Playing the Library documents and remixes the experience of browsing a library through performances with a book scanner.
A scanning system is being created that will digitize books on the fly and simultaneously create print-on-demand books, ebooks, and online editions. Artists, researchers, librarians, collectors, and library patrons will be asked to perform the scanning system in collaboration with the artist. In each instance the performer will spend no more than a day at a local institution selecting passages, excerpts, images, pages, or full chapters to digitize from the physical collection. The story told, topic chosen, section browsed, or single book highlighted will be determined by the performer. Out of each performance a print-on-demand book, an ebook, and a web version of the new work will be created.
The book scanner and materials that come out of these performances will be shown in an exhibition titled “Book Futures” at the SASA Gallery in Adelaide, Australia in September 2014. This show will be held in conjunction with a symposium on the topic of the future of the book.