The Girl Who Was Plugged In by Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope and Julie Legault is part of the exhibition “Print error / publishing in the digital age” proposed by Alessandro Ludovico, for the Jeu de Paume virtual space.
The future form of the book is a liquid territory where many explorations have been attempted and many prototypes have been brought to, but none of them has yet accomplished the goal to settle there and become an accepted standard. Heibeck, Hope and Legault use the MIT Media Lab infrastructure to design science « fabrications » inspired by science fiction, and they adventured in the conception of a possible book form, leaving apart the current declinations of e-book readers and starting back from the traditional book form. Their The Girl Who Was Plugged In is a physically « expanded » book which uses various technologies (electric, robotic, sensors-related, digital), to reinforce the plot with discrete feedback given to the reader through the connected devices attached to his/her body and coloured light projected from the cover. It follows the narrated moods of the text, a science fiction novel by James Tiptree Jr., where celebrities are subtly used by corporations to control consumers. The reading experience is then enhanced without using other media (like video or sound), but collateral technologies. Coherently with their approach it represents then a physical and somehow retro-futuristic « future of book ».
Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope et Julie Legault
Felix Heibeck is an interaction designer and explorer from Germany. Currently he is a research assistant and MS candidate at the Tangible Media Group | MIT Media Lab.
Alexis Hope is a designer from Seattle, WA. Currently she is a research assistant and MS candidate at the Media Lab.
Julie Legault is a researcher and designer from Montreal, Canada. She is currently in the Playful System Group at the MIT Media Lab.