Defining an object we think we know intimately.

What exactly is a book? In The Book, I have tried to define it with respect to its status as object, content, idea, and interface. By nature slippery, the book has taken numerous forms over time and been the subject of extensive experimentation by artists, filmmakers, tinkerers, and bookbinders.

In April, 2018, I began contacting writers, artists, and scholars I admired to ask them What is the/a book? You'll find their answers here in an attempt to draw attention to the many other formulations of what the book is and can be.

The book is a dangerously unstable object :: It is the world :: It is not the world :: It is the world bending :: It is a constant movement-between :: The structure of the book mirrors :: Mirrors us :: Mirrors our time ::::

The book is a remarkable technology :: It is a shimmering substance :: It is a noise of the hands & thought :: The book is perhaps now a dead thing :: In the hands of the dead :: So be it :: We remain in the dark :: With these books :: The original autonomous window technology that is us looking through :: At :: In :: Against :: With care :: The book returns our labor to us ::::

The book stains the fingers like static :: You can always open it further ::::

—Aaron Cohick

Aaron Cohick is a letterpress printer/artist/publisher based in Colorado Springs, CO. His work focuses on the intersection of experimental writing and artists’ publishing. He is the founder and proprietor of the NewLights Press, and is also the Printer of The Press at Colorado College.