The Very Last printed Book on Earth

Project

The book tells the story of human society of the past and in the future.

After the Fourth Technological Revolution had invested humankind in the early 30s of the twenty-first century, the fulcrum of every argument changed completely.

If, with the birth of computers or mobile phones, reference was made in any case to an external instrument, with the 4th revolution human body became the ultimate instrument.

We have moved from portable objects to smart-objects, to wearable objects to the necessary and consequential next step: no object.

“FROM APP TO IMP”, echoed some slogans

People were no longer going to the App-stores to buy mobiles, but rather to the Imp-stores to get the latest trend.

All kinds of implants were born.

Some became mandatory, such as the “The Last Apple” localization system: as the Apple was the first human sin, with this localization system there were no more sins; This had the benefit of closing prisons, considered inadequate in a short time.

No one was committing any more crime once known that he had been immediately localized and then blamed. That’s why prisons had immediately changed their function.

Others were simply evolutions of previous companies, such as the “spotifEyES” implant, a system for listening to music directly in his own ears. Maximum hearing quality, of course.

Last but not least, even in Arts there were changing: if until then tattoo artists were bound in their offices, now that the skin was the new canvas, their place resided in museums and art galleries as the higher expression of Art.

Interview

Who influences you graphically?

When you create a vision, you must have in mind the work of who created the best visions of all: Canaletto, Superstudio, Frei Otto, Tony Garnier, Hans Hollein, Archizoom. Then, what makes it stronger is the presence of an entire world hidden behind: Thomas More, Dante Alighieri, Tommaso Campanella, Italo Calvino, Francis Bacon made up very complex visions in their most famous works.

I mean, also movies like ‘Mad Max’ or ‘Zootopia’ could not work that well without the same concept.

Could you expand on the initial ‘image’ references and collages developed from these?

In order to create a strong “Vision”, the references for this project were not taken from the world of Architecture but from Cinema. Sci-fi movies and tv series have the great capacity to create a likely view of the future. They focus a lot on each detail and results are impressive most of times. Shown as printed photographs, references I used are very well known, and all of them express a future in which mankind and machines are on the same system: the human body.

Also time travels are quite used as central point to make believable things unbelievable, and so I did to make realistic the story of the book from the future.

What defined the medium of the book and its qualities? What the choice of the pointed grid, the ripped page?

Details are very important: a book from the future permits to read the future through it, here in the past. Everything is thought as a way to give coherence to very different images in order to make the story stronger. So images are inside a specific book, and pages have a grid that unify each view of this book. The ripped page.. to explain the ripped page I must quote the nickel scene of Robert De Niro in the movie ‘The Last Tycoon’:

Boxley – What happens?

Stahr – I don’t know. I was just making pictures.

Boxley – What was the nickel for?

Stahr – Jane, what was the nickel for?

Jane – The nickel was for the movies.

In italian it is even clearer the expression “fa cinema”. It means “making the magic of the Cinema”, so why we love movies and why we want questions and aswers after ‘The End’. Why the ripped page? The ripped page was just making the “Vision”.

Instead of printing on the book, why did you not ‘design your book’?

I wanted to give reality to the operation, so I used a common book as starting point: I bought one at FlyingTiger in order to increase the possibility to be recognizable for people. I wanted to make everything feels like a truth-likeness, “une figuration vraisemblable”.

If this were to be the last printed book of civilisation what knowledge should it hold? What would be its importance?

This is “The very last printed book on Earth” so someway, also the very last piece of art: as I explained, in this vision also art changed completely, and in the society shown, as a consequence, books are also part of the past. With implants you don’t need any stuff, you just need your body, and stuff on/in it. That’s the point.

So the book express the moment in-between, the passage from the past – how this change happened – and the future – we don’t need any book in the future that explain mankind history – so because of this, I’m going to tell the story of how mankind changed, and I’m gonna do that with a book, the last one we need.

Why the choice of 5 image based spreads? How were these ‘collaged views’ constructed- what were the main parameters and aim?

With 5 images I thought I could have created an immediate but still complex story, and they look like pictures taken with a camera of a book on a table. Nothing fake. Everything is connected with reality, or the impression of it.

Images are constructed manipulating the work of famous photographers as Thomas Struth or Martin Parr: what was important for these photographers became important also to me to explain a particular part of the story.

The aim was to give the impression of something that could exist: that is the future, indeed.

What role does text hold in the last printed book?

The text sometimes summarize the image, it can be short, long, or absent. Without reading the explanation it is impossible to understand the story. Of course as a book, it is imagined that there is also a written part between images, and also more images that show what happened. That’s why the number of pages is indicated in the down-right side.

Of course images are stronger then words, and this should be a sort of “Discorso per Immagini”.

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