As and when language is practiced as graphic gesture, the book is whatever volume has been created by the conceptually third-dimensionless material support of leaves, inscribed and bound. The persistence of such volumes engenders the predominant imaginary of our historical enculturation and belies the circumstance that the practices these volumes seem to contain are mere dialect with respect to so much more. For, the book itself—the book that has always been to come—is simply an architectonic dwelling for language, in any form and supported by any perceptible material, a dwelling that is capacious enough to welcome and care for human life, by allowing its language to be read at length, read, that is, as located communal singularity, style, and outer-inner voice, the substance of language, the articulable substance of, all-at-once, our significance and our affect.
John Cayley is a writer, theorist, and pioneer-maker of language art in programmable media. At the time of writing he is exploring aestheticized vectors of reading and transactive synthetic language, and he composes as much for reading in aurality as in visuality. Cayley is Professor of Literary Arts at Brown University and directs a graduate program in Digital Language Arts.