“Unlike books, we cannot feel the impressions of the digital. The touch of the page brings us into the world, while the screen keeps us out. All that remains of the hand is a ghostly remnant of its having been there at the time of scanning, like the chance encounters with scanners’ hands from Google Books, accidental traces of the birth of the digital record. The hand no longer points, like the typographic manicule; rather, it covers over or gets in the way. Hand was there, we might say.”
A project firmly embedded in the pop-culture debate between the merits of the digital text and the physical text, The Art of Google Books celebrates the generative nature of transmediation.
Single-topic blogs prove that isolation aggrandizes everything, and this is no different; by reading as a collector and aggregating my finds, I promote the signs of use that accompany digitized books as worthy of both academic study and aesthetic exhibition.
In other words, Google Books is more than a bag of words.
I wrote a short piece for HuffPost Books! They changed the title from The Art of The Art of Google Books to The Art of Google Books: Crazy Images Found Online.