The Theme

“No one thing can pick up where the book left off; instead it is everything, all of our networks, our services, our devices, the internet plus everything else, which will carry literature forward.”

- James Bridle, Wired Magazine, April 2012

Books&Print Sandbox is supporting eight ground-breaking collaborations between creative economy partners and academic researchers to explore Books and Print as historical, contemporary or future phenomena.

Books and Print are technologies that have reformatted and crossed platforms throughout history, copied first by hand and then changed by the printing press for mass reproduction. With the advent of digital printing technologies our concept of text as a fixed object is more challenged and more malleable than ever. In 2010, the Publishing Association Year Book reported that total book sales in the UK amounted to £3.1bn, with digital book sales increasing by 38% to reach a total value of £180m. The production of books, newspaper and magazines is changing rapidly, in terms of product, distribution and business models, yet so far only a few publishers have had commercial success with products like Touch Press' Wasteland app.

Books, magazines and newsprint are all looking for new ways to tell stories and deliver content and reading itself is being transformed by the availability of new platforms. So how can we ensure the act of reading remains pleasurable? That new kinds of reflective spaces are opened up? That we use the affordances of new technologies to maximise potential and not merely ape the printed form?

Collaborations will be funded by the REACT Hub for a three-month period to develop an innovative prototype and explore its potential market/business model.

The eight commissions are:

Jekyll 2.0 by SlingShot and Anthony Mandal is a pervasive media adaptation of the novel for the age of the bio-hacker that will use readers' bio-data to shape a live game experience. Click here to find out more.

Writer On The Train by Fabrizio Nevola, Agant and James Attlee will use the linear space of the Bristol to London mainline, utilising smart phones and GPS to deliver a new literary form that will respond to the reader's journey in real time. Click here to read more.

'these pages fall like ash' by Tom Abba and Circumstance will work together with leading authors Nick Harkaway and Neil Gaiman to invite an audience to participate in a digital-first narrative experience where they can alter a story, challenging traditional publishing norms. Click here to read more about this project.

The Next Time(line) by Amblr and Bradley Stephens will work with three classic literary texts to create a dynamic and malleable timeline for the digital world using data visualization and offering much more than its paper counterpart. Click here to read more.

Book Kernel by Hodcha and Alexis Nuselovici will explore event-based publishing. Experimenting with a live poetry reading in Swansea, Book Kernel will allow audiences to curate and print a personal memento of the event, incorporating selected content and social media. Click here to read more about this project.

The Secret Lives of Books by Guerilla Dance Project and Tom Mitchell will transform a quiet workspace at the new Library of Birmingham into a beautiful interactive platform that visualizes the unexploited data sets of our public libraries. Click here to read more.

Digitising The Dollar Princess by Nicola Thomas and Bow Software will break new digital ground in the genre of biography to create a compelling non-linear reading experience exploring the story of Lady Curzon of Kedleston. Click here to read more about about this project

'Little j' Hyper Local News by Justin Lewis and Behaviour tackles the problem of how to create a digital model for collecting local news content using behavioural psychology to explore how to inspire local people to become citizen journalists in an age where local reporting is in decline. Click here to read more about this project.

You can explore them all on our Books&Print Projects page

Produced by iShed as part of the Sandbox Programme