Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Wonder: Pop-Up Poetry

Think your Kindle, Nook, or i-Pad is the coolest thing going? Maybe. . . until you see what poet, essayist, book artist, and digital media scholar Amaranth Borsuk, Ph.D., created with programmer Brad Bouse. Exploring the intersection of art and technology, Borsuk and Bouse produced in 2010 Between Page and Screen, a hand-bound, letterpress-printed, limited-edition chapbook containing no text. You read that correctly: no text

In place of words for Borsuk's collection of 20 poems, which she describes as "a series of cryptic letters between two lovers, P and S" who are trying to define their relationship, are an assortment of shapes or markers and the collection's Web address, where instructions are provided for visualizing the book on a Webcam. Bouse's software detects the embedded markers in the book, causing the display of keyword-based animations that have been mapped to the surface of each page. The "pop up" poems move as the book is moved, and you can even "hold" the words in your hands, an experience with augmented reality that is demonstrated in this video:

What's needed to "play" the book? A computer, a Webcam, and the instructions at Between Page and Screen. A sample marker may be printed from the site.

Close-up photos of the book are here. Images showing its assembling are here. Demonstration photos may be viewed here.

Technical information about the software is at the end of this page.

To experience Borsuk's The Song Cave, go here and click on the title. Borsuk's Excess Exhibit is forthcoming from ZG Press.

1 comment:

Louise Gallagher said...

Wow -- that is pretty amazing.

Inventive, creative and advanced.