What attracts you to the form of the book as a vehicle for ideas and a tool for experimentation?
Recently, someone described my style as contemporary with an attitude of ancientness. It was not a description of my designing style, but it suited me very well. It corresponds to my own personal attitude, my personal beliefs. Something ancient clings also to the book, since the beginning of the modern age, but the self-publishing and artistic book design trend is extremely contemporary. For me a book represents a huge field of research. It is a symbol of deceleration per se, which I highly appreciate in a world of digital acceleration, of pluralistic opportunities, of seemingly infinite diversity and dispersion. It is something solid and truthful; I trust the printed word.
In addition to that, I grew up with a library full of books which were more than just a pure text collection. Most of them were commented and supplemented with cut-out newspaper articles, photographs, handwritten notices and drawings. Within these books completely self-contained worlds were created, which had to be reflected. A book is a static object, once it is printed and bound, it is there: it is not easily changed like you can do with a website. At best, what you create will last forever. Therefore it is only logical to express a certain moral stance within your role as a book designer. I don’t want to create objects which serve only one purpose, often to increase both sales and profits. I want to design something which is sustainable, with a high demand on growth in knowledge for research and personal development, and I am not talking about the obvious growth in knowledge which results from the study of the textual content but about the associative, the invisible so to speak.
Thus, the books I create are, most of the time, not only textual books but holistic systems which not only transfer knowledge, but try to convey a certain feeling through the different combinations of heterogeneous material. It is kind of a media-philosophical work with the aid of book design. Let’s call them epistemic Agens. However, there are legitimate reasons to criticise the medium of the book. As Socrates said in Plato’s Phaedo, books just convey lifeless knowledge, and truths can only be transported in a lively conversation. If I am able to create books people are talking about then I have achieved my personal aim.