Virtual Book AC

Book AC, by the Swiss artist Dieter Roth, consists of twenty-four loose slotted sheets, some black and some white, collected in a black portfolio box with a white printed title. The book was published in an edition of 250 by Ives-Sillman (New Haven, Connecticut: 1964).

The sheets can be stacked, grouped, rotated, and otherwise arranged by the reader/user.

Related books by Roth use different colors such as red, orange, blue, and green.

I saw Book AC exhibited in Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth at the Museum of Modern Art and wanted to play with it. So I made this quick digital variation of the work.

I swapped in a few pages from one of the differently colored books and added limited opacity controls (“ghostify” and “half-ghostify”) to take further advantage of the odd layering potential of the book (its “automatism”) and its capacity for surprise. What results is a sort of constrained design game. Players can make and modify patterns and imagine the resulting structures.

For a more exact digital replication of Roth's work, see the version at the55.

~Jonathan Bass

two-vertical-left-white two-horizontal-top-black five-horizontal-mid-white five-vertical-mid-black three-horizontal-mid-white three-vertical-mid-black three-vertical-mid-orange three-vertical-mid-orange nine_horizontal-mid-white nine_vertical-mid-black seventeen-vertical-mid-black seventeen-horizontal-mid-white nine_horizontal-mid-orange