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Re: Permanence (was Laser printing)



 One could argue that the quest of permanence in art is ultimately an expression
of vanity, the desire to leave a mark in history or influence future generations
being a desire for earthly immortality.  However, if it is vanity it is so
basically human I can't really see it as some sort of moral defect myself.  What
interests me is the way new technology begins as an immitation of old
technology.  Gutenberg went to great lengths to make his Bible look like a
manuscript book, imitating established bookhands and page layouts.  The new
digital typefaces frequently reproduce the old letterpress fonts and printed
book technology that preceeded them.  Aside from questions of intrinsic artistic
merit, some of these digitally produced books may, should they last long enough,
be valued simply as samples of  digital incunnables, so to speak.   Very few
people actually look to "inkies" (popular pet name for incunnables) for a good
read.  The hot titles of the late fifteenth century include really griping
things like commentaries on obscure canon law, sermons, and moral treatises that
wouldn't really do much for the modern reader.  People study them for their
production, type and format.
  So, it may not be what every digital book artist wants to hear, but in a
hundred years your book may not matter a jot for its content,  just for the fact
of its survival.
   Spreading cheer where ever I go,
      Dorothy Africa


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