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A generative book based on Martin Bodmer's Faust collection

Project description

Highlight a huge collection

The Collection Bodmer is a colossal book collection, containing among other things many editions of Goethe's Faust. The aim of the BodmerLab is to digitize the collected works and make it easier to reach by people and researchers.

Three different pages from three different editions.

Re-materialize an intangible ressource

What we wanted was to give the materiality back to this digitized collection, by creating a unique work made with parts of many books. The myth of Faust tells the story of a man who wants to attain a utopian universal knowledge. In the same way, we gathered all the richnesses of each different Faust edition in one work.

Twelve books in one

Concretely, we choose and aggregate twelve different books into one. We choose a distinctive feature from each of these twelve books, for example, the pagination, the illustrations or the embellishment. On each page of the final book, the selected element is displayed as it is. An illustration on page 243 of an Anglo-American edition of 1887 will figure at the exact same place at page 243 of ultimateFaust.

A computer-generated book

The book was digitally generated with a program (Processing). We also used Photoshop scripts in order to extract the features from each page of each chosen book.

A collaboration between designers and scientists

This project was made by Nicolas Baldran, David Héritier and myself, and is a collaboration between the BodmerLab - a research lab from the University of Geneva - and the HEAD - Geneva.

The book is now permanently integrated into the Martin Bodmer Collection.

Fondation Bodmer

Cérémonie de remise du livre