Refresh the Book

On the Hybrid Nature of the Book in the Age of Electronic Publishing


Refresh the Book contains reflections on the multimodal nature of the book, focusing on its changing perception, functions, forms, and potential in the digital age. Offering an overview of key concepts and approaches, such as liberature, technotexts, and bookishness, this volume of essays addresses the specificity of the printed book as a complex cultural phenomenon. It discusses diverse forms of representation and expression, both in literary and non-literary texts, as well as in artist’s books. Of special interest are these aspects of the book which resist remediation into the digital form. Finally, the volume contains an extensive section devoted to artistic practice as research, discussing the book as the synthesis of the arts, and site for performative aesthetic activity.

Christin Barbarino, Katarzyna Bazarnik, Christoph Bläsi, Sarah Bodman, Zenon Fajfer, Annette Gilbert, Susanne Gramatzki, Mareike Herbstreit, Viola Hildebrand-Schat, Thomas Hvid Kromann, Monika Jäger, Eva Linhart, Bettina Lockemann, Patrizia Meinert, Bernhard Metz, Sebastian Schmideler, Monika Schmitz-Emans, Christoph Benjamin Schulz, usus (Uta Schneider & Ulrike Stoltz), Anne Thurmann-Jajes, Sakine Weikert, Gabriele Wix

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KATARZYNA BAZARNIK, PhD, is a literary scholar, translator, and curator of Liberature Reading Room. She lectures at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She has published on James Joyce, experimental novel, literary theory, especially liberature, and literary translation.

CHRISTOPH BENJAMIN SCHULZ, DPhil, is a literary scholar and art historian. He researches aspects of the materiality and mediality of literary communication, such as strategies for the aestheticisation and semantisation of books in recent literary practice as well as in the history of the book and literature. Beside his academic activities, he has developed exhibitions for well-known museums.

VIOLA HILDEBRAND-SCHAT studied literature, philosophy and psychology (M.A.) and received a PhD in Art history. She lectures at Goethe-University/Frankfurt am Main and Lomonosov State University Moscow. She specializes in Contemporary Art. She has published on Marcel Broodthaers and artists' books.

Katarzyna Bazarnik, Viola Hildebrand-Schat and Christoph Benjamin Schulz
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

The Hybrid Nature of the Book in the Age of Electronic Publishing: An Introduction
  Viola Hildebrand-Schat


1 Empirical Preprocessing
Approaches from Multimodality Research for the Printed Book
  Christoph Bläsi

2 Affordances of the Book
A Tentative Typology of Liberature
  Katarzyna Bazarnik

3 The Book as Reading Machine and as Black Box
On Book Machines and Machine Books
  Monika Schmitz-Emans

4 Varieties of Contemporary Artistic Publishing
  Annette Gilbert

5 Artists’ Books and their Institutionalisation in the Digital Age
  Thomas Hvid Kromann

6 Digital Bookishness and Digitally Enhanced Publications Against the Backdrop of Apologies of the Book during the Advent of Digital Media
  Christoph Benjamin Schulz

7 ABC Book, Orbis Pictus, Pictorial Primer
On the Materiality of 19th-Century Concept Picture Books between the Aura of the Book Object and the Challenges of the Digital Humanities
  Sebastian Schmideler

8 The Photobook
An Approach Incorporating Aspects of Activity
  Bettina Lockemann

9 Spending Time within Books
  Sarah Bodman

10 Re-Readings
Philosophy and Its Presentation in the (Artist’s) Book
  Susanne Gramatzki

11 The Exhibition Space
On the Hybridity of the Publication Between Execution and Extension of Spatiotemporal Concepts
  Viola Hildebrand-Schat

12 Bookishness and the Body of the Book/ the Body of the Reader
On the Usages of Books
  Bernhard Metz

Artists’ Statements/ Artists’ Examples

13 Liberature
A New Constellation in the Gutenberg Galaxy
  Zenon Fajfer

14 The Making of Artists’ Books
Craft-Based Production Processes Viewed from an Artistic Standpoint
  Patrizia Meinert

15 Betwixt & Between
Some Thoughts on the Subject of the Fold and Folding in the Context of the Book
  ‹usus› Uta Schneider and Ulrike Stoltz

16  : Artists’ Books in the Digital Transition
From Mechanical Typesetting to Fax Machines and Email Exchange
   Monika Jäger

17 Conception – Construction – Deconstruction
An Alternative Way to Read a Book: Tobias Tank’s Hier öffnen
   Viola Hildebrand-Schat

18 The Red Thread in Hier Öffnen – Ein wahrlich Einmaliges Buch (Open Here – A Truly Unique Book)
On Tobias Tank
   Mareike Herbstreit

19 Visual Notes
Teju Cole’s Blind Spot/#blindspot, between Analogue and Digital Narrative Devices
   Sakine Weikert

20 Jan van der Til
The Hybrid Artist’s Book
   Anne Thurmann-Jajes

21  La Perfecta Casada by Elena del Rivero
Historical Text and Book Performance
   Christin Barbarino

22 The Exhibition Catalogue
A Hybrid between Documentation and Seduction, Research and Cultural Business, Applied and Autonomous Art
   Gabriele Wix

23 Michael Riedel
Books as Event
   Eva Linhart


All interested in materiality and multimodality of literature, history of the book and communication media, history of literary forms, book art, art history and art theory, and electronic literature.
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