The book is a hybrid device—a storage, display, and distribution mechanism for literature, art, and information. Paired with an alphabet, it is the greatest invention of mankind: a dedicated object with the capacity for access and retrieval, without fail, for hundreds of years—in version 1.0.
Steve Woodall is a collections specialist for artists’ books at the Achenbach Foundation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, currently working on media-rich websites that represent bookworks in the collection. Formerly director of the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago, he managed the development of Expanded Artists’ Books, a studio-based project with artists to examine the relationship between print and digital media. From 1999-2001 he was an artist in residence at Xerox PARC, part of the research project XFR: Experiments in the Future of Reading.