Waldek Węgrzyn created his hybrid book, Elektrobiblioteka, as the final project for his masters degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland. The project is a more literal interpretation of ‘e-book’ than the digital files we are able to download and read through computers. It is, first and foremost, a book – one that he himself bound with front and back covers and a number of pages in between.
But the book is also an interface for a companion website designed by Węgrzyn. When connected to a computer via USB, turning the book’s pages moves the reader through a supplementary digital experience, complete with animations, videos, links and quotations related to each physical page open on the table in front of them. In some cases, touching conductive sections of the page allows the reader to control the action on-screen, starting a video’s playback, or cycling through a series of images.
Wegrzyn says the book was inspired partly by designer El Lissitzky, whose 1923 manifesto called for writers to recognize the book as a technology that could ‘transcend time and space,’ creating an ‘electro-library.’ For his part, Wegrzyn wants to merge books with computers, removing the ‘strict division of print and screen’ we see now.
Watch the video below for a closer look at how it works: