For years to come

Olle Essvik is an artist working and living in Gothenburg. Essvik works with themes relating to the digital, and technology in a human context, touching on notions of everyday life, repetition and time. These themes are treated in personal, existential works playfully utilizing the very methods of technology to counteract our technological addictions. Personal reflections on technological interactions, everyday existence and loneliness takes on a literary form where programming, text and storytelling are central components. The outcome could be a book, a publication, or a sculpture in which traditional materials and techniques like wood and bookbinding converge with programming and code. In the spring of 2015 he has been working on the project Virtuella utopier (”Virtual Utopias”), resulting in two books on digital dreams and utopias. Essvik completed his MFA in 2006 and is currently teaching Visual arts and Semiotics at the University of Gothenburg (HDK).

I download the book from the Internet, https://books.google.com, Enemies of books, written by William Blades, published in 1881. A book on the decay of books. The enemies of the physical book – fire, water, gas, the bookworm, dirt, bigotry etc. A digitized book with no identity. Black letters on a white background. I buy a copy of the book from 1881. A yellowed, and stained copy. The book bears traces of a former owner, one Dr. Sarolea. Newspaper cuttings on his death and his extensive book collection. I compare the two texts, the original and the digitized copy. Using my computer I create a tool for binding books. I combine and modify traditional tools that have been used for hundreds of years and print out the components on a 3D-printer. The next day I print out another copy of the digitized book, and using the 3D-printed tool I make an exact replica of the book from 1881, in its original design. I construct a manual describing the process and upload the files to the Internet.

This is a description of a project which I begun in 2014 as an artistic development project financed by the University of Gothenburg. A project exploring digitization, human traces and the unique copy, and at the same time an act of resistance against digitization and technology. The outcome of the project was a book, presented together with the tool used to produce it.

For PARSE I will combine this project with another project, ”for years to come”, in which I bind calendars. A calendar for you to order. Decide upon your years.

This will result in a performance/workshop on materiality, time, death and human traces.