We think of very different, incomparable, devices as ‘books’, just as we deem entities that pump water, spin washing machine drums or move cars forward as ‘engines’. And yet there is a distinctive trait in the many things a book may be: a differed, potential existence, waiting to be triggered by reading. Also, printing is a form of ghost binding. Books are silent capture devices oriented to hold in finite linear renderings, line after line, page after page, the infinite experiences, material constraints and whimsical synapses of known and unknown authors. Or, put differently, the replicable existence of the unique time of the mind orderly displayed as words (and images) in the narrow space of folded papers. And thus, books are traps as much as they are maps.
Agustín Berti (Oslo, 1978) conducts research on the changes spurred by digitization in literature, film and audiovisual arts. His most recent work is La Biblioteca Roja. Brevísima relación de la destrucción de los libros [The Red Library. A Short Account of the Destruction of Books] (Document/A, 2017) with Tomás Alzogaray and Gabriela Halac, and From Digital to Analog. Agrippa and other Hybrids in the Beginnings of Digital Culture (Peter Lang, 2015). He is a researcher at the Argentine CONICET (National Scientific and Technical Research Council), lectures in the Masters in Technics, Politics and Cultures at UNC and is head professor of “Analysis and Criticism” in the Faculty of Arts, UNC. He is a member of technology research group Dedalus.