a new sound or you understandably lost those tiny buds during a brisk run. If so, here’s 10 headphones and earbuds that break out of the Apple mode with a return to quality and wearability. Klipsch R5 Bluetooth Neckband […]
When it comes to passwords, there’s no such thing as paranoia. You want them secure and complex, and you definitely don’t want to repeat them on all your accounts. The trouble is, the internet seems to keep growing. And so do those accounts. Just one lockout from an important email or banking site is enough […]
With the rising temperatures on tap this summer, the climate is going to be a frequent topic of conversation, and those conversations won’t be happy ones. Luckily, there’s a way to do a little climate change of your own – in a safe and sustainable way. When it comes to personal air conditioners, EvaPolar is […]