"Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar."
March 21, 2011 4:29 AM   Subscribe

Between Page And Screen is an augmented-reality book of poems (written by Amaranth Borsuk) developed by Brad Bouse. Like a digital pop-up book, you hold the words in your hands. Print a marker and try it. Requires Webcam.

Between Page and Screen is a hand-bound and letterpress-printed book of poems that engages both the digital poetry and artist's book traditions to consider the place of books in an era of screen-based reading.
This twenty-poem chapbook contains no text, only stark black-and-white geometric shapes and a web address leading to this site, where the reader follows instructions to display the book on his or her webcam. Our software detects the square markers in the book and displays corresponding word animations mapped to the surface of the page. Because the animations move with the book, they appear to inhabit "real" three-dimensional space—a kind of digital pop-up book.
The poems—a series of cryptic letters between two lovers, P and S—do not exist on either page or screen, but in an augmented reality only accessible to the reader who has both the physical object and the device necessary to read it.
posted by Fizz (7 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
only accessible to the reader who has both the physical object and the device necessary to read it.

They know people could just buy a book, right? Or read it onscreen.

It's an interesting technology but not seeing how this is really something I'd want to do. Having to buy and flip the book to see animations on the screen doesn't seem like much fun based on the demo.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:33 AM on March 21, 2011


do not exist on either page or screen, but in an augmented reality only

I like this aspect of the concept. Its an advanced take on cryptography, where you need the key and the code to read the letters.
posted by infini at 6:12 AM on March 21, 2011


They know people could just buy a book, right? Or read it onscreen.

How much creativity, imagination, & technological innovation would be lost if people only thought in these terms?!
posted by Fizz at 6:22 AM on March 21, 2011


How much creativity, imagination, & technological innovation would be lost if people only thought in these terms?!

You do realize they're using books and reading onscreen, right?

I hear you, just saying their particular implementation of new shiny technology isn't doing much based what I'm saying. Is there potential? Sure, but currently it's missing something, as it struggles with the books and onscreen metaphor.

Its kind like a visual representation of the comic book gutters, where unseen things happen between the panels in a book or strip. This technology is now putting something in that space, but it hasn't quite grasped the implications of doing. Where it a comic book, it would be neat if it could show some of that in between action, say, a fleeting memory which is spawning the action between panels or perhaps thought balloons.

I wonder what'll happen when the web cam is able to see you or the environment around you and insert words and pictures based on that? That could get really interesting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:32 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what'll happen when the web cam is able to see you or the environment around you and insert words and pictures based on that? That could get really interesting.

Don't advertisers already track eye movement scans across web pages and place ads accordingly?
posted by Fizz at 6:56 AM on March 21, 2011


Don't advertisers already track eye movement scans across web pages and place ads accordingly?

I wonder what interesting non advertising concepts or different ways of telling a story will arise from this concept.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 AM on March 21, 2011


I like the basic idea. The necessary equipment is part of the metanarrative. These are letters between two lovers, much like the Griffin and Sabine trilogy by Nick Bantock. The use of special equipment denotes an invitation into that "world of two" that a close connection can create.

However, from what I've seen of the project (without the special equipment), the end result is aesthetically disappointing. But it's a good start, overall, on the path down which storytelling is evolving.
posted by xenophile at 9:39 AM on March 22, 2011


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