DIY Book Scanner by Daniel Reetz is part of the exhibition “Print error / publishing in the digital age” proposed by Alessandro Ludovico, for the Jeu de Paume virtual space.
The background of Daniel Reetz lies in art (sculpture) and science (neuroscience) research and practices. But his greatest project so far belongs to another cultural field: publishing. Reetz founded the Do It Yourself Book Scanner, which is a truly open source effort. It’s based on the concept that anybody can build a scanner to digitize printed content using photo-cameras instead of classic scanners (using slowly sliding lamps and sensors), considerably speeding up the process.
So a large community of people interested in digitizing their books is combining bricolage with the « makers » attitude of connecting hardware and software, sharing in an instructive way their outcomes and then attracting more people. Dozens of different models, strategies, tips, and optimizations are then shared in a community that can sport an innovative product not yet being industrialized.
The collective dimension is essential for two important reasons: it’s able to help people building their own tools to share their cultural belongings, and it’s enabling the same technical and social process propagated when computers started to be powerful enough to digitize music from CDs, inaugurating the hugest collective human cultural digitalization.
Daniel Reetz lives in Los Angeles. Ph. D. Student in the Visual Neurosciences program at NDSU, he also studied art and more specifically sculpture. In the same time artist, musician, engineer and researcher, he has worked for National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and in industry. He has participated to several exhibitions and has been invited to give talks at MIT, MSUM or New York Law School, etc. His artistic projects go under the moniker Fakeproject Corporation of America and he is the founder of the Do It Yourself Book Scanner project.