A book is a geography. It doesn’t have to be read in a linear fashion. As a matter of fact, I once met a grandmother who read the last chapter first, then started from the beginning. She wanted to know her destination. While reading the conclusion first may seem strange or unorthodox, it’s a unique way of traveling through a story, its characters, and (to a certain extent) defying time and space. We all have our own way of reading stories.
A book is a location. Its a place where words are gathered together and convene, then float out into the atmosphere. When the words are spoken or recited, they are subject to falling apart through speech. Books give birth to other books thus adding to the greater constellation and genealogy of a knowledge built up over time. It’s not just some object or an analog technology.
The book is also a home for everyday life. It holds and nestles receipts, bookmarks, and notes in the hope of haunting its next reader.
Dorothy R. Santos is a Filipina American writer, editor, and curator whose research interests include digital art, computational media, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Ars Technica, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She serves as a co-curator for REFRESH and works as the Program Manager for the Processing Foundation.