Between Page and Screen

Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse

Between Page and Screen has reinvented visual poetry. . . . Such a book heralds the virtual reality of our own poetic future, when everyone can read a book while watching it play on television, each hologram standing in its cone of light, hovering above the open page.

—CHRISTIAN BÖK

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“Page, don’t cage me!” declares one of the lovers in this remarkable “first-of-a-kind” interactive print-screen book. Between Page and Screen . . . mysteriously opens up a new world with the click on the computer screen, chronicling the misfortunes and misunderstandings of two star-crossed lovers, whose puns and paragrams resonate with a physical as well as semantic presence. Here, as Samuel Beckett said of Finnegans Wake, “form is meaning and meaning is form.”

—MARJORIE PERLOFF, critic

 

Coupling the physicality of the printed page with the electric liquidity of the computer screen, Between Page and Screen chronicles a love affair between the characters P and S while taking the reader into a wondrous, augmented reality.

The book has no words, only inscrutable black and white geometric patterns that—when seen by a computer webcam—conjure the written word. Reflected on screen, the reader sees himself with open book in hand, language springing alive and shape-shifting with each turn of the page.

The story unfolds through a playful and cryptic exchange of letters between P and S as they struggle to define their turbulent relationship. Rich with innuendo, anagrams, etymological and sonic affinities between words, Between Page and Screen takes an almost ecstatic pleasure in language and the act of reading.

Merging concrete poetry with conceptual art, “technotext” with epistolary romance, and the tradition of the artistís book with the digital future, Between Page and Screen expands the possibilities of what a book can be.

Writer and book artist Amaranth Borsuk and (her husband) developer Brad Bouse, have created a magical space for the reader to discover what lives in the “in-between.”

 

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This might be one of the first poetic works to constitute itself across the distributed network of inter-medial relations, and its spare elegance and mute beauty speak volumes about the shape of texts to come.

—JOHANNA DRUCKER, artist and critic

 

Between Page and Screen is an animate world to quell the fears of all of us terrified of losing the page.

—ANN HAMILTON, artist

Borsuk and Bouse . . . show an extraordinary deftness that transcends techné, and becomes a major voice in new media Gesamkunstwerk.

—FRANCISCO RICARDO, theorist

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BETWEEN PAGE AND SCREEN
has been shown internationally at many exhibitions including Language to Cover a Wall: Visual Poetry through Its Changing Media at the Center for the Arts and A Decade of E-Poetry at the Center for the Arts, SUNY-Buffalo; BiblioTech at the San Francisco Public Library Skylight Gallery; Rules of Conversion: Artists Explore Coded and Embedded Language at Haskins Laboratories Gallery in New Haven, CT; Creative Energies and 233∞ Celsius — eine andere Bibliothek at KunsTTempel in Kassel, Germany; Movens at Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Germany; Wonder Rooms at the Bury Art Gallery, Bury, England; and at the ELO_AI Gallery, Providence, RI.

 

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AMARANTH BORSUK is the author of the award-winning poetry collection Handiwork (Slope Editions, 2012), the chapbook Tonal Saw (The Song Cave, 2010), and a collaborative work Excess Exhibit (ZG Press, 2012). She has a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California and was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Comparative Media Studies and Writing and Humanistic Studies at MIT. She now is professor in the English Department at University of Washington-Bothell.

BRAD BOUSE is a developer whose work focuses on the intersection of art and technology. His personal projects have ranged from documentaries to collaborative screenwriting software. Professionally, he has created interactive applications for advertising agencies, mainstream media companies, and, most recently, two startups.