EXPLODINGTHECODEX explores the theater of the book & storytelling through structure. Like alternative theater, these books go beyond the traditional format to unveil new ways of presenting and telling stories. Often theatrical or stage-like in the way they are presented to the world, they pull their readers and audiences into their individual dramas. This collection has a fascinating variety of form and presentation as well as, revealing a new way to see our relationship with information.
A book's size and dimensions determine our relationship to it and what it is trying to tell us. One can choose between the intimacy of a tiny journal, private and curious, easily hidden as if keeping a secret between reader and teller; or we may choose to be awed by a ceremoniously large book that engages us in alto, the spine boasting of a grand celebration. The size, structure, shape, are the book's octave.
The Codex was invented two millennium ago, with two-sided, turn-able pages made from flexible parchment or paper, hinged to a spine and protected by a sturdy cover. It was quickly seen to give the ability to provide quick, random access to information, and thus replaced the oft-decayed, stiff papyrus scroll which presented a continuous information format.
In our lifetime, we have seen an incredible change in the way information is presented. As information becomes digitized our relationship changes based on the way we access it. The form that information is delivered is a big part of how we interpret the story. I believe there will always be room in our lives for theater, and always room in our lives for the privacy of the printed word and the luxury of paper between our fingertips. Books are monuments to consciousness and begin collective conversations that evolve our culture, and our perception of our selves in the world.
What I love about this show is how it surprises us by tickling our expectations and expanding our possibilities for theater in everyday life. May our conversations continue to expand.