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