titles  author  designer  WebTake
   writing machines  n. katherine hayles  anne burdick    erik loyer
Start the WebTake...


Hollowbound Book

Erik Loyer's interactive, animated WebTake

As the 21st century backlash against techno-hype intensifies, it's refreshing to find a thinker like N. Katherine Hayles who isn't afraid to embrace the transformations in and of literature by the digital. The fact that Writing Machines' masterful designer, Anne Burdick, collaborated deeply with Hayles means that the book itself is an instrument of this transformation on a host of visual and conceptual levels.

In the world conjured by Hayles and Burdick, it's OK to talk about how your childhood shapes your theoretical approach; it's OK to allow the texts you analyze to bleed visually into your own written words; it's OK to treat a literary work's materiality as an essential element of its message. In all of these examples, things traditionally unseen have been made visible.

While developing this WebTake I had the pleasure of getting to play in this world, and found myself intrigued by the prospect of giving a voice to these discoveries under the guise of a metaphor: a book's binding. A good binding exerts invisible force that holds a book together, serving as the mute foundation of its physicality. Hayles and Burdick create a conceptual space that allows the binding to speak, but after so many years of repression, what is it likely to say?

Thanks to Peter Lunenfeld, Hayles, Burdick, Art Center College of Design, and MIT Press for the opportunity to fantasize about talking books.

– Erik Loyer

      This pamphlet can be purchased online from MIT Press, Amazon and good bookstores.