What is a book?

Read Mark Sladen, on art books, e-books and artworks, from the April 2014 issue

A page from Petra Cortright’s Hell_Tree, 2013, an e-book published by Badlands Unlimited

‘What is reading? How does reading turn into knowing? What is a book? Is reading a book different from reading a menu, or an affidavit, or a painting? Why are books associated with bodies? When books are burned, why is it natural to assume that people are next? How do you burn an e-book?’ These are some of the questions from the blurb for Wht Is a Book?, an e-book by New York artist Paul Chan, published in 2011 by…

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