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Amaranth Borsuk Launches Abra, a Book and App that Change in the Reader's Hands

Page from Abra book

This past week saw the publication of IAS faculty member Amaranth Borsuk's collaborative project Abra: A Living Text, created with Kate Durbin and Ian Hatcher. The recipient of an NEA-funded Expanded Artists' Books grant from the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago, Abra presses at the boundaries of the book, coupling a limited-edition, fine press artists' book with a free art app for iPad and iPhone that allows readers to interact with its constantly-mutating text and create poems of their own. The project was mentioned on The Economist's Prospero blog as a bold experiment in publishing, a born-digital artists' book that merges physical and digital media.

The team celebrated the book's launch with a video (below) demonstrating the features of both the app and the artists' book, which uses heat-sensitive inks, letterpress impression, and laser-cut openings to reveal the page as itself a touch-screen interface continuous with the interactive tablet. The video was created with the help of UWB's Digital Future Lab, a unique interactive studio whose work focuses on radical diversity, social justice, and the relationship between the design of digital and physical worlds.

Learn more about Abra at http://www.a-b-r-a.com/, and find the app in the App Store.