Songs of Imagination and Digitisation: Blake Meets New Media

if:book has come out with Songs of Imagination and Digitisation, “an illuminated book for the digital age.”
Via The Cynic Sang

On the surface, this digital illuminated book looks (and functions) much like a book: it has covers, a (hyperlinked) table of contents, and turning pages.

This book, however, is also not a book. It does contain text (some of Blake’s short pieces, personal responses to Blake’s work, and new poems and prose by modern writers), but it also uses the book page to frame moving images. Video clips include readings of Blake by Toby Jones and interviews with Chris Meade (the director of if:book), Tim Heath (Chair of the Blake Society), writer Lisa Gee, new media writer Tim Wright, Emma Crewe (director of Child Hope), Sasha Hoare (film maker), and various members of the public. Pages of this digital illuminated book are also linked to other projects and videos — like Lisa Gee’s biography of Blake’s patron, William Hayley; Blake Walks; Blake’s Netbook; and Save the Tyger. Several commentators mention Blake’s relationship to the new media of his day, and imagine his role within the context of digital media and the internet. Blake’s interest in new forms of media, and new forms of books, make him a perfect figure for this sort of thought-game. Pushing the page to include animated text and moving images naturally extends Blake’s experiments with text and image.

Read the entire article here.

Via Songs of Imagination and Digitisation

Unlike more conventional books on paper, this one contains sound and moving images, involves walks and talks, even an imaginary brain made of copper plates, plus opportunities to enter your own thoughts and ideas.

Over the next few months this book will be growing as we commission new work and discuss the themes it explores.

We’ll be gathering readers’ thoughts on where Blake lives now, talking to members of the William Blake Society about the future of the book, visiting festivals around the country and doing work in schools to explore new media opportunities for literature, and asking a range of readers and writers to contribute to the book using tools like Twitter, Flickr, Blogger and a ‘Blake Netbook’ assembled by Bill Thompson, to express their own visions of our digital future. You can watch this grow at blakesnetbook.blogspot.com.

Read more here.

View the book here.

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