Amaranth Borsuk publishes in special issue of Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture

animation of binding

IAS faculty member Amaranth Borsuk has a longstanding practice of making her digital works open-source and available for modification. This month, she opened up her collaborative project Abra: A Living Text for a special issue of Enculturation edited by Helen Burgess (North Carolina State University) and Roger Whitson (Washington State University). The issue, "Critical Making and Executable Kits" features scholars open sourcing digital humanities projects with a material component. In the words of the editors, these are experiments in “executable culture": that is “cultural objects that can be shared widely and downloaded for execution (building / rebuilding) as physical objects at the other end of the network.” The included works emphasize the making process as integral to knowledge-building. Borsuk's kit, "The Abra Codex," guides readers in the process of printing, laser-cutting, and binding a limited-edition artist's book that can be paired with the free app Abra: A Living Text she created with Kate Durbin and Ian Hatcher. In the words of the editors:

"Consisting of a limited-edition handmade book and an iOS app, The Abra Codex uses touchscreens and animation to test the haptic dimensions of book history. [...] By moving from the material of the book to the screen of the smartphone application, Borsuk encourages reading as a participatory act of transforming the materiality of the book with our hands."