Bob Brown’s Reading Machine and the Imagined Escape from the Page

Bob Brown’s Reading Machine and the Imagined Escape from the Page

Absract:

Bob Brown imagined an escape from the page; the restrictive nature of the form of the ‘antiquated book’ following into new forms of technology and machine reading. This investigation functions as an inquiry into the idea of the reader as machine; in Bob Brown’s printed experiments in optical reading, can we ever escape the page?
In writing for the imagined machine, and in using the page and its restrictions Brown was able to imagine these ideas and new ways of reading. Punctuation and page layout were devices used by Bob Brown and the poets involved with The Readies for Bob Brown’s Machine, The Readies, and Words to represent the movement and speed of a new form of reading through an imagined machine. This essay argues that they actually force the reader themselves into becoming the reading machine perhaps without losing their
humanity and without the need for the machine itself. The concepts contained within the writing, and the aspects of optical text design, challenges the page and the way we read, within all three books, and allows the machine to come alive within the text itself and so within the reader.

<<< the full article is to be published in the Artist’s Book Yearbook 2014/15; Impact Press; out in September 2013;  ISBN 978-1-906501-07-5>>>

>>>also published online at the Post-Digital Publishing Archive: http://p-dpa.net/bob-browns-reading-machine/



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