Reading Machines

An excerpt from my MA proposal: "In a time when the act of reading is changing significantly, the physical book as a mechanism for reading text is being brought into question. I propose an investigation into what that means for book art as well as the wider world of reading and information cultures.
I am extremely interested in the machine as book, or reading machine, and how that has developed throughout history as well as how much potential it has now as an artistic device within my practice. I am also interested in how that relates to the current trends of e-reading."

So this is my attempt at a prototype reading machine. The idea came from thinking about how we now read and 'turn the pages' of articles or text on our smart phones and tablet devices; the way we swipe the touch-screens to move the text and read more. Ideally there would be several 'barrels' that you swipe with your hand to move all at once.

I have also, quite obviously, been influenced by Ramelli's Book Wheel and Daniel Libeskind's machines, both of which you can see images of in my 'reading machines' pinterest board.

This needs more work; and although I might go forward with it I also want to work through some smaller models/maquettes of other machine ideas...or even ideas that deal with the act of reading and how it might be changing....

Will keep you posted.


ronnie said...

I think it will be interesting to see how this develops..... love the ramelli book wheel! it brings to mind a tibetan prayer wheel (yet the function/purpose of each is quite different)

Amanda said...

What a great project. I've never heard of these machines. As soon as I saw Ramelli's I thought how handy it would have been when I was writing my own literature review - you know, those times when you have loads of references and you are trying to keep track of different quotes and ideas? Perfect!

Good luck Abigail, and do keep sharing your progress when you can.

Abigail Thomas said...

Thanks both; I am kinda feeling the pressure right now and just writing the post and gathering my research has helped to make me feel focussed again. Now I just need to do some more making!!

Yes Ronnie; Tibetan Prayer Wheel!So so many people have said that to me since I started this; at first I had no idea but after 2 people mentioned it I thought I had better google what they were on about and discovered a whole new line of enquiry... dunno whether to go into it now or not though.
Amanda; when you start delving you get so much. I spent hours on google images yesterday finding other artists work using reading machines as a concept; brilliant!