In the Treachery of Images (1928-1929) painted by the Belgian artist René Magritte, a pipe is represented with a text underneath it that reads “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe).
Magritte was making a point that what is being represented is not a pipe, but the image of a pipe. In his own words: “The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it’s just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture “This is a pipe,” I’d have been lying!”
In the same spirit that inspired Magritte to create his painting, Heather, Andrea and I decided to visually record our interaction with the book as a physical object in a collaborative effort to try and discover all its features inside out!
The first experience with the book was highly interactive and exciting. The images here represented could never reproduce for the viewer the different textures and smells of the book. Hence the question mark at the end of the titles try to remind the viewer that even though Heather and Andrea had a physical relation to the object, the viewer can only experience the two-dimensionality of the screen.
Trying to identify the parts of the book was a tantalizing endeavor, with many fingers running through the pages, turning the pages…taking care of the precious pages as we looked through the book.
Then Heather and Andrea worked on the digitized version of the book and all the physical interaction with the object was gone, as well as the interaction between the collaborators…as well as the textures and smells, the colors and folds, the tear and wear…In the end