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Creative Research Lab

SHIFT (MFA1) - March 2008

Selina Silvas

Selina Silvas
Transition, 2008
installation view (detail)

The printed book has stepped into the digital world, but it remains one of the more difficult types of media to make this transition. Photography, film and music have all made this transition with an ease of acceptance that is not mirrored in the translation of the printed book. Steps are being taken to bring the book into the digital media family but it's not so easy to translate the book you know so well as an object, and the experience it creates beyond its pages, into digital format. My work has investigated how we can reconcile our digital world with the love we have for the book as a unique object. Books exist in a different way than these other types of media and the book's unique existence has made it a perfect vessel for investigation into larger contexts. Is it possible to translate the physical qualities and experiences of a book into a digital world?

My investigation of digital books is done by bringing familiar objects together into one and structuring those investigations around literary content that gives a foundation to the concepts being explored. By building a screen that mimics an open book over a laptop computer screen I have created a situation that is at the same time familiar and foreign. This is a unique experience with which to gather data about how we use objects and what we expect from them. My physical artifacts are informed by literary content that explores themes of transition and existence between worlds. I embrace the changing world but I question and investigate how we adapt to it.