On January 19, 2013, the project 56 Broken Kindle Screens, by artists Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmieg, was presented at the Link Point in a specially designed exhibition setup.
The Kindle is Amazon’s e-reading device which is by default connected to the company’s book store. 56 Broken Kindle Screens is a print on demand paperback that consists of found photos depicting broken Kindle screens. The book takes as its starting point the peculiar aesthetic of broken E Ink displays and serves as an examination into the reading device’s materiality. As the screens break, they become collages composed of different pages, cover illustrations and interface elements, in random and often surprising combinations.
Published in 2012 the book, also available as a Kindle ebook, experienced a viral success online for its ability to raise the issue of ephemerality in the digital age and to bring attention on the aesthetics and the materiality of devices that are changing our approach to reading.
The book will be available at the Link Point in a special edition of 56 numbered and signed copies. The artists will be present. Silvio Lorusso (www.silviolorusso.com) is an artist and designer, PhD Candidate in Design Sciences at IUAV University of Venice. A former student at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, Lorusso already developed many online and offline projects that show his interest in technology, interfaces, digital folklore, internet cultures, and hybrid publishing. Sebastian Schmieg (www.sebastianschmieg.com) is an artist and designer currently based in Berlin, where he is completing his education at the University of the Arts (UdK). A former student of the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart, he took part in many festivals and exhibitions worldwide.
“a bit of wry gadget iconography”. Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing
“a startling set of images”. Nate Hoffelder on The Digital Reader
“an interesting and visually arresting commentary”. Laura June on The Verge
“a really weird, extremely meta project that juxtaposes some of the pros and cons of high- and low-tech reading”. Eric Limer on Gizmodo
“We are fascinated by the way in which various ‘strata’ of content and device features, such as pages, cover illustrations and interface elements, mix and merge. Functional parts of the screens cohabit with broken ones constituting a multifaceted composition. We find them haunting as well, because when they break they stop being a window into the content. The device itself becomes the focus, its materiality is very different to that of a printed book and this is something it needs to be remembered.” Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmieg on Co-DESIGN